Paddle Sports Curry night and Awards Presentation

On Saturday the 19th of November the paddle sports discipline had their annual end of season Curry night. This Year it was a very special event thanks to Alan Mortimer of Ware With All services who donated 3 quaichs and 6 medals. The three quaichs were for recognition of members services to paddle sports at the RWSABC and required active paddlers nominating people from the club that have had a major impact on the success of paddle sports at the RWSABC.
Medals were awarded to 5 members of the club for various reasons, these were decided by the paddle sports coaches.
Willing Hands Quaich: DAVE MARQUIS

Just two people featured in the nominations here: for their outstanding service to paddle sports.

DAVE MARQUIS – He has devoted over 20 years to coaching and enhancing paddle sports at the club. He doesn’t get much recognition, but he does a hell of a lot for the sport. It is good to have an opportunity to recognise his efforts. Individuals highlighted the following:

1) For all the leadership he shows every time we’re on the water with him – he leaves us in no doubt what we’re supposed to be doing and when! The way he took control of the Clyde Swim day showed the strength of character of the man.

2) He “worked his butt off” to secure the grant that allowed us to renew the kayak fleet.

3) He spends an inordinate amount of time on a monthly basis sitting through club committee meetings to ensure the paddle sports group get a hearing and puts a lot of effort into securing our share of the pot.

KEITH CLAGUE – for his years of service, for organising the new racking and flooring in the boat shed and for his advice on boats and coaching over many years.

Members’ Choice Award: Keith Clague

Members were asked to vote on who this award should be presented to, for whatever reason they see fit.

Keith received multiple nominations:

KEITH CLAGUE – in recognition of many years of service and for his work in planning and building the new racking in the boat shed, for greatly improving the flooring and for his advice on boats and coaching over many years.

Seven others received individual nominations

LEWIS SMITH for his quiet reassurance and patience in general and in particular for the amazing skills he showed when he rescued Hugh and Morven on a very windy /wavy night when both capsized in the dark. Hugh recalls that his boat was full of water and as he was pumping the water out, the waves were filling it back up again. Lewis towed  Morven and Hugh back to shore – in itself impressive – and he still kept his calm even under some extreme pressure.

DAVE MARQUIS – “for his years of service to the section.”

It Easy When You Know How” Quaich: Lewis Smith

A coaching award, presented to the coach who has worked particularly well and set high personal standards during the course of the year.
Lewis Smith received multiple nominations:

LEWIS SMITH – Paraphrasing from a number of nominations: for consistently demonstrating outstanding personal skills, including an outstanding connection to his boat; for continually setting a high standard; for being up-to-date with modern thinking in paddle sports; raising the bar; and for his willingness and ability in leading groups, helping others improve their skills and for calmly keeping them safe.

Two other nominations were received:

GEORGE McCALLUM – For setting a high standard in the Round Kerrera race.

JULIA DARBY – she set herself an extremely high standard in going for the 4 Star award. We put her through her paces with “heart attacks” and the like and she didn’t complain once. I could see she was genuinely affected at the thought of one of us suffering a life threatening condition out on the water. Also for the way she responded to the difficulties with the Loch Lomond Swim – it was heartening to know she was so enraged at the organisers but took her time to point out the error of  their ways without getting into a slagging match.

FORBES SCOTT – “for Sunday paddles”

JOE DOW – “for all the work he put into getting the club painted, as well as his efforts with coaching the kids”

JANG DILAWARI – “he’s an inspiration”

JULIA DARBY – “for her dedication and continued personal development that enabled her to lead the kids”

ROSE SLOAN – “for staying afloat while Shug and Morven capsized during double rescue”

Awards by the club Coaches

Most improved Novice paddler: Gary Connor

Wet Wet Award: Hugh Jamieson

Unsung Heroes of paddle sports: Maggi Blair and Forbes Scott

Medal of merit awarded by paddle sport coaches :

Endeavour Award: Ian Leith

Ian Leith has persevered with kayaking improving his skill despite his nervousness and apprehension. Ian’s skills are better than he thinks and he keeps trying no matter what is thrown at him.

The Wet, Wet, Wet Award: Hugh Jamieson

Of all the novices paddlers Hugh has pushed the envelop to improve his skills, this has resulted in numerous capsizes and plenty of rescue practice for the instructors and his fellow paddlers. Despite the number of dunkings it has not put Hugh of the sport. Hugh is one of the few people who has the cool headedness to wait for someone to Eskimo rescue him in quite challenging conditions. He did this twice!

Most improved Novice Paddler: Gary Connor

This was very hard  for the club coaches to decide and was very closely contested.

Gary joined the club in 2011 having acquired a sea kayak and paddling with friends Gary soon realised that he need some formal training in skills and safety techniques. He put his heart and sole in to acquiring these skills paddling on club nights, at weekend with the coaches and on his own to refine the skills he needed. Gary learnt to roll one afternoon after 3hours individual instruction.

Helping Hands Award : Maggi Blair and Forbes Scott

It was decided that two people should receive this award for different reasons

Maggi Blair has, throughout the last two seasons, been behind the scenes helping with the junior paddlers issuing equipment, organising kayaks and being an extra hand on the water assisting the coaches. Maggi is always willing to volunteer to assist in paddle sports projects especially events involving the juniors.  Maggi organised all the food for the end of season BBQ.

Forbes Scott has been an unsung hero for many years quietly working away behind the scenes assisting in the repair of kayaks, tidying up equipment and is always willing to assist with any paddle sports project at the club in any way that he can.

Conveners Awards

As paddle sports convener it is vital that members of the paddle sport section take on tasks and projects. These people very often go unrewarded by the club so I decided that there should be some formal recognition for these unsung and some times under-appreciated people.

I decided that I, as paddle sport convener, would personally like to thank these people who have assisted in making paddle sports such a vibrant and successful discipline at the RWSABC. Without their enthusiasm, dedication and hard work we would have never achieved the success that paddle sports is enjoying at the RWSABC.

Conveners awards of merit:

Frankie Hanson: For her initial input and assistance in re introducing junior paddlers to the RWSABC in 2009 ( Mark Hanson should also be recognised for his hard work in obtaining the grant to purchase the 10 Roto-moulded plastic boats, paddles and spray decks that are used to coach the juniors.

Pat Johnstone: Pat Johnstone very kindly volunteered to open the club house and bar on  Monday evenings both for the parents of the junior section to get out of the cold and also keeping the bar open for when the senior members came of the water. This enabled the paddlers to avail themselves of various refreshment and to debrief the evenings activities and to plan various paddle sports activities. Without this facility provided by Pat we would not have attracted so many temporary senior members to become full members. Paddle sports is not all about being out on the water, the social side is vital to exchange knowledge, ideas and to tell tall tails of do and die.

Keith Clague: Keith has been the person I have often turned to for advice and guidance and to discuss issues and matter that affect paddle sport. On many occasions I have used Keith as a sounding board, some times Keith has moderated some of my thoughts.

Keith was also heavily involved in the first application for a grant from Awards for All to replace our ageing sea kayaks fleet. Although Keith says he has taken a back seat from actively coaching he is still a valued coach, coaching beginners adults and supervising excursions on a Monday and Tuesday evening. Keith also managed the construction of the new club sea kayak and play boat racks. Keith also provided and laid the flooring in both kayak storage areas.

Julia Darby : Over the last two seasons Julia has been a leading light in junior coaching and senior paddle sport activities. She passed her BCU UKCC Level 1 coaching award in 2009 despite severely injuring her knee during the final assessment. Julia passed her BCU 4 star leaders award in 2011. Julia quietly encourages all senior members and a number of them have adopted Julia’s flat in Sandbank as the clubs second club house across the water.

Lewis Smith: For his coaching activities on club nights and for organising weekend skill development activities for intermediate paddlers building up to their 3 star sea kayak award and for sharing his skills knowledge and love of all things related to sea kayaking.

Joe Dow: Joe gained his BCU UKCC level 1 coach award this year and has been very active in coaching the junior paddles of the club.

George McCallum : George also gained his BCU UKCC Level 1 coaching award and has been very active coaching juniors on a Monday evening. George also to part in the round Kerrera Sea kayak race and was the second traditional sea kayak home in a very respectable time.

Forbes Scott: Forbes has been a great help in maintaining the paddle sports equipment over a number of years and is always willing to assist with projects.

Maggi Blair Maggi is a godsend when it comes to organising the juniors on a Monday evening and in assisting the coaches on the water. Maggi organised all the food for the Juniors end of season BBQ.

Andy White; Andy and Sue did a Fantastic job organizing the BBQ at the end of season junior’s day. Not one burger or sausage was burnt – no mean feat.

Certificate of improvement Award: for the level of skill improvement since joining the club in 2011

Alex Workman

Eddie Workman

Gary Connor

Hugh Jamieson

Special thanks must go to Andy Adams who organized the curry night and acted as master of ceremonies on the night.

This year has seen further increases in the club kayak fleet. We have purchased:

2 Low volume Atlantic RM sea kayaks

1 Canadian canoe

1 double sea kayak

1 junior sit on top canoe

1 junior sea kayak

5 junior paddles

There are now 40 paddle craft available for club members to use.