An active canoe club with a strong Sea Kayaking section.

Website: http://www.portsmouth-canoe-club.org

The Portsmouth and District Canoe Club (PDCC) was formally set up in the winter of 1979/80 because of an increasing interest in canoeing in the area, largely due to the efforts of John Drew.

The late John Drew had been running night-school classes from 1975 at Springfield School, Drayton, and a small group of regular paddlers formed from those who attended these classes. As word of the group’s activities spread, it became apparent that many people in and around the area wanted to learn more about the sport and to practice with experienced canoeists. It was to meet this need that the club was formed.

The current membership, approximately 100, of the club may be split into three groups; local active paddlers, occasional paddlers and non-paddlers. The club enjoys a high reputation among experienced canoeists. The main strengths of the club is in encouraging paddlers to progress at sea canoeing when they have mastered the basic skills.

The club, which is affiliated to the British Canoe Union (BCU), is run by an annually elected committee. A programme of trips and other activities is organised to run throughout the year. This programme is biased towards sea touring but includes some river trips and surfing. The programme caters for both novice and competent canoeists. The majority of the events take place on Sundays. This programme varies each year depending on membership demand and requests.

In addition to these Sunday trips there are practice nights during the summer months, which are held on Mondays, when possible, and usually Thursdays. The aim of these practises is to increase fitness and to learn and improve strokes and techniques from basic forward paddling to all-in rescues. All members are encouraged to train for BCU awards and to obtain instructor qualifications. The current membership now includes over 20 BCU qualified instructors of varying grades. Monday practices, when held, are at Hilsea Lido, Thursday practises are held on the sea, mainly off Southsea front, Eastney and Hayling Island.

A newsletter is sent to all members (preferably by e-mail) every two months, which contains articles of general interest, trip and expedition reports and details of forthcoming events.

All members are expected to provide their own equipment, as it is not feasible for the club to own and store equipment.