Tryweryn Festival and Cardboard Canoe Race 2015

By Jay Oram

We love a bit of alternative adventure - anything you can do to enjoy your time on the river, in the mountains and outdoors is what Alpkit is all about. Although we do like traditional events we enjoy something a little different every now and again and when Sam invited us back to the Tryweryn Festival, we were super excited to be going and even more chuffed when he said we could run the cardboard canoe race again!

If you've not heard of the Tryweryn Festival it is a really cool weekend based out of the whitewater centre Canolfan Tryweryn just north of Bala, Wales. Put simply it aims to bring a whole range of paddlers together to enjoy a weekend on the dam fed and reliable river Tryweryn, with the water grading between 2 - 3+ it can be an interesting run for those new to whitewater, or a really pleasant paddle for the more experienced.

Over the weekend there were a number of events put on, an extreme boater cross, Pyranha kayaks King / Queen of the wave and the Alpkit Cardboard Canoe race. On Saturday morning there was also a range of free coaching courses put on by local coaches. Off the water, warm drinks and great food from the onsite cafe and in the evenings River Legacy put on a bar and dance floor to keep everyone partying late into the night.

The Main Event - The Cardboard Canoe Race

A race of around 200 - 250m of grade 3 whitewater - with a mass start. All boats can only be made from cardboard and tape...

With 6 paddlers entering, 5 boats were built including a double. All of the paddlers very experienced on the water, but it turns out not great at designing cardboard boats! The mass start saw a few capsizes and some collapses, with a short 50m lead in to the grade 3+ NRA wave on the lower Tryweryn only 3 boats managed to start the rapid, with only one being intact after. Some comedy swims, questionable lines but a safe ending for all before Chapel falls.

Check out the pictures in the Facebook Album (Thanks to David Steen for the extra pictures!!)

Enjoy the video of SS Alpkit's run down the course, I think it did remarkably well - although my lines were questionable...

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