High water on the Presidents paddle

The President’s Annual Trip down the Mole on the 17th March 2019, from Brockham to Leatherhead attracted 5 Kayaks (Noel, Kevin, Adrian, Tony and Robin)  and 7 Open Canoes (Marion, Alan, Tom, Ali, Fiona, Sam K and Julia).

We had a young guest kayaker-  Aaron Humphrey who paddled the first third to the garden centre, with occasional guidance from his dad and Alan.

Mole was high, brown and fast flowing.  The day was bright, sunny but with a chill wind. 

It was a challenging paddle as on several occasions we had to negotiate fallen trees in the river. Sam and Tom cleared the first problem within a 100 yards of our start. Fiona found going broadside was not a good idea and Robin found out a gap big enough for a kayak was inadequate for the kayaker. 

We all had to concentrate. We seemed to settle into a routine of Noel leading, with Adrian and Sam behind, as the clearance team and Kev on standby for rescues.  Marion & Alan offered advice and support when appropriate. Tom, Ali, Julia and Tony paddled steadily and successfully , with Tom and Ali competing for the number of footballs rescued from the river.

The towback at Dorking Weir was  3 to 4 meters – clearly not negotiable. We lunched there and portaged around it. The Stepping Stones were invisible, except for a photographer ( who turned out to be Marion’s father) using the access to record the passage of Purley Canoe Club.

Noel monitored us to the end, in Leatherhead.

Great Day, Noel.  Thanks to everyone. It was a true team effort to accomplish that 9 miles.  

Kevin addedd:-

“Had a great day on our Club’s annual paddle down the River Mole. The levels were very high and there were lots of trees to avoid which made it hard work. The Stepping Stones were under water so we were able to paddle over them! Dorking Weir was too big though and had an 8ft tow back which made it too dangerous to run!”

Photos by Kevin, Adrian & Robin

Article by Robin & Kevin