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REGULAR GROUP TRAINING

In addition to the Wednesday night paddle there are several informal training sessions open to members. Please contact the members below about joining in, or email committee [AT] lcrk.org.au to check times and attendance.

'TRAINING WHEELS' Morning Squad

Wednesday Evening Club Coaching

On selected Wednesday afternoons before the time trial, Tony Hystek, LCRK Club Coach, will be conducting training sessions aimed at new and current members wishing to improve their kayaking skills.

We will endeavour to conduct a half hour session on the third and fourth or fifth Wednesday of each month as follows:

Current Training Dates:

Morning Squad Report 2019

Some thoughts on a year of Tuesday/Friday mornings from Naomi Johnson

Lane Cove’s Tuesday and Friday morning squad has been a mainstay for more years than I’ve been at the club, yet sharing that it’s on and indeed what goes on is rather a word-of-mouth affair. This year, I’ve probably close to the gong for the most squad sessions attended (I missed a handful for interstate and overseas travel, and two because I was sick), ahead of Coach “fell off my motorbike” Tony but perhaps pipped to the line by ever-consistent Wade? For those that are surprised to hear of the squad sessions, this might demystify things a little. And for those who’ve turned up to train, fair-weather and winter-long paddlers alike, congratulations on another fabulous year!

Rewind to summer 2018/19, and Tony’s eagerness to get more paddlers in K1s was working a treat. With the option of free K1 and K2 boat hire for squad session coaching, along with the alure of a super PB, John D, Chris J, Rich Y, Allison B, Peter M and more were giving the skinny boats a try. Despite their fair share of swims (John and Chris) and numb legs (Pete), all were making great progress, and many were starting to use K1s in the weekly timetrials. The water was warm, mornings were light, and it was singlet weather at 6am so nobody minded the odd swim too much. Tim B seemed set to break some level of water speed record after a few months off from uni, while I was keen to see some increase in speed…but was instead fixing some technique things first. New faces for the season included Simon in his K1 and Michael T in a ski.

Above: A busy morning on the pontoon (Photo: Wade Rowston)

Tony unfortunately timed his motorbike accident to miss the start of the marathon season, and his absence from squad threw us into a bit of disarray. Either my voice isn’t quite loud enough for wrangling a large group into doing solid efforts, or everyone was getting progressively less enthusiastic about the 1min on/1min off x2/3min on/3min off drill I so often offered. Depending on the make-up of the squad each morning, we’d peel off into faster and slower groups, with Wade favouring a 200m on/500m off set.

Paddlers converge on the shed from 5:45am most squad mornings, with Rodrigo often arriving on his motorbike, and me dashing in at 5:57ish from the bus. Boats are organised, club boats allocated, and those who are feeling enthusiastic go for a run around the oval (enthusiasm rather diminishes when Tony and Tim are away, shh). Fi and Michael T, who are lucky enough to live a short paddle away, have tended to join us on the river, that was until Grant and Fi teamed up in the double ski. Anyone who isn’t quite ready for 6am on the water just paddles upstream and turns with the rest of the group.

Inevitably, the mornings grew darker, and the number of smiling faces at the shed each week diminished a bit. Those of us left fished out boat lights and long sleeves, and my attempts at filming my technique during the sessions resulted in increasingly long shots of nothing but black. Roddy was a welcome sight back on the water recovering from injury, while David Y and Keg seemed to have very regular reasons why it was just a bit too cold!

June, July and August are for the real stalwarts of morning squad. Long sleeves are seldom enough, and paddlers don beanies, pogies and anything else they can think of to fend off the cold. I personally go for fleecy-lined leggings and at least two top layers (short-sleeved thermal under another top works well), while Don seems to paddle exclusively in shorts no matter what the weather! Tony was back on the water, and Grant was a new (and at 6am alarmingly chatty) face in the mornings. Sometime around mid-July, Fi managed to step backwards off the pontoon (ok, it was dark) falling in right up to her head! While it was executed with a more-than-mild shriek, she then hopped on the ski and paddled round like nothing had happened!

Squad sessions vary with both the number of paddlers and the season, with Tony set on us both working hard and learning new skills. Most mornings involve some structured efforts followed by technique drills, sometimes in speed-based groups, others all together. We spend plenty of time washriding in packs, rotating who takes the lead and learning to move around on each other’s wash. The Tuesday before doubles cup has now become a nominated ‘doubles squad’, with paddlers encouraged to team up. Double the crew is often double the fun, and it’s a great learning curve to jump in a new boat, with a new partner or both!

Above: Beautiful morning mist viewed from Wade's paddle cam (Photo: WR)

The return of daylight in the lead-up to the Hawkesbury Classic saw numbers grow again. Alanna and Allison are now coaches in training, Mark and Caroline have become regulars in their matching K1s as has Merry in some more stable boats, the Lane Cove jellyfish had one heck of a breeding season, and we’re somehow back at technique…because that’s what summer is for, right?

Thank you to Tony for putting us through our paces in the mornings, helping us to navigate the tricky skills of K1 paddling, washriding and everything else. Morning squad is lots of fun and good motivation, a place to hone your paddling through the season but not deadly serious. Early paddles on the Lane Cove river are just superb no matter what time of the year, with the river at its best as the sun shines its first rays of the day. If you haven’t tried a squad session, 2020 might be the year to jump in and have a crack. Everyone is welcome, no matter what your ability or paddle craft, though be warned that Tony will probably sidle up and suggest you try a K1 relatively quickly!

Deep Water Assisted/Self Recovery Workshop and K1 try-oot

STOP PRESS: The latest workshop scheduled for Sun 19 Jan 2020 has been cancelled - the weather forecast is a bit gloomy, water quality a bit gloomy and the RSVP's aren't enough to make it worth pushing ahead. We'll schedule another one a bit later in the year.


On Sunday 3 February [2019], over 20 LCRKers turned up for a combo workshop consisting of K1 assisted and self recovery - and a K1 tryout. Over a dozen boats were available including 10 from the LCRK fleet and a few more boats from willing Members. Pretty much everyone had a go in nearly everything and varying 'favourites' emerged for different people.

This is more than likely to become an annual event - intended to encourage greater use of the LCRK K1 fleet and to improve peoples confidence with rescuing themselves and others and just 'having a go' in boats with less 'fear of falling'.

Big thanks to Alanna for initiating, Tony for head coach role - all the helpers at the shed from 6:30am who helped with loading the trailer, and after with the unloading. Oh and everyone for just mucking in and making it all work!

Above: Benign conditions at 2017 training day

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Page last modified on January 18, 2020, at 10:53 AM