Facilities & Services
Following some recent aquisitions the club now owns/has use of the following canoes - see below for a brief history of the canoes:
3 x OC6
1 x OC2
2 x OC1
The club has two clubhouses, the newly-built, state-of-the-art facility on Trowlock Island and the mainland facility at the end of Trowlock Way. The island clubhouse incorporates the Wells Room in which paddling and rowing machines are used, and the exceptionally well kitted-out Paul Gilbert gym. Both clubhouses have male and female changing facilities while the mainland clubhouse also contains the kitchen, bar, office and on-site physiotherapy facilities.
The revamped Paul Gilbert gym is available for the use of members and contains a comprehensive variety of free weights, fixed-weight machines and specialist, paddling-specific equipment. The gym is used by the various sections of the club for winter land-based training as well as for junior and cadet development programmes.
Food is available in the mainland clubhouse on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings after training. Wednesdays are the main canoe club night.
Open and covered boat storage is available for canoes and kayaks.
The club has access to the services of a chartered physiotherapist with appointments on-site or within the local area.
We have three outrigger OC6 canoes, all of which are very important to us. Here is a little bit about them.
Keiki Wa’alele (child of the canoe that flies)
In 1978 Toots Minivielle had paddled the English Channel in an outrigger canoe to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery and Hawaii. He donated the canoe (a Malia design) to the Captain Cook museum in Middlesborough where she had lain outside, gathering moss for the next 10 years. He gave permission for the club to use the canoe to make a mould so that we had our very own outrigger canoe to train in.
The mould and the canoe were made in Brighton with members making trips down at least once a week. We were fortunate to have the guidance of Graham Goldsmith an expert canoe manufacturer and after many months of hard work and fibreglass filled lungs we had our very own outrigger canoe. Built to Molokai weight limits she weighed in at 400+lbs and as Toots boat was called Wa’alele we called her Keiki Wa’alele.
Keiki Wa’alele is a Malia design which has a unique place in outrigger history and many of the original wooden canoes are well known and respected across the Hawaiian Islands. The first Malia was crafted from a 400 year old Koa tree in 1933. Then Toots built the first fibreglass version which enabled the sport to expand both in Hawaii and overseas. The original outrigger canoes were made of wood, and it was believed that the soul of the tree lived on the canoe – we certainly believe that Keiki has the soul of her heritage. She loves going to the sea and has carried us through many adventures.
Wa’a Holokiki – (canoe which glides swiftly)
This was our second OC6 that we purchased with an Awards for All grant in 2002. Made in New Zealand by Moanna Nui she is fast and sleek (hence her name) and ideally suited to the Thames. She was crated over in a container and suffered a little damage in transit – but nothing that a bit of love and attention could not cure. She has raced numerous times in the Great River Race and our ladies crew has never been beaten in her.
Wiki Wa’a – (Quick Canoe)
Wikik is an Outrigger Connection Mirage design. Made in Czechoslovakia she joined our family in June 2013 – funded by a Small Grant from Sport England. As a three piece design she can be transported easily for races and sea training. It is early days for Wiki but we are sure she will give us lots of fun and is a great addition to our fleet of canoes.