River Tees provides new test for Perse whitewater paddlers

Whitewater kayaking skills were put to the test as Perse Development Paddlesport Club members sampled the River Tees for the first time.

The paddlers regularly visit the man-made course at Lee Valley Whitewater Centre, built for the 2012 London Olympics, but the Tees offered them the chance to demonstrate their abilities in a natural environment. It also served as a reminder of the hazards present on a river and how to make safe decisions with those risks in mind.

The first day saw the kayakers paddle a tough section of river flowing into Barnard Castle. Several rapids were embarked upon, all providing different challenges and moves, as students learned how to read the river and identify key features.

Unfortunately, a combination of very low water levels and temperatures meant the pupils were unable to get back on the water the following day.

However, they rounded off their weekend with a walk to the nearby Low Force waterfall, as well as visiting the ruins at Barnard Castle.

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