Grab your paddle and pull on that wetsuit – next weekend its the first ever paddle festival on the Mawddach Estuary and Barmouth.

Hundreds of fools like us will be taking to various kayaks, rafts and coracles for a mass paddle up the estuary to the pub. Run in Association with Paddle Wales and Mawddach Rotary Club, this festival takes place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May 2011 aimed at paddlers of all abilities, with raft races, and a kayak challenge upstream from Barmouth to the George III pub at Penmaenpool and back. There will be a BBQ party, Jazz on the Quay and the Welsh Kayak Fishing Championship are being held on Fairbourne Beach as part of the Paddlesport festival. There will also be coracle demonstrations on the estuary.

Main Event Organiser Jon Swain of Mawddach Rotary Club told us “Coracles are an iconic symbol of Wales and their return will be a truly nostalgic occasion. Coracles have not been used on the Mawddach since the mid 1800s, when their salmon netting rights were revoked. Coracles at this time were also used to help guide Bales of Wool down the Mawddach from Abergeirw to Dolgellau”.

We’re going to be getting involved – John will be with the Mawddach Rowing Club in a Celtic longboat and I’m joining our Bushcraft expert friend Heath in his Canadian canoe.  The forecast looks good so if you fancy a paddle or just a laugh at us desperately trying to paddle upstream to the pub then come along. We’ve still got accommodation and tent pitches available here at www.graigwen.co.uk and there’s more about Paddlseports at www.paddlewales.com

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