Some of you may not be aware but one of the biggest things to come out of General Meeting #3 was a new fully fledged guide! (I mean he’s hardly small is he?)
Congratulations go to Rowan Ellery for putting in the hard yards this year and making the jump from Trainee Guide to Guide in one season of rafting! This is no mean feat and means he has gone through the hoops of:
- The TUWWRC Guide’s course (and infamous cocktail party)
- Run an intro trip
- Provide evidence of more than 10 days’ guiding experience on numerous rivers
- Possess or attain a current Senior First Aid certificate
- Participation in a club Maintenance Day
- Approval from the TUWWRC Committee
This decision was made particularly easy because Rowan has been visible and actively involved with the club so most of the committee and senior guides knew how much he was doing but also because he could provide a trip log of rivers he guided and paddled.
So with a freshly annointed river guide it was that the Club attacked Lower Tyenna River last Saturday and the notorious “Sheep Dip” (or Tyenna Cruncher). The day started off fairly smoothly, the two weirs were portaged without mishap and all were warned about the upcoming sheep dip and where to eddy out. The first two boats made the eddy fine, and it was looking that so would the third with the steady hand of Rowan at the helm.
However the crew stopped paddling a stroke too early and thus they got sucked away towards the Sheep Dip with myself calling “Straight down the middle!”, whilst remembering my first time guiding the same rapid having had to on sight it also due to not knowing it was there till too late. But miracle of miracles, Rowan did the impossible and managed to get the raft close enough to the rocks on the side for a paddler to jam a paddle into the rocks and halt their enivitable charge towards the hairy rapid!
Thus our freshest guide proved the committee’s faith in him was not left wonting and demonstrated some cool nerve, thinking and sheer trickery that few can hope to learn!
The excitement didn’t end here. The Sheep Dip was scouted, safety was set and it was shot by all rafts, with some paddlers backing up for a second run. Numerous swims were had, with some epic paddle bending done by one of my super buft German crew (it was right-angles when we recovered it at the bottom!).
From here on some fun grade 2/3 rapids were shot down to the bridge with some excellent guiding by Trainee Guides Gav Byrd and Till Gallagher avoiding picking up too much foilage from the invasive willows which line the river!
Excellent day and excellent guiding! Well done Rowan on an awesome trip and becoming a guide!