SUCC Win ‘Spirit of PGL’ at NSR 2011

Southampton takes home NSR’s Spirit of PGL Award

In a phenomenal weekend for Southampton University Canoe Club, the university’s 45 paddlers have impressed judges, organisers and other competitors so much they took home the National Student Rodeo’s “Spirit of PGL” award, securing a year’s sponsorship from PGL and Pyranha Kayaks.

PGL, who play an immense part in making the event happen each year, award the highly coveted prize to the university showing the best attitude, team spirit and enthusiasm for the event, which are the fundamentals of their business.

“It’s about making sure everyone around you has a great time, as well as just your own team.”

The world’s biggest kayak freestyle competition was the largest ever, at over 800 strong. SUCC brought an alternative take on the event’s “beach theme”: Instead of hula skirts and board shorts, we declared “Southampton Does D-Day”, sporting camo gear, aviator glasses and a huge number of toy guns. The distinctively dressed team, however, didn’t particularly make war on their rival Universities; they made them cups of tea, even offering round the occasional bacon sandwich, and made an impressive effort to socialise with other Universities in the competition.

The club’s generosity, the team spirit displayed in their en-masse dancing, the fearsome charging of the dance floor and wholehearted support of their team mates throughout the competition impressed everyone at the rodeo. Camo-Clad SUCC members tirelessly cheered on their friends (even at 8am) and spent hours helping boats and people out of the water from other Universities as well as their own. The NSR radio team were even heard to say:

“It’s gone a bit quiet – where’s Southampton gone?”

Southampton’s sponsorship will mean 6 brand new boats for the club this year, which they can buy at a discounted rate at the end of the year, as well as great deals on all the top-end manufacturer’s products. The University also picked up the “carnage” award for the best attitude to people capsizing and swimming in the cold waters of the Trent, earning them free Whitewater Safety and Rescue training for six people from Tom Parker Coaching.

Massive thanks for Leeds University Canoe ClubRiver Legacy and all other sponsors who made this fantastic event possible.

Pictures to follow soon.

Kayak or tank?

 

BUCS Whitewater Racing 2010

The Diary Entries of Robert J. McWhirly. Concerning the SUCC Expedition to the Arctic Tundra (North Yorkshire – BUCS Whitewater Racing):

Log- 25/11/10 13:00

Sub-zero temperatures, watersports, The North. Probably the worst combination since Matt Kelly’s parents’ sex cells.

Sitting here on the Thursday before the trip, I can’t be blamed for wandering how I’ve been roped into a weekend where I’ll be lucky to retain all my fingers. Derperately tring to secure thermals (I believe Andrew’s currently looking at twenty one layers) the outlook looks bleak.

Here’s the current Metcheck prediction:

Temperature -3C, feels Like: -7C

I still don’t understand how the weather can cheat 4 degrees from me. Ridiculous.

Log 28/11/10  11:00 – The Ascent of Mt. BUCS.

Who’s idea was it to put the campsite of the bottom of an icy hill? Faff of epic proportions ensused (Eric Westenbrink was suspiciously present) as wans and buses slithered around the ice. Eight bald sets of tyres later we have arrived at the River Washburn To kick some Loughborough ass.

Log 28/11/10  4:00

A one, two, three podium finish for SUCC as we wipe the slate in every event, with all other university boats suspiciously sinking mid race*** (the reliability of this log may have been affect by the frozen nature of my brain at the time of entry). [Results here]

Log 28/11/10  23:30

Fresher Sam Hurst has just single-handedly turned the tropical themed party into an orgy of carnage. He has so far thrown whipped cream over everyone, filled his tiger suit up with balloons and continuously bounced into strangers, got himself stuck inside a tyre to the point that we thought we would have to cut him out and pulled down half of the decoration. The night is but young!

Log 29/11/10 7:00

EVERYTHING IS FROZEN!

Snow drifts in camp, freezing temperatures had frozen everything!

Log 29/11/10  14:00

We’ve won everything; this is just getting boring, let’s send Eric down the course in a tiger onese, do some live baiting practice and go home.

Log 29/11/10  17:00

Tom Pritchard is dead and all is suddenly quite. The elements have closed in around us. Our vehicles are stuck and we’re in a barren part of the North somewhere, hundreds of miles away from civilisation I expect. However moral remains high because it is impossible to be sad when you are wearing a tiger suit!

Log 29/11/10  22:00

This was totally worth it. 4 star hotel, breakfast included and a great excuse to miss lectures, getting stuck in Yorkshire could not have worked out any better. We’ve just had a nice little snowboating session and are off to the pub for a well-deserved pint. Possible the best accommodation the club has ever seen?

Log 30/11/10  16:00

As we pull back into civilisation it is hard to believe the sight of the boathard. It is a sight that many of us had doubts that we would ever see again, fearing that we would be lost to an eternity of wandering Siberia. Behold then this tale of human perseverance and wonder at the 10 brave souls that made it back alive, and let us dine on Pritchard’s death!

The Heroic Explorers 

L-R Merlin Gore, Rob McWhirter, Andrew Sylvester, George Godfrey, Sam Hurst, Pete Ainscow, John Griffiths, Eric Westernbrink, Tom Pritchard (RIP), Matt Wright, Pete Rochester

*Facts and events may not be based on reality 

Tavy and Dart 2010

The Curly Whirly Tavy and Dart

On Friday night many SUCCers descended on Devon for Curly Whirly Tavy and Dart trip which had been optimistically advertised as the “best and most efficiently run trip of the year”. Games were played, drinks were consumed and the last I remember Roch and George were having a race to see who could eat a tea bag the fastest.

Saturday

Despite some discussion we chose to paddle the Tavy on the Saturday. Rose lost her paddles at the first drop and was forced to use the first set of splits. Luckily JJ later spotted them and managed to live bait them out from behind a rock to the applause of some passing strangers. Then Simon became the second fresher to use the splits after he snapped his own paddles half way down the river. This was either an act of extreme strength or the unlucky result of knackered club kit.

Alex Jakobs managed to pin herself vertically against a rock and Simon became the best swimmer of the year so far with an impressive 11 swims in the course of the day.

As expected the river was very long and the light began to go before the river could be completed. River groups were forced to walk out and SUCCers became scattered across the Devon countryside. Luckily years of practice have allowed the club to get off the Tavy, in the dark, in a remarkably efficient manner. All kit, freshers and vehicles were soon reunited and returned to the hut in record time.

As a special treat the Shafters decided to wow the club with their culinary skill and cook a delicious curry for everyone. It was so good that Whirly was seen stealing the leftovers and taking them home to Southampton.

Sunday took us to the ever popular Dart Loop for some more extreme white water action. River shuttle faff allowed everyone to get creative on the river bank. Firstly Team Helen spelt out the word Helen using only the members of their river group.

Then an educational diorama was created to aid in the teaching of the “Love rocks, hate trees” mantra. It consisted of JJ’s kit, boat and a branch arranged to represent JJ getting stuck under a tree.

Once on the river Alex Madsen executed an impressive hammer off of the seal launch. This would however have been more impressive if he had known what a hammer was.

Finally, after a brilliant yet scrapey trip, we were ready to leave the hut and return to Southampton. Unfortunately, an act of Westenbrinking delayed our departure. Eric had left early, in the van, with the keys to the hut still in his pocket.

Lime – the game.

Lime is a simple ball game which can be played at any time.

Equipment:

Limes

Players:

As many as possible. Players should be slightly inebriated for best results.

Pitch:

Anywhere. However, it is best played in small church halls whilst sitting at large tables.

Rules:

  • The game begins with a single lime being thrown by one player to another.•
  • “Lime” must be shouted whenever the lime is thrown
  • • If a player fails to catch the lime then they must consume.
  • • If a player fails to throw a catchable lime, they must consume.

Optional rules:• 

  • • More than one lime can be in play at once.
  • • If limes are squashed, cake, biscuits or apples may be substituted. A bite of the apple must be taken at each throw.
  • • The lime can be aggressively squashed against the table before each throw. Extra points in you spray the person next to you with juice as well.

Newquay Fresher Trip 2010

So, about a week into my university life I discovered SUCC. Possibly the next day somebody mentioned a holiday.

YES!

Well, I wasn’t going to be sticking around in Southampton when I could be cavorting around on the beaches of Cornwall, was I?

Following a rather amusing intro talk filled with alcohol, flour and water I remember vaulting a couple of rows in the lecture hall to hand in my cash. I really wasn’t planning on missing out!

Cutting to the point and avoiding furthering an apparently well established SUCC custom, I turned up at the boat hard on time and then waited. For a fair while… But after, among other things, establishing the sheer quantity of fresher’s bestowed with the name Thomas, we piled onto various modes of carriage and headed forth to the fair West Country.

If the antics on the bus didn’t quite live up to the stories foretold, it was more than made up for when we piled off of Red Leader in the chilly night air in Newquay. There were games, drink, drinking, drinking games, a little strip trip to the beach. I felt at home already.

A couple of hours sleep ensured we were all bright and fresh for the latter hours of the morning at which time us newbies were bundled back into the buses and along the familiar roads of Cornwall. Unfortunately not everyone knew where they were going. Nevertheless, Perranporth eventually veered into view and after much ado about nothing, we got stuck into the surf in pairs with the timeless advice “if you go over, pull this loop here… and don’t breathe it in”. Excellent! I loved it.

And just how bonkers was the

surf!

It whipped back at the face like hail in a hurricane. A significant number frequently found themselves miraculously self righted in the breakers and I pulled off an impressive unintendo involving nosediving into the beach and staying longer than I’d have liked in a vertical limbo. Swim followed swim followed swim and then some ponces got cold so we hiked back up the beach for pasties.

That night followed roughly the same formula as the first, only my part of the equation involved rather more rummmmm and ciderrrrrrr. As a result I made my acquaintance with the cold and wet, yet surprisingly cosy football pitch outside. I was put to bed but some crazy fools decided to sleep outside in the dugouts anyway. Good on you!

The surf on Sunday was a little less mental by most standards, which enabled the majority of us freshers to get out onto the bigger waves out back. I was concentrating far too hard on not breathing in the Atlantic but I’m told even some of the more established club members enjoyed themselves too!

Many, many thanks to Matt Kelly and associated minions for organising a truly memorable SUCC trip.

Thom

National Student Rodeo 2007

It was one of the most hotly anticipated events in the SUCC calendar: purple pyrotechnics purchased; slogans stencilled on shirts and teams trained tirelessly…National Student Rodeo- Go Big or Go Home!

But could the previous 4th position be bettered?

The weekend started well with everyone arriving at the campsite in good time and spirits. The attire for the first evening was T-shirts with the slogan “If at first you don’t SUCCeed…bring more people and a louder megaphone”. Both of which had been done. The club was second only in size to Leeds (who organise the event) and started the weekend in possession of three megaphones. The evening’s entertainment took place in a large tent, which was remarkably similar to the one seen at the Teifi tour, with many beer funnels being undertaken. Midnight saw us enter a new era, Ripper turned into a real man (21)! A small collection of change was gathered and a pint purchased, I seem to recall it was 90% vodka, 10% coke and it was seen off in one go. Man up!

Saturday morning started too prematurely for most with Beth waking up to Tim vomiting 90% vodka and 10% coke and Sheffield waking up to Jo vomiting in the middle of their camp. Heats took place from 7 in the morning and continued well into darkness. Notable mentions go to Morley who ripped up the looping pool in club kit and an inazone, Laurent for nose-diving his way into the intermediates, and Vian for swimming. Results from the heats gave us representation in every final with Belcher in the women’s novice, Beth in the women’s expert, Simon Bottoms and Nick Thomas in the men’s intermediate and (most humorously) Chris Vian in the men’s novice. Southampton were taking over NSR!

The evenings theme was Rodeo with people sporting inflatable horses and leather boots. However, as we are mavericks we made our own theme: Cards. Again everyone was issued with a T-shirt that had been lovingly hand painted as a playing card. Paddling porn was watched avidly by much of the club while others chose to skip. Unfortunately Chav Mike took it upon himself to completely de-robe and skip in the nude. Thom and Nick went on an evening training run, which resulted in nothing but Mr Harvey falling over and rolling around in a puddle of his own urine from earlier in the night!

Sunday ushered in the manic duo heats. Stave and I ruined our competition before failing to roll at the end of the course. Cat and Mikey got into the next round but somehow managed to loose the Duo to the gnarly grade 1 of the Trent…luckily it was retrieved by 2 green men/ cacti from Sheffield. But the duo was the time Nick and Thom had been waiting for- would all those tireless hours of training and team bonding on the golf course pay off??? No.

Hurfo competed in the open and did well gaining a 3rd place, even though his girlfriend was judging! In the student finals Nick (who apparently is a keen Morris dancer, part of a Bon-Jovi tribute band and collects dwarf porn) and Simon pulled some awesome moves with some great pop-outs and placed 4th and 9th respectively. “You may think he looks no good now but give that man a Polo Ball and he’s pretty average.” Beth showed her loop-love for the top wave and came 8th. However the novice finals proved to be our speciality… Vian surfed the twin wave like a pro with some great shudder rudders, cross deck grabs and pop-outs without a swim in sight. His skills earned him a 2nd place position with one of his prizes being a free coaching session! Not bad for a young man who has only been paddling 7 months! Belcher started well with some practiced paddling moves and amazing pop outs, but the competition was stiff… something else was required. Mr Harvey had been waiting for this moment for some time. Two flares were duct taped to the back of Belcher’s boat and during surfing smoked out the entire area. The competition tried their hardest to beat this but the addition of a flare to Anna’s helmet sealed it for the judges. Anna won the event and a collection of some awesome prizes.

Overall the Club came … 3rd! Get in! Well done to everyone and thanks to all who paddled, cheered, painted, drove, pitched or organised. Hope you enjoyed the free socks!

Tim