Getting ready for the summer

posted Mar 1, 2013, 1:55 AM by Giles Haggerty

Hi All
Well, it is staying light longer already and although it is still pretty frigid, the flood waters are subsiding and we are starting to ramp up towards our water activities starting in April.

There have been a few changes since last Season. We are now a BCU Affiliated Club. This not only saves us money on our boat licenses, but it also helps us with training and allows us to apply for grants from canoe England and Sport England.

We have also been given an older style Pyranah Kayak and we have purchased two 17 foot Open canoes. 
We are having our HQ-based boats inspected on Saturday 9th March at about 10am, so any help will be appreciated.

We have a Team Viking meeting on Tuesday 5th March at 20:30 at the HQ. please come along as we will be discussing our activities for the Season.

Thanks and I hope to see everyone on either the 5th or the 9th



Cubs Rafting Evening - 17 July 2012

posted Jul 2, 2012, 5:09 AM by Giles Haggerty

HI All

If we manage to get permits in time, we will be testing out the cubs rafts on the Thames. We could use some adults, both on the bank and in kayaks to keep an eye on them. Please let me know if you can assist. We will be building the rafts the week before, so we could do with some help there too.



Team Viking Meeting - January 2012

posted Feb 6, 2012, 5:32 AM by Giles Haggerty   [ updated Feb 6, 2012, 5:36 AM ]

Calendar for 2012
We have a shared Google Calendar for Team Viking. I am working on making it public, but for the moment I have sent out a PDF of it. If there are any dates anyone wants me to add, please let me know

Viking Regatta
We are going to restart the Viking regatta this year. After chatting with Mark Neal, we are now looking at a Saturday Afternoon and using the Skiff Club premises. mark will also help with buoying the course and liaising with the Environment agency etc

Training / Permits
We have a few people looking at doing the SSWAC FRST course in May.
We will run a Paddlepower course for scouts on Thursday evenings.
We will approach the yacht club about running a sailing course for our scouts. We may ask teh group to contribute a bit to the cost of this.

Giles will discuss using Island Barn Dinghies in our Scout night sessions
If we agree this, we should dispose of our old dinghies

We only have two or three unserviceable kayaks at the moment, but need to purchase smaller kayaks
Phil Byrne-Jones to look at canoe trips ... Staines to Walton or Windsor to Walton
David to ask around if there are advantages to us joining the BCU as a club

Need to try and get our boats to feel more like Home Counties Gigs


Procedure to gain an Adventurous Activity permit

posted Nov 18, 2011, 6:37 AM by Giles Haggerty   [ updated Feb 6, 2012, 5:35 AM ]

Our aim in team Viking is to try and get a core of parents / adults up to a level where they can be assessed for a Scout Association Adventurous Activity permit. This permit allows them to run activities such as Kayaking, Sailing and Rowing etc. for Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. Adults are always useful during these activities and so if you are not able / willing to get a permit, we very much still value your assistance on the water.


Apart from the obvious technical requirements to ensure that the activity is led safely, there are a couple of more general requirements which the Scout association has.

In order to hold a permit, you will need to be a member of the Scout Association. This is not necessarily a uniformed appointment and is usually termed a “Group Skills Instructor”.

The requirements for this Appointment are the following:

1.    Complete the Adult Application form. This will include asking for a couple of references and will also include a CRB section. This is the extent of the paperwork .

2.    Complete a safeguarding course. This can be done by post or by attending a day session. They are held fairly regularly at various locations. The cost of this is covered by the district.

3.    There may be an interview with the Appointments secretary and a couple of other people. Usually only 15-20 minutes and sometimes even over coffee J

4.    Valid 1st Aid Qualification – We can arrange these and we cover the cost.

 Jeremy and I both have the Adult Application (AA) forms and you can also return them to either one of us.

As to the Technical side, we have factsheets available which will explain the requirements. Probably the most complete document is on how to gain a permit for Paddlesports.

We also have a bundle of the common factsheets across all water activities (Lifejackets, class C waters etc)

The other factsheets are in the resources section of the team Viking Website

Any questions, just ask



Boat washing and Inspection morning 12 November 2011

posted Nov 12, 2011, 5:32 AM by Giles Haggerty

Hi All

Thanks very much to Phil & Conor Manzi, Phil and Jacob Byrne-Jones and the Herbert Crew (Ken, Sam, Olly and Alex) for a very productive morning. We went through all of our kayaks, inspected each, checked for leaks and other damage and recorded the results. Thanks to this exercise, it seems we are in a better state that I thought. There is only one Kayak which is completely beyond repair and three which need leaks fixed or buoyancy bags. All our Kayaks are wearing out ( The plastic is getting very thin on some of them) but they should last another season.

Phil Byrne-Jones also fitted a new outdoor-style tap for us over the boy's wash basin which we can use for hose pipes etc. The tap is isolated at the moment as we don't really want people using it and flooding the passage .

The lifejackets, cags, helmet, paddles etc also got a good tidy and, of course, we washed the three boats we are taking to xcel on Tuesday

The only jobs which we didn't manage to finish was the light near the Kayak shed door and the welding / fixing the kayak shed door. It looks like we are not getting any power there, so we may need to run a new cable.

The door jambs of the boatsheds are in a bit of a state and so I think we will need to have a Group Grounds day at some stage fairly soon where we can take a look at the buildings and electrics. I think we probably need to put all the switches / fuses / plugs in each shed into a waterproof box rather than having them unprotected and so close to the doors. Does anyone have any contacts where we can get some of these boxes?

Anyway, we are in a good position for next year now. The first cubs kayaking session, so far, is probably going to be the 27th March, so we have plenty of time to fix the electrics, buoyancy and, hopefully, some of the leaks.

I'll stick some pictures up on the Teamviking website later on ...


Another opportunity to get dunked . 15 November 20:30 @xCel

posted Oct 25, 2011, 8:38 AM by Giles Haggerty   [ updated Oct 26, 2011, 7:26 AM ]

HI All

Yep, We have the opportunity to practise capsizes etc in the warm, clean training pool at xCel. We are planning to start at 20:30 sharp (I suggest getting there no later than 20:15 so that we can be changed and ready for 20:30.. We will have the pool until 22:00 and we should aim to make best use of the time as it costs a packet :-)

We will have a number of coaches available and we will be taking turns in dunking each other as well as practising capsizes, rescues and, for the more masochistic , Eskimo Rolls. 
This will probably be our last outing of the season and is a good opportunity to practise without being covered in "Thames nasties" .
Please let me know if you can make it as places are limited. At this stage we need to restrict it to Adults and those of explorer age.
We will be having a cleaning session on Saturday 12th November starting at 09:30 to clean the boats and ensure that we don't introduce any nasties into xcel ... Please try to come along as there are a couple of other jobs we can try and do as well as washing boats... we need to inspect as many of our kayaks as possible too. Pressure washers and trestles are very welcome.

Cheers for now

Final Cubs evening Kayaking session for 2011 - 20 September

posted Sep 12, 2011, 7:31 AM by Giles Haggerty   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 8:39 AM ]

Well, the nights are starting to draw in and it is definitely not as warm as it has been. I promised the cubs that we would try and go out once more this year and so on Tuesday 20 September we will have our last paddle. last time we ended up with far too many boats on the water, so we will probably split the group in two this time. We will also put the younger cubs in open canoes with an experienced adult. 

Can I have some volunteers to help out please? I especially need a few experienced adults to assist in taking the smaller ones along in open canoes. I aim to arm them with kayak paddles, so hopefully it will just be a matter of keeping some control and direction as well as limiting the splashing broadsides which always seem to occur when canoes are alongside each other :-)
Please let me know ASAP so that I have a rough idea of how much help we can expect. team Viking members coaching from the bank are, of course, also very welcome.




posted Aug 11, 2011, 5:54 AM by Giles Haggerty

Well, it has taken a while, but we finally got the sailboards down and took stock of what we have. We have 4 very nice looking BIC 250s which look nice and stable. We have a few small sails which scouts should have no trouble handling.
At the moment though, we only have two universal joints, skegs and dagger boards, so if anyone comes across any old Bic rigging (masts sails, universal joints dagger boards,skegs, etc.) please let either myself of Martin Rides know. having 4 boards exactly the same would certainly make life a great deal easier. 
Actually, the same universal joints were also used on Dufour Wings, so keep eyes opened for them too :-)
There were a few really heavy old boards which did not have universal joints, skegs, etc and so we will try and get rid of them. they are around the side of the sheds at the moment. 
Thanks to Martin R and Jez for helping out.


Cubs Sailing 20 July 2011

posted Jul 20, 2011, 7:57 AM by Giles Haggerty

It was raining before we started and it bucketted down once we had finished, but we managed to get away without any rain during our sailing session at Island barn on Tuesday night. Our sailing session was at the same time as the Sailing Club's TrySail evening (Nice relaxed adult sailing course if anyone is interested) and even though we were on the water with 22 other boats, the reservoir is big enough to take us all with room to spare. We managed to get 4 boats on the water and so were able to take 12 cubs out at a time. Ros and Charlotte ( one of our Young leaders) kept the remaining cubs occupied untill their turn came to go for a sail. We were fortunate in having so many willing adults to help and it made launching and recovering the boats so much easier when there is more than just one or two people doing it. lets keep it up as it also means we have time to launch more boats and do more sailing with the cubs !!

Thanks also to all teh team viking memebers who helped out. We couldnt do nearly as much without your time and effort.


Scouts Rafting - 22 July 7-9PM

posted Jul 13, 2011, 5:20 AM by Giles Haggerty

We're meeting at the Skiff Club for 7pm.  We're hoping to encourage all our parents, leaders and support staff to get involved in our final meeting before the Summer.  The Skiff Club have kindly invited us to use their club, open their bar and for us to have an evening BBQ too.  


We'd like to invite a team of parents to build and paddle their own raft in a race against the Scouts. (please bring your own change of clothes, towel etc., there are changing facilities)  Parents are also invited to 'have-a-go'  at rowing skiffs and operating punts.
Please RSVP


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