Four Star Training

Ok, well this weekend Four Star Leader Training weekend…with the epic Steve Mackinnon…

DAY ONE: After a morning of theory, coffee and cakes, we headed out onto the Middle Findhorn to work-through some of the skills and techniques required to pass and become ‘trained-to-lead’ leaders…

I’ll not going into the detail of it all, because I’m knackered and you can download the syllabus from the SCA and BCU websites for yourself to get a flavour, but it was a good laugh; just mighty cold!

Yes, despite the last few days of warmth, sun and BBQ weather, this is Scotland after all, so we had a full-blown blizzard and freezing temperatures to contend with…here’s hoping tomorrow will be a little more on the tropical side of brass monkey!

DAY TWO: After an early start due to a moment of maddness when I put my clock two hours forward rather than one (!), I arrived in Nairn with plenty time to get a coffee, read the paper and prepare mentally for the day ahead; swim and resuce practice day!

For varying reasons, the group had reduced to just me and Jo, so we did a little theory in the morning and then headed to the Findhorn to run Wade’s Bridge down to a few drops below Randolps Leap…

The river had dropped a bit from the day before, but it was still a nice level. We put in above Carnage Corner and ran it cold. Nice wee surf on a wave river-right, then we headed down the river…

Jo and I took turns to lead the ‘group’ down various sections; eddying-out, inspecting rapids, scouting, running as a group and/or paddling ahead and setting up safety…I think we both learned a lot, but plenty room for practice before the assessment!

As we arrived at the normal get-out above Randolp’s, we decided to push on through the stone ‘gate’ which channels the river towards Randolp’s Leap itself. We’d toyed with the idea of running it earlier on if the levels were right, but thought better of it after inspecting from the bank! Munch, munch, munch…

So, we walked round and paddled down a wee bit further to the designated ‘swim & rescue’ spot. As we all had dry suits, it wasn’t too bad…however, after gloating about remebering my neo-gloves, I remebered I’d forgotten my neo-hat, so Steve kindly lent me his…thanks Steve!!

So, after a scramble back up the banks and a de-brief back at the house, I’ now a trainee Four Star Leader…or something to that extent…prepare to be lead!


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