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Triumphant Tonbridge

Monday 22 May 2023 | by Brett Scillitoe

It is amazing what a few sunny days will do. The mood has changed and more importantly, the rivers have slowed. The Medway is now safe to paddle. AquaPaddle Tonbridge was Go!

Having arrived early, the Route was checked and confirmed it was safe to Paddle. Soon after 9am the Crew and AquaPaddlers started to arrive. There were lots of new paddlers, who had been keen to paddle most of the Spring. Now was their chance.

Heading for Lucifer's Bridge
Heading for Lucifer’s Bridge

After the Crew safety briefing, the two Crew who were paddling to the top end of the route headed off. We had a Paddleboarder, Isabelle and a Kayaker, Les. Isabelle was going to the turn point under Friendship Bridge and Les was going to the amazingly name Lucifer Bridge, which is quite low. His job as to warn AquaPaddlers to crouch or kneel down to go under the Bridge. The Tonbridge Route has a few low bridges that make it interesting. Sort of hurdles for paddlers.

Les at The Devils Bridge
Les at The “Devil’s” Bridge

There was good group of AquaPaddlers at the Safety Briefing making sure everyone was aware of the obstacles and that there was a Kayak Marathon event also taking place as we would be finishing. Next time some from Tonbridge Canoe Club should hopefully be joining in. All Paddlers are welcome.

Isabelle at the turn point
Isabelle at the turn point

It was a beautiful morning with a slight breeze. The late Spring colours where on full display. As the Event started the remaining Crew spread out amongst the fleet to keep them all safe. The River was quiet and it was a joy to be out on the water. With the “Devils” Bridge safely negotiated all made the turn easily.

Safely under that Bridge
Safely under that Bridge 🙂

On the way back down to the finish the Kayakers started to mingle in amongst the fleet, which made for some extra excitement and a lot of fun. Once finished we headed back to the launch point and watch the kayakers whizzing about.

Pushing for the finish
Pushing for the finish

Don’t miss the next AquaPaddle Tonbridge, sign up as soon as it is posted on the calendar.

AquaPaddle is fun!
AquaPaddle Tonbridge is fun!

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