The Advanced Water Endorsement (AWE) is for coaches who wish to operate in advanced conditions. For Canoe this is Grade 3 rivers and in winds up to Force 5 on bodies of considerable open water.
The pre-requisites for AWE Training are:
MWE Canoe/BCU Level 3 (+ Coaching Processes/UKCC L2 Transfer/Training),
20 logged hours coaching in the moderate water environment following the MWE,
20 hours leading in the advanced environment following 5 Star.
So our candidates brought much to the training in terms of their previous experience.
That meant we could go for a day on the Gary to kick things off:
Not all went upright……….
Despite one of the best J-Leans I’ve seen 🙂
However, at this level we try to make self-rescue look cool!
Keeping a positive paddling position and avoiding a defensive lean back can be very rewarding and engage with a feature to achieve an outcome.
Showing good attentional focus:
Lift the bow and throw it down into the eddy to show the kayakers how it’s done 😉
Day 2 saw us getting some great tandem moves done:
In the afternoon we a session on a technical grade 3 rapid covering psychological skills (controlling anxiety, mental rehearsal, positive disassocociation, goal setting, attentional focus, etc).
It involved some pretty precise moves.
Day 3 saw us on open water. The venue was great as it offered a range of wind conditions from force 2 to good force 4 all at the same location. This meant we could explore the issue of making the wind work for us.
Day 4 was a combination of open water and the river. A chance to explore deeply into technical aspects of paddling a canoe (carving anyone!)
Sequences on waves:
Day 4 was all about traditional skills:
A demo and some good advice and we all had great fun poling. The site offered a range of standards as seen in the next picture and the milder side in the following ones.
So over 5 days we covered loads, had some great weather and went away pretty tired!
Thanks to Lizzie Harrington for all the pictures.
Article by: Ken Hughes