Winter paddling program about to begin

Weekly paddles are a great place for a paddler new to the sport to start.

VIKINGS VALIANTLY VYING for Build Bail and Sail victory were thwarted when their kayak vanished beneath the waves.

Valiant Vikings from the Comox Valley Paddlers Club entered the Build, Bail, and Sail Race at Comox Nautical Days for the first time ever this year.

The historical event was marred by the sinking of their beautiful kayak creation within 20 feet of the start. Many Paddle Club members enjoyed the race nevertheless with cheers in Norwegian to spur on their team.

In reality, club members include experienced paddlers as well as novice ones. Novice paddlers are supported by veteran club members, who share their paddling expertise, knowledge of equipment, and past experiences.

The club, which has a strong social aspect, is for paddlers of both kayaks and canoes and has a wide variety of paddles to choose from in the summer months, including evening paddles, day trips and extended camping trips.

Weekly paddles are a great place for a paddler new to the sport to start. The club’s website lists weekly Wednesday paddle locations and times and  potential new members are welcome to attend as a guest of the club for a $10 fee and signing of liability waivers.

As a guest, you are responsible for your own boat, paddle and PFD as well as safety equipment  recommended and required: pump, tow rope, paddle float, stirrup. Paddles continue throughout September.

CVPC expectations are meant to ensure safety for individuals and the well-being of the club.

Trips when underway operate on a peer group consensual paddling basis. This means that trip participants using their good judgment should take appropriate steps to ensure safe paddling or any other decisions that are appropriate to the individual, the group, and the trip.

Members are expected to learn self-rescue, wet exit and assisted rescue procedures. The club provides support and opportunity but does not teach classes. Experienced paddlers know that you can never predict what may happen on the water but you can be prepared.

The winter program will begin Oct. 3 at 7 at the Comox Lion’s Den on Comox Avenue behind the Pearl Ellis Art Gallery. Doors open at 6:30.

Winter educational and informative meetings are a great place to start if you are interested in the camaraderie of being out on the water with confidence and skill.

For details, visit www.comoxvalleypaddlers.ca.

— Comox Valley Paddlers Club

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