If you send an email to the Bristol Canoe Club Enquiries email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) the email will come to me, Nick Wainwright, you’ll get an automatic reply with some hopefully useful information. I’ve included the auto-reply below for information. If your question is not answered in the auto-reply, feel free to mail me on the enquiries address and I’ll respond personally (you’ll still get the auto-reply though!).
Hello, and thanks for your enquiry to Bristol Canoe Club.
These enquiries come to me, Nick Wainwright, and this is an automated reply from me with some basic information. If your question isn’t covered by one of the points below I’ll follow up with another email, and if you have further questions reply to me directly.
The Bristol Canoe Club website is http://www.bristolcanoeclub.org.uk/ Many questions can be answered by looking at the pages of the club website.
Bristol Canoe Club is a club of enthusiastic canoeists of all abilities from the Bristol area. We welcome beginners and those with basic paddling experience, as well as experienced paddlers. All we ask is that you are enthusiastic about canoeing. We have active White Water, Flat Water Racing, and Canoe Polo sections. Some of us enjoy sea kayaking, open Canadian canoeing or any other form of canoeing you can think of.
In the summer (April to end August) we meet at the Baltic Wharf (here) on a Thursday evening from around 6pm for a social paddle or for Flatwater Racing training, usually followed by a beer in the Cottage pub. Check the club website for further details and any changes in the programme should be in the calendar.
In the winter (September to March) we have a pool session at Bristol South Pool in Bedminster (here). Again, this is usually followed by a beer in the pub (usually the Wetherspoons pub just around the corner). Again, check the club website for further details and calendar for any changes.
Most white-water trips are arranged through the club email list. There is regular training for Polo and Flat Water Racing. If you are interested in Polo or Flat Water Racing I can put you in touch with the organisers for these activities.
To join the club, send me an email and I’ll send you a membership form. Usually it’s best to pop down to one of our sessions to meet people and chat about the club first before joining. There is a membership fee, which covers things like docks licences, club equipment, club boat storage etc.
I am frequently asked about beginners, courses, and youth membership. Questions also come in about boat hire, paddling on the docks, and requests to send emails to the club mailing list.
Beginners: If you are a complete novice (we all were once!) please note that we do a ‘beginners night’ on the first Thursday of the month throughout the summer at the docks, and that it’s possible to come down to the pool sessions in the winter. You won’t necessarily need your own boat and equipment (see ‘Club boats and equipment’ below). Best check with the calendar on the website and let me know so that we have some idea who’s showing up. It’s a good idea to pop down to meet people and chat about canoeing – it’s the best way to find out more.
Youths and younger paddlers: Bristol Canoe Club doesn’t have a youth section, and we aren’t set up to take unaccompanied youth members on the water in the docks or on trips. In other words, you would need to be an experienced paddler with the skills to be responsible for your kids on the water and accompany them at all times on the water, and if you’re not sure what this means, then you probably aren’t! There are clubs in the region that have close links to youth organisations that are well set up for younger paddlers, I can give you contact details if you are interested. There are also many commercial providers who do courses where younger paddlers can get training and experience.
Courses: We do one course for beginners a year, in the spring, please check the website for details. There are many commercial providers of courses who can offer training throughout the year who can get you to the basic level of experience required to come on our beginners trips during the year.
Club boats and equipment: The club has a number of boats that members can use on the docks without charge and take out for trips for a small fee. These boats are available to non members on Thursday nights in the docks, or on Wednesday pool sessions, but after a while we’ll encourage you to become a member if you use our boats regularly. Other than this, we don’t hire boats to non members, and we don’t have a general boat hire service.
Paddling on the docks. You need a licence from the harbour master to do this. The club has purchased enough to cover members paddling on the docks.
Boat Storage: In practice we are unable to offer facilities for boat storage for members at the docks. While we do have very limited facilities for members boat storage at the docks, there is such a long waiting list for a space that you would grow old waiting for a space 🙂
Requests to forward emails to club mailing list: I don’t forward advertising, courses, sponsorship requests, spam, research enquiries, or other emails to the club members mailing list. Please don’t be offended, I get a lot of requests to send emails to the club list requesting for sponsorship, or to contact canoeists for research studies by students studying sports science.
I hope this has answered your question, if it hasn’t I’ll follow up with an email, and if you need further info please reply to me directly.