Novices make a splash at open day

Paddlefest on the River Calder in Brighouse. Pictured is five-year-old Dylan Williams
Paddlefest on the River Calder in Brighouse. Pictured is five-year-old Dylan Williams

MEMBERS of the Pennine Canoe Club made a big splash when they held their first open day on the River Calder in Brighouse.

The Pennine Paddlefest gave novices the chance to have a go at canoeing for the first time and experienced oarsmen and women the opportunity to upgrade their skills.

The Pennine Canoe Club recently moved its headquarters from Mirfield to a site at Sugden’s Mill, Brighouse, and members have been busy making improvements and creating new steps into the water.

Chairman David Jefferies said: “We had an excellent day on the water and there was a lot of interest from local people which was good to see.

“Some people who came along hadn’t been canoeing for years and were keen to give it another try. They were pleased to be able to have a go at canoeing on their own doorstep.

“We have also made links with the Scouts and are hoping that we will be able to do some canoeing activities with them.

“This was very much a taster day to generate interest and next year we will have a lot more activities on the river in Brighouse.”

The Paddlefest included slalom and wildwater races, taster canoe sessions, a kayak challenge and a barbecue.

Mr Jefferies said: “The site gives us access to beginner’s level moving water between the two weirs as well as the opportunity to run short trips regularly up the Calder and Hebble Navigation and down the river.

“We are hoping to put up a slalom course between the weirs and we believe there is enough space on the flat water section to use our new floating polo nets. The next step will be to create disabled access.”

The club provides coaching for all ages and abilities from beginners to GB international athletes.