The CERN Canoe and Kayak Club has a swimming time

The new Canoe and Kayak Club, which was formed at the start of the 2006 winter season, already has around twenty members, including some former top-level sportsmen.

Catharine Noble, of the IT Department was ranked 13th overall in women’s British freestyle in 1997. Here she is performing a flat loop, a position that can be held for several seconds.

Would you be interested in a spot of lunchtime canoeing or kayaking to break up a long working day? Or are you more of an evening sports enthusiast?

The CERN Canoe and Kayak Club offers both options, as well as a choice of flat-water and white-water activities to suit all temperaments.

With its calm waters and easy access for boats, the Peney nature reserve is ideal for beginners. Outings comprise a few exercises to acquire the techniques, as well as games to make the learning experience more fun and spontaneous. These waters are not only frequented by beginners, however, but also by those who are interested in endurance, flat-water racing and freestyle. Freestyle is usually a white-water discipline but even in flat waters some paddlers are able to get the boat completely airborne by first sinking the bow of the boat into the water.

The stronger currents, eddies and waves at Chancy are more popular with fans of downriver and slalom racing. Downriver racing is always spectacular as it can involve taking falls of up to 17 metres in a single leap. In the slalom discipline this small CERN club can boast some great athletes: François Millet was a member of the team that won the French championships in 1996, and Olivier Barrière, one of the club’s instructors, came fifteenth in the 1992 championships.

The approach of a barge on the Rhone always provides a welcome opportunity to train beginners in white-water skills. To avoid it slowing down on seeing them, which would reduce the size of the wave that forms in its wake, the Club’s members lie in wait in the undergrowth at a bend in the river like hunters stalking their prey. When the instructor gives them the signal, they surge out from their hiding place in the manner of an ambush!

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