The final event of the 2013 Big Paddle Tour took place last Sunday, and despite the odd rain shower, we had a fantastic day! So mixing bowls at the ready, here's our recipe for the ideal paddling event: First of all take a lovely location, with lots of space, greenery, facilities, and paddling for everybody! A mixture of whitewater and flatwater paddling will yield best results. Secondly, set your weather predictions to optimistic. This is the UK, so never fear – even when the forecast says rain and doom, you could still be in for a bright and sunny morning!
Perhaps the most important ingredient is a generous serving of of people who have come to experience paddling for the first time. We like to use a mixture of families, young, and young at heart, and then baste them in games, fun and coaching, until grinning and hooked on paddling.
Last of all, the key ingredient to complete any paddling event is a cardboard canoe race! You can use pre prepared boats, or throw in a pile of cardboard, and tape to see what appears. For best results throw in a mixture of both semi-seaworthy and downright ridiculous craft. This will ensure a great race, but more importantly, great entertainment for the audience!
Mix all the ingredients together, and serve on a warm summers day. You'll be in for a treat! A huge thanks to everybody at Teesside who helped out with the event, and thanks to everybody who came along and got involved. We were excited to see so many new paddlers coming along to have a go, and we hope to see lots of you on the water in the future!