About Us

Bristol Canoe Club is a club for paddlers in the Bristol area.

[ Summer 2020. Please see our separate page regarding membership applications during the CoronaVirus situation: Membership applications during Covid-19 ]

We are a very active club, and we do lots of things – see the Calendar page for the latest info, but also we do a lot of trips at short notice, organised via our members-only email list.

We are involved in white-water paddling, flatwater racing, polo, plus general leisure.

Images of different types of paddling

For more information, please see the General Information link, Membership, Contacts, or any of the pages available from the menus at the top of the page.

Our online membership sign-up with webcollect is here: Bristol Canoe Club webcollect page, but we’d prefer if you come down to one of our sessions and say hello before signing up.

Membership applications during Covid-19

As you’re obviously aware, the CoronaVirus / Covid-19 situation has completely disrupted things for everybody this year, including our canoe club.

Unfortunately, for most of the summer 2020 we have not been able to accept any new membership applications at all.

As of August 2020, we will accept some new members; based on previous experience and/or ability. We are still not able to accept any beginners.

If you have previous canoeing experience, please contact the membership secretary on membership-admin@bristolcanoeclub.org.uk, (or any other committee member), describing your experience, and we will see whether we can accommodate you.

We are as frustrated as you are with this, but to keep ourselves, and everybody else safe, we have to continue with some restrictions. We continue to monitor advice from both the Government, and the governing body: British Canoeing.

Apologies – on behalf of Bristol Canoe Club committee.

Harbour phase 3 reopening Covid-19 July 2020

This Notice to Mariners was issued by the Harbour Master’s office on Wed 24th June.

39/20 HARBOUR PHASE 3 REOPENING 06.07.20

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that from Monday 6th July 2020, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin Phase 3 of reopening the Harbour for leisure use. The Harbour Office will remain open 10.00 – 15.00 for navigation licenses, should you need to contact the office please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers and we would appreciate that visitors follow all signs and instructions.

Phase 2: All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour. The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office. Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card, and if you wish to apply for an Annual License please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

Phase 3: All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4: Harbour reopens fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 4 by way of promulgation of Local Notices to Mariners. Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.

Advancement through to phase 4 will be subject to continued Government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding Covid-19.

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

Harbour phase 2 reopening Covid-19 June 2020

This Notice to Mariners was issued by the Harbour Master’s office on Thu 18th June.

38/20 HARBOUR PHASE 2 REOPENING 29.06.20

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that from Monday 29 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin Phase 2 of reopening the Harbour for leisure use. The Harbour Office will be open 10.00 – 15.00 for navigation licenses, should you need to contact the office please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers and we would appreciate that visitors follow all signs and instructions.

Phase 2: All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour. The only slipway open will the one located by the Harbour Office. Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card, and if you wish to apply for an Annual License please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

Phase 3: All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4: Harbour reopens fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 3 – 4 by way of promulgation of Local Notices to Mariners. Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.

Advancement through phases 3 and 4 will be subject to continued Government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding Covid-19.

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

Covid-19 Bristol Harbour reopening for club use

This message was released by Tom Brockett (chairman) on 4th June.

Hi Everyone!

Hope you all are well and not missing the sunshine too much!

We have some good news for you all, the harbour will be reopened for club use as of Monday the 8th of June!

This means that anyone who is a member of the club will be able to go down to the harbour and paddle even outside of the Harbour master’s normal operating hours.

The points I outlined in my last email still stand regarding social distancing and cleaning club equipment etc so even though we are able to go out on the harbour please abide by the rules below. I’ve made some slight amendments to the points and added some more so please make sure to familiarise yourself with these. Any points applying to the cage near the Cottage Inn also apply to the ISO container which contains the Polo Kit:

No organised club trips/meetings

There will still be no organised trips with the club, this includes the Thursday night sessions. We will let you know in a separate email once these sessions can restart, but this won’t be anytime soon.

Always remember to social distance

If you are planning on doing any paddling trips, whether it is with the club kit or your own, and you will be accompanied by someone outside of your house, always remember to stay 2m away from each other. This applies within the cage as well as on the river. Be sensible with how you move about in the cage and touch as little as possible to limit the risk of spread. You are now able to go paddling in groups of up to 6 people.

Do not paddle if you don’t feel confident on the water

If you feel as though you aren’t 100% confident in your ability to get in/out of the water or to paddle in a straight line without wobbling and falling in then please hold off on going out just yet until the club restarts sessions normally.

Borrowing club kit

Club kit may be borrowed from the Cage by the Cottage Inn if you are a Gatekeeper however there are a few rules that need to be followed in order to do so:

  1. Sanitise any kit borrowed with the sanitiser provided.
  2. Only 2 people in the Cage at one time. The reason for 2 people is because some of the boats are stored high up and you will require assistance to get the boats down. Do not try and get a ‘difficult to reach’ boat on your own if you are planning a solo paddle. Seeing as we are now all allowed to go paddling in the harbour, there may be a large amount of people turning up at the Cage at once. If this is the case when you arrive, please wait outside the Cage for the people in there to finish getting their kit before you enter (always observing the 2m rule).
  3. No changing in the Cage. I know this rule is already in place, but if you do need to change, please do so by your car and not in the Cage to limit your exposure to surfaces in the Cage.

Cleaning club equipment

If you do borrow any club kit, please clean it thoroughly before using the kit and once you return it. Please use high % alcohol wipes to clean down the kit to make sure everything is killed off. We will sort out a little stash of cleaning equipment and leave it inside the cage before Monday. You will, however, need to bring your own sanitiser to clean the lock because the cleaning equipment we will provide will be inside the locker.

Polo practice

Rules above apply to polo players wanting to use club polo boats from the ISO Container. However, since polo is a contact sport and until we receive further advice from British Canoeing, the club only recommends contact training between members of the same household.  Furthermore, team games will not be organised by the club until further notice.

As Fran has already mentioned in an email, there will be a new gatekeeper code sent out tomorrow so look out for that email in your spam if you are wanting to go out.

Hopefully we will be able to resume some sort of normality within the club at some point, but for the time being please be aware of everything listed above and if you would like any more guidance please go to the British Canoeing website for more information: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2020/update-guidance-for-affiliated-clubs-within-british-canoeing

Thanks everyone! Have fun paddling and stay groovy.

Tom

Harbour Phased reopening Covid-19 June 2020

This Notice to Mariners was issued by the Harbour Master’s office on Wed 3rd June.

BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL – CITY DOCKS

LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS NO 37

37/20 HARBOUR PHASED REOPENING COVID-19 June 20

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that from Monday 8 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin a phased reopening of the Harbour for leisure use. Harbour Authority working hours will continue to be 09:00 – 17:00.

We want everyone to be able to use and enjoy our Harbour in a safe and responsible way. At this time we must also consider the need for social distancing for our staff, and Harbour users, meaning some services and support had to change. As restrictions are eased we are working on a phased return to usual service which keeps everyone safe. Thank you for your patience as we adapt.

Phase 1: From Monday 8th June 2020 members from recognized clubs using manually propelled craft and sailing dinghies only will be able to navigate the Harbour.

These clubs have been notified by the Harbour Office. Clubs will need to follow their own guidelines and safety measures regarding COVID-19, and should refrain from activities not currently sanctioned by their relevant association. The clubs permitted to use the Harbour in Phase 1 may go afloat outside of Harbour Authority working hours providing the relevant Code of Practices are adhered to.

Phase 2: All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour and slipway will open. Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and payment should be made by card.

Phase 3: All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4: Harbour reopens fully

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 1 – 4 by way of promulgation of Local Notices to Mariners. Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.

Advancement through phases 2, 3, and 4 will be subject to continued Government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding Covid-19.

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

Covid-19 Latest Guidance for the Club

This message was released by Tom Brockett (chairman) on 25th May.

Hi All, 

I hope everyone is well and enjoying having slightly more freedom as we can now exercise more!

Unfortunately, even though we are able to exercise more, doing so as a group is still not possible. You can however go Kayaking with people in your household or with one other person as long as you comply with all the rules laid out by the Government such as social distancing. But for the foreseeable future, there will be no club trips being organised but boats/kit can be borrowed from the cage(£10/day for use anywhere other than the river Avon). Below I have outlined a few key points that anyone planning on using the club kit/facilities for their own leisure needs to be aware of.

Always remember to social distance

If you are planning on doing any paddling trips, whether it is with the club kit or your own, and you will be accompanied by someone outside of your house, always remember to stay 2m away from each other. This applies within the cage as well as on the river. Be sensible with how you move about in the cage and touch as little as possible to limit the risk of spread.

Bristol Harbour is closed for leisure use

This means that no one is able to access the water in Bristol harbour all the way from Cumberland Basin to Netham Lock. Please do not try to access the waters in the harbour, even if you are planning on doing so without any club kit. 

Borrowing Club Kit

Club Kit may be borrowed from the Cage by the Cottage inn however there are a few rules that need to be followed in order to do so:

  1. Bring your own Hand Sanitiser. We will not be able to leave hand sanitiser outside of the cage so anyone planning on accessing the cage will need to bring their own to use BEFORE and AFTER using the Combination Lock on the door and when touching any kit in the cage. 
  2. Only 2 people in the cage at one time. The reason for 2 people is because some of the boats are stored high up and you will require assistance to get the boats down. Do not try and get a ‘difficult to reach’ boat on your own if you are planning a solo paddle. 
  3. No Changing in the cage. I know this rule is already in place and as we are not able to go out on the harbour the chance of anyone needing to change is limited. But if you do need to change, please do so by your car and not in the cage to limit your exposure to club kit.

Cleaning club equipment

If you do borrow any club kit, please clean it thoroughly before you use the kit and once you return it. Please use high alcohol wipes to clean down the kit to make sure everything is killed off. 

Hopefully we will be able to resume some sort of normality within the club at some point, but for the time being please be aware of everything listed above and if you would like any more guidance please go to the British Canoeing website for a more information: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2020/update-guidance-for-affiliated-clubs-within-british-canoeing 

For the meantime, if anyone would like to host a virtual activity within the club(from training sessions to Ale tasting) you are more than welcome to! Just send an email out to the club with your suggestion and people will jump at the chance for some social interaction. There’s not much else going on right now!

Hope to see you all out on the water before the end of Summer!

Tom

Bristol docks are not yet open

We received this reply from the Harbour Master on 13th May. As such the docks are not yet open, and won’t be for a while.

Please see below- this is where we are for the time being.

As the Competent Harbour Authority for Bristol Docks and River Avon our current position is that our waters are not available for leisure use.

The focus of this department at the moment is on meeting our statutory duties and water level management. Those wishing to exercise unfortunately need to find an alternative venue for the time being.

We’re all looking forward to having this behind us.Best Regards

Pete Seed, Deputy Harbour Master, Harbour Masters Office, Bristol Docks, Tel 0117 9031484

Parking at Baltic Wharf

As of February 2020, the council have handed over control of parking at Baltic Wharf (i.e. “The Cottage Inn” car park), to the harbour master.

We have seen that the harbour master has put up a sign saying that from 3rd March 2020 the car park will be closed overnight, and they will limit parking to 3 hours maximum.

Obviously if this happens it would be a huge problem. The committee are in discussions with the harbour master’s office about this.