Launch Event to celebrate the re-opening of the Rapids

Reports and Coverage so far

Report from Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review (Wednesday 25th March 2009)

"Canoeists splash out to celebrate" page 3 Hereford Times (Thursday 2nd April 2009) no internet link

Photographs from the Launch Event (Wyedean Canoe Club)

Saturday 28th March 2009

The Official Opening with the cutting of a ribbon (actually red & white border tape left over from the in-river work) by a VIP (exact name to be confirmed - but you may be surprised!) will be at the top of the Rapids at 1pm.

We are expecting people to turn up from 11.30am onwards with parking down by the river at Wyedean Canoe Centre or through the village at the Royal Hotel (although paddlers will not be able to get on the river at the latter).

In addition to members from local canoe clubs we are inviting guests from a number of organisations that we have had to deal with during the project BCU, Sports England, Environment Agency, Natural England, Wye Valley AONB, Gloucestershire & Herefordshire County Councils, Forestry Commission etc. We will be putting on a small display describing the background to the project in the back room of the Royal Hotel.

Once the rapids are officially opened there will be a mass descent by the youth members of the local canoe clubs followed by a number of demo sessions Freestyle (including Palm Demo Team), Slalom (5 training gates), Open Canoes, In-River Rescue and Whitewater Racers. We are arranging a Tannoy System to keep people informed of what is going on and there will be a first aid station underneath the tree by the entrance to the Royal Hotel.

Once the demo events are complete the rapids will be available for general use and the slalom gates left up until 5pm before being taken down.

The event is free but the normal 3 per day parking charge will apply (we will be arranging car park marshals to organise the traffic, please be amiable on the day and follow their instructions!).

The original plan was to then have a large evening party with band and bar at Holly Barn but this has been scaled back and instead there will be a pig roast (£4 including a pint of real ale/soft drink) at the Lodge Hotel from 5pm followed by an amusing slideshow hosted by Fred Wondrer (and possibly some other guests as well).

To coincide with the Launch Event we are also organizing a Fund Raising Raffle with many desirable prizes donated by local businesses and the canoeing industry although the draw itself will not take place until the 1st September.

For further information (or just to let us know you are planning to attend or would like buy/sell raffle tickets) we can be contacted at overnight camping for a small fee is available if needed.

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This Event can also be found on Facebook (search for "Symonds Yat" in the Events Application). If you have a Facebook account help us to promote it by joining it and inviting your paddling friends to do likewise.