UK Open Canoe Association Visit to EDYC.
The Open Canoe Sailing Group (OCSG) sailed from EDYC from Sunday 29th May, through till Saturday 4th June.
Alan Wood our secretary asked me a number of months ago to give a presentation to the UK Open ,Canoe Association. Their visit to EDYC was organized by our member Tim Hodnett. On Monday 30 May I came down to the club prepared to give my presentation only to find that all I had on my desk top was a link to the file. Panic! Fortunately, the club wifi was working, so problem solved.
There were about 20 in the room forming a friendly interesting group of people. They were mainly from the North of England Lancaster, Lakes etc, into their canoeing, cycling, mountaineering. Mark and David of Solway Dory who make many of the sailing canoes were in attendance as was Peter a retired Professor who had designed and made a beautiful wood strip canoe, with its 8 m sail.
The group of people think nothing of packing their camping gear and circumnavigating Scottish Isles such as Bute or Sky, or off to some destination in the continent.
During the week they got to cover most of the Lough including a trip down the narrows, when we all left the slip at 7.30am to catch the outgoing tide before it turned. At 6am it was a beautiful still morning, with a mist down over the lough with the rising sun trying to break through it. Gradually the sun won the battle and the mist was burnt off by 7am revealing a shiny smooth lough. By 7.30am as we left there was still very little wind. However, by the time we reached Castle Ward I was reefing my Wayfarer down to the first reef on the main and reefing the genoa in. The tidal flow reduced as we passed Strangford village and by the time we reached Kilcleif it had reversed. Some 25 minutes before the 10.20 calculation of Tidal Diamond B. I assume this time must vary depending on the height of the tide. As a result, to make the beach I started my outboard as I had lagged behind the leading group whilst reefing my main. The second group without powered assistance landed at a small beach further north not being able to fight the incoming tide.
After a cup of coffee and a sandwich we headed back north with the incoming tide and I took them over to the east side and through the Routen Wheels which were by now quite active. Some commented later this was one of the highlights of their visit. It was too nice a day to return to the club so we went on down to the Quoile Yacht Club and then returned north going round the back of Gores Island through that beautiful narrow river like area until it opened up again at the causeway where it was coffee and sandwich time again. The other group by this time were at the Quoile and were going to join us until they saw the tractor escaping at the last moment from Gores Island across the causeway.
Back through the meanders between Gores and the mainland and then round the back of Salt past the Bothy and home to EDYC after a great 7 hour sail in my Wayfarer with the Sailing Canoes.
The Canoes sailed very similarly in performance to my single handed reefed Wayfarer, sometimes being a little faster and at other times a little slower and with similar pointing ability.
The day before on a very light day, Malcolm and I saw that they were quite a bit slower in our fully sailed Wayfarer when we went to Ardkeen.
During the week the group had a great meal in the Dufferin Arms and also were able to land near Daft Eddies and the Saltwater Brig between Kircubbin and Portaferry for lunches and a pint.
They used our new BBQs for the first time with the great smell of burning paint prior to the cooking.
They were a similar group of like minded people to those from the UK Dinghy Cruising Association that visited EDYC a number of years ago. Not only do they get to have a great time but also contribute to our club funds using the premises during the week when many of us are not around. The Wayfarers and Dinghy sailors are looking forward to our cruising week in July 22 when once again we hope to explore the lough in company. The advert for the Wayfarer International Rally to be held at EDYC from 10 to 17 June 2023 will also appearing soon in the UKWA magazine and already there is chatter on various Wayfarer groups including those in the US that attended the recent Rally in the Gulf of Mexico.
Tim had offered to take members out in his sailing canoe, only one member took up the offer but if you are interested I am sure the offer still stands. Impressed as I was with the canoes, I better not get any more toys and will stick to my Wayfarering.
John Miller 5 June 2022