Welcome to the April edition of BCCC Matters 

In this issue:
  • Barn Clean - 23 April
  • Club Hasler Races - 8 May
  • Touring & Sea Trips - April, June & July
  • Race Captain's Report
  • More New Arrivals!
  • Boats for Sale
  • News and Updates from the Basingstoke Canal Authority
  • And finally...  Devizes to Westminster 2022


Barn Clean – Saturday 23 April  

This year’s barn clean will be held after the Hare and Hounds on Saturday 23 April (1230-1500). Essentially we need to take out everything that is on the floor of the barn, sweep and then put it all back tidily.
All welcome, even if you can only do half an hour. Tea and Bacon rolls will be provided.

BCCC Club Hasler Races 2022 – 8 May 

Having been cancelled for the last two years due to the Covid pandemic, we are excited to say that the BCCC 2022 Hasler races are on!!  

As a club, we need to do two things:
  1. Have as many club entries as possible.  'I don't race' I hear you say.  Well on this occasion, you could make an exception.  You can race any boat; canoe or kayak and you don't have be Billy Wizz to take part.  As well as individual winners, importantly the club gets points, and clubs with the highest number of points in the region qualify for the National Hasler finals; an event in which BCCC has a proud tradition.  Details of how to enter will be published shortly but please consider racing.  Should you wish to brush up on technique, tactics or training David Howie our Race Captain is available with advice, coaching  and inspiration.  We are in the process of setting up the race so that people can book online.  When the race is set up it will be available on the Marathon Racing Website.  Keep an eye out for entries going live there in the coming days.
  2. Muster up a gaggle of slick volunteers.  Or should that be a slick of gaggling volunteers?  Either way, we need lots of people to help out on (and before) the day.  It's a big event and may be bigger this year due the end of restrictions.  We will need many and various roles filled:
  • Car Parking
  • Computer Input
  • Booking in
  • Early Site Setup
  • Quartermaster and boat checking
  • Starts and timers
  • Pre-start Marshals
  • Runners
  • Turn Marshalls
  • Catering
  • Welfare and Safety
  • Late Clear-down
We need upwards of thirty people to properly organise the day.  It's our big chance to raise funds for the club and it's a really fun day so please let us know you can help by reply.  You'll be fed and watered for your sins.  Howard Smith will be our organisational mastermind and engine for the day (I might help out a tiny bit as well).  Please give Howard (and me) your support. 

Club Racing Vests
New paddlers, and those who have not raced before, need to paddle in Club colours to earn points for the Club (see the Race Captain's report below for more details). We will have a limited stock of racing vests available on the day of the Hasler but these will need to be returned to the Secretary for cleaning before the next race.

Bill Hansell
Club Chairman

Touring and Sea Trips

Saturday 9 April - Cricklade to Letchlade
For kayaks or canoes. Distance: 16 Km, green flow moving water, trees to be avoided on sharp bends, portages over fallen trees most likely. Helmets entirely optional. A shuttle will be needed and the trailer will be going to help with transport. There may be a spare seat in the Biffo Bongo!
For details, please contact: Brian Biffin
Saturday & Sunday 25 / 26 June  - Thames Camp 
A two-day trip for kayaks and canoes.
Saturday:Lechlade to Rushey Lock. Distance: 13Km.
Sunday:Rushey Lock to the Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe. Distance: 17 Km.
Pitches are reserved for 3 hike tents  at Rushey Lock (maximum capacity). We will be entirely self-sufficient. A loo is available! A shuttle may be needed, depending upon the planned route, as decided by party members. Participating in this trip should qualify you for the BC Explore Award.
To book, please contact: Brian Biffin
Saturday 2 July  - Studland  Sea trip
For sea kayaks only. Round trip from Middle Beach National Trust car park, Studland, to Old Harry rocks.  Distance: 6 Km with an option to continue on to Ballard point, conditions permitting. Helmets recommended. Trailer will be going to help with transport.
For details, please contact: Brian Biffin
Saturday 9 July - Brownsea Island Circumnavigation 
For Sea Kayaks only. Round trip from Lake Pier car park, Lake Drive, Hamworthy.  Distance: 12 Km. Some tidal support on eastern side of Brownsea Island.
For details, please contact: Brian Biffin


Race Captain's Report

Club Hasler - 8 MAY
All Club Members need to support the Club at this event.  If you are a paddler at any level, you should aim to take part; if you are a non-paddler (or an injured paddler) you should answer the Chairman’s call for volunteers.  He needs approximately 30 volunteers to make the event run smoothly.  For most of the roles, no previous experience is necessary so there is no need to hold back if you are available
Training Programme
The Club winter training programme has been designed to prepare for the Club Hasler.  It is on the website and a hard copy is posted on the inside of the Barn door.  From this week, the programme is designed to build from a low base (for those who have not been paddling regularly over the winter) and gradually increase the intensity each week in order to peak at the event.  The summer training programme to prepare for the various Southern Region Hasler events will be published in a few weeks.
Now that the clocks have sprung forward to BST, it is possible to train on the water in daylight at 5.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday as well as on Saturday morning at 9am.  I will be conducting the sessions according to the programme on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  Neil Matthews has agreed to lead the main training session for Div 4-7 paddlers at 9am on Saturdays.  He will wait until 9am and then set off with whoever is there – so do not be late.  I will conduct the training session for new paddlers and Div 8/9 at 9am.  This was previously at 9.30am but to ease the transition to the main training group for those ready to make the transition, this will also start at 9am with immediate effect. 
The 10.30am training group for the Under 14s is still planned to take place at 10.30am.  As there have been no paddlers attending this group since the weather turned cold last November, it would be appreciated if parents could let me know as and when they intend to bring their Under 14 paddlers to take part in this session now that the weather is improving.
Club Racing Vests
New paddlers, and those who have not raced before, need to purchase a Club vest in the registered Club colours as these are necessary when taking part in Hasler events - including the Club Hasler.  These can be ordered via the 
Club SecretaryPlease note that these are different from the training vests and T-shirts available on the website.  The Club will also have a limited stock of racing vests available on race days.
D Howie
Race Captain

More New Arrivals

Following on from the purchase of the 5 new touring kayaks featured in last month’s edition, the Club now has 38 shiny new Buoyancy Aids for adults and children including a limited number of BAs specifically designed for women.  Please help the Club and other paddlers by returning BAs to the correct rail after use.

Boats for Sale

We have been contacted by former BCCC member, Tim Cansdale who has two boats looking for a good home.  Both dating from the 1980s, one is a Telstar single touring kayak in good condition and ready to be put on the water.  The other is an open Canadian canoe with capacity for 3/4 people. This needs a small amount of work, such as replacing the rubber edging strip around the combing, before putting it back on the water. Both boats are currently in Church Crookham and would need to be collected.  If you are interested please contact:

News and Updates from the Basingstoke Canal Authority

Lock Works
Works have now been completed in the Woodham lock flight (re-planking of lock 5 upper gates) and this is now back open.  Brookwood, Deepcut and St Johns flights remain closed at the moment while other works are on-going.  Ash Lock remains open.

Canal Boat Rallies 2022
The Basingstoke Canal Society are planning three boat rallies on the canal this summer to celebrate its 30th Anniversary and the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The largest of these will be on Saturday 14 May (1000-1600) at Frimley Lodge Park to coincide with the Surrey Heath Show,  There will also be two smaller rallies over the Jubilee weekend, one on Thursday 2 June (1000-1700) at Frimley Lodge Park and the other on Friday 3 June (1200-1800) at the Fox and Hounds pub in Fleet. Any boaters wishing to attend, even if you are already moored on the canal, should contact the BCA at the Canal Centre on T: 01252 370073.  if you have a general enquiry about the rallies, please contact the event organiser, Heather Sloane at

Fiona Shipp
Canal Manager


And finally ………

Following a gap of two years due to the pandemic, Easter weekend sees the return of the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race.  Good luck to everyone from BCCC taking part in this prestigious and challenging 108 mile (for 2022 only) race.  Happy Paddling!

If you would like to share your BCCC stories, please email B3C Matters at
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