Club awards 2021

The recent AGM announced the following awards:

  • River God: Avis Noott
  • Fish of the Year: Tom Brockett, for swimming on the Upper Usk in an open Canadian; Barney the dog, and Ella are co-swimmers.
  • Most improved white water: Julie Watts
  • Phil Longrigg Trophy: Conor O’Neill
  • Polo: Steven Pike
  • Marathon: Alex Petsch
  • Chunder Bucket: Not awarded; no eligible entries

New committee for 2021-2022

At the AGM held on 21st Oct 2021, a new committee was voted in.

  • Chairman: Tom Brockett
  • Secretary: Fran Bamber & Tanya Cownie
  • Treasurer: Conor O’Neill
  • Other members: Joe Nelson, Mark Gillett, Lisa Gunton, Genny Sargent, Joe Green, Ellie Payne, David Brain, Nick Wainwright

Many thanks to the outgoing committee members.

I’m new to kayaking, how do I get started?

Over the summer we ran four beginners courses each for six people, these have now finished and we won’t be running anymore courses until next spring. Dates will go on the website in the spring as soon as we have them, just keep checking back to see if we’ve posted them.

Meantime, if you’re keen to join us paddling and are a complete beginner then it’s best to do a course first to give you the skills to paddle entry-level rivers with us, this is especially important as we head in the autumn/winter season when the rivers are higher and the weather more challenging. Look for providers of the “Start”, “Discover” and “Explore” awards. Check out the gopaddling website to find which is the most appropriate course for you There are many providers who run courses over weekends that will give you the skills you need to enjoy paddling with us

If you are over 50 then you might like to look at All Aboard Watersports which is also at the Baltic Wharf, next to where our canoe store is. They run sessions for over 50s (don’t worry, many of us in the club are over 50!) that are very reasonably priced at £10 a session. Look here:

If you are interested in white water paddling, then check out the Cardiff International White Water Centre’s courses here This is a fantastic resource and a good intro to white water training, and very accessible from Bristol.

We do run pool sessions during from Sept to March at Bristol South pool where we do some informal coaching and provide an opportunity to practice skills learned on courses and on rivers. It’s better to learn the skills to paddle first then get some practice in at the pool to hone those skills. Everyone of course wants to learn to roll a kayak, but as one of our longest standing members says, “better to learn how not to need to roll a kayak so you don’t have to!”


Beginners kayak courses 2021

Beginner’s kayak courses 2021

We are pleased to announce that we will be able to offer some beginner’s kayaking courses this year. These will run on Monday evenings from our base at Baltic Wharf, and run for four weeks. Each course will involve a limited number of participants, and will be Covid secure. On successfully completing the course you’ll receive the British Canoeing Paddle Start award.

*** All our courses are now full ***

Course dates

** Full ** May: Monday 10th May, 17th May, 24th May, and 7th June

** Full ** May/June: Wednesday 26th May, 2nd June, 9th June and 16th June

** Full ** June/July: Monday 21st June, 28th June, 5th July, 12th July

** Full ** August: Monday 9th August, 16th August, 23rd August, 6th September.

The courses are intended for adults who are thinking about taking up kayaking with the club and want to learn basic kayaking skills in order to get started. It’s important that you can attend all four sessions and be there at promptly at the 6.30 start time. All equipment will be provided. The cost is £80.

We are unable to offer places to those under 18. 

For further info, email Nick Wainwright on and include ‘beginners course’ in the subject line.

Canoe club update: Harbour sessions

[ Message issued by Tom (Chairman) on 23rd Mar 2021 ]

Hi Everyone!

I hope everyone is doing okay with the latest lockdown and I’m sure you’re all raring to get back out and enjoy the sun as soon as possible!

With the changes coming in on Monday 29th March, we will be able to meet in group of up to 6 which means we can start bringing the club back up and running again. Firstly, this means that al club kit can now be used again so if you are looking to go out on the harbour, you can use any of the kit in the cage. Also, we will start up the harbour sessions again from Thursday 1st April(Not an April fools promise!). We will meet at the harbour at 1800 on the Thursday and try to make the most of the longer days by getting out on the water as quick as we can. But in order for this to happen we will have to follow some rules:

  1. Stick to groups of 6. Once 6 people have turned up and got ready they need to head out and start paddling so another group can head out afterwards. This is so we follow the government guidelines so please make sure that we stick to this until the rules are eased further. Make sure to leave enough space for each group
  2. Only 2 people in the cage at one time. This limits the contact with each other in the confined space of the cage
  3. Any equipment borrowed needs to be cleaned as much as possible using wipes/sanitiser provided
  4. Stick to social distancing rules

We will also be able to start running some trips again but don’t get too excited…These trips will have to be single day trips and they will have to be possible without having to share a car as this is still not allowed. For example, a trip to the Jolly Sailor at Saltford would be acceptable but a trip down to the Dart will have to wait until a little later in the year. If you do go on a trip, make sure it is well within your ability as we want to limit the risk of having to rescue people.

Hope to see some of you on Thursday next week!


Club Update – COVID-19 Lockdown Guidance

[ Message issued by Tom (Chairman) on 7th Jan 2021 ]

Hi all,

Hope everyone had a good Christmas and made the most of the time outdoors before we were all stuck inside again!
Unfortunately we are all back in another lockdown…. And with that comes changes to how we operate as a club again.

The latest guidance from British Canoeing and the Government is that all clubs should postpone any activities during the lockdown. This means all trips are off and we aren’t able to meet in groups larger than 2.
The rules are as follows:

  • No using the Bristol canoe club equipment. You may use your own kit if you bring it with you or if it is stored in the cage, but the club kit can’t be used for the time being because the club is effectively closed. See the email below for more info if you are collecting your personal kit from the cage.
  • We are allowed to paddle on the harbour but you must stick to the government rules relating to exercise. You can only exercise with your household, social bubble, or one other person. Check the gov link here for more info around the latest lockdown
  • No trips organised through the club. As the club is shut down for the time being, please don’t use the club email to organise trips, unless it’s so far in advance we’ll all be free from Covid!
  • If using the harbour, stick to social distancing rules and advice from the government

I know this isn’t the best info for anyone who uses the club regularly but we need to follow what advice and incinerate told so I hope you all understand. We’ll all make it through this and be ready for a cracking summer of paddling, drinking and BBQing together(let’s hope in groups of more than 6)!

Stay safe and we’ll all be back to normal before you know it! 


Latest rules and info

Hi all,

Sorry for taking so long sending out this email and not keeping everyone up to date with the rules. As I’m sure everyone is aware, as we are based in a tier 3 area, the rules haven’t changed that much compared to when we were in lockdown.

The good news is the harbour is still open to us as the club has the licences to go out on the water. However the showers and toilets are still closed.

We still have no news on the pool so no update on when we will be back there or what the rules will be when we can go back in.

The indoor training sessions that are normally on a Thursday night are still cancelled until we are unable to train indoors in groups.

Trips can be organised by using the club email list however, as we are in tier 3, we cannot go to Wales nor should we be going paddling too far away. So if you are planning on organising any trips through the club you need to be aware of sticking to groups of 6 and keep the paddling to somewhere within our tier. Also, no car sharing for the time being.

I’m sure everyone knows the rules that are currently linked to the tier system so please stay safe and hopefully see you all soon! There is more guidance on the British canoeing website if you would like more info:


Club awards 2020

The recent AGM announced the following awards:

  • Polo ‘most valuable’ player: Phil Charman
  • Fish of the Year: Ruby (Lynne & Nick’s dog) for 5 swims on the Wye on the Glasbury weekend
  • Phil Longrigg Trophy: Mark Gillett

The following awards were ‘furloughed’ (not awarded this year_ due to lack of paddling because of the Covid-19 situation: Most improved white-water paddler; Best marathon paddler; Polo most improved player; River God

New committee for 2020-2021

At the AGM held on 23rd Oct 2020, a new committee was voted in.

  • Chairman: Tom Brockett
  • Secretary: Ezra Watts
  • Treasurer: Fran Bamber
  • Other members: Alex Petsch, Ellie Payne, Lisa Gunton, Conor O’Neill, Matt Baird, Tanya Cownie, Nick Wainwright

Many thanks to the outgoing committee members.

Membership applications during Covid-19

[Updated August 2021] 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 and into 2021, we were not able to accept any new membership applications at all. As of August 2021, the good news is that we are more-or-less back to normal. Please see our normal Membership page.

Apologies for any issues during 2020/2021 (we were as frustrated as everyone else) – on behalf of Bristol Canoe Club committee.