Lower Tavy 14 November 2010
On 14 November 2010, 11 members of Stroud Valley Canoe Club met
at the riverside car park at 10am in Tavistock to run the section
of the Lower Tavy down to Denham Bridge. The river was running at a
moderate, although not high, level.
The group was of mixed ability including beginners, the Lower
Tavy being a superb river in that all of the more difficult grade 3
rapids can be portaged.
First half of the trip was lead by Jeff, supervised by Dave T.
On approaching the first S bend grade 3 rapid, Jeff ran it first to
set up the safety, capsized, but fortunately his roll was working
Andy started the swim score here with a beautifully executed
capsize and boat evacuation.
Proceeding on down the river through lots of lovely grade 2
water we came to the next grade 3 rapid, a slot drop river
All ran this this except for Tom, with varying levels of
success. A perfect performance running this was put in by
We continued on down to the next grade 3 drop, a river left
slot. This was portaged by the beginners, and run successfully by
all except Justin, determined to catch up with Andy on the swim
Lunch beckoned next as we carried on down river past the next
grade 3 rapid to our lunch spot, conveniently equipped with
benches. Time for Dave P to take over group leadership.
After a bite to eat we proceeded down to the last and hardest
grade 3 rapid just after the Walkham confluence. Again the
beginners didn't run this, and Dave T and Jonny decided it looked
knargly enough to take the river right chicken shoot.
The rest of us chose to run it.
Unfortunately Geoff capsized in the centre of the slot. Jeff
roped him out and his kit was recovered successfully, however it
was clear he had sustained an injury, a suspected dislocated
shoulder, and needed to be evacuated. Jeff, Will and Chris were
glad of their recent WWS&R training and Geoff was ferried
across the river using a tension diagonal arrangement adn evacuated
to the road where an ambulance awaited him.
The remainder of the group proceeded quickly down river to the
take out as dusk was rapidly approaching.
A big well done to our youngest member this trip, Tom, who
paddled brilliantly for the whole trip and almost avoided having a
swim, coming out in shallow water 200m from the take out.
Jeff, Will and Jonny travelled to Plymouth Derriford A&E to
recover Geoff where his suspected dislocated should had been
confirmed and popped back into place.