Women’s “Starting out” Whitewater Packraft Course October 9-10, 2021

Dates: Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October, 2021

Venue: Forth River Whitewater Course (Link)

Accommodation: Camping (own tents)at main venue

Fee: $340 non-members $284 club members includes 2-day course and camping fees (both Friday and Saturday nights)

Course Numbers: Spaces are limited to a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8, so don’t delay registering.

Cancellation Policy: If the course is cancelled a full refund will be offered.

Start/Finish Times: Course officially starts at 9:00 am Saturday 9thand concludes approximately 3:30 pm Sunday 10thOctober.

Details: Whilst the packrafting community is a wonderfully welcoming community, an all-female learning environment can sometimes remove barriers to participation for some women. PaddleTas hopes to provide this opportunity to build confidence, skills and networks to encourage active engagement in the wider paddling community. The intention is to have two female instructors/guides to allow for a wide range of women, from novices to those who regularly packraft on grade 2 rivers. Where appropriate students will be split into small groups to work on different packraft skills.

Camping:There’s great camping at the Forth Whitewater Course site with participants welcome to camp both Friday and Saturday nights (Vicky will be there from 5pm Friday night). The site has basic toilet facilities only. Friends/relatives of participants who are not undertaking the course are also welcome to camp, although additional fees of $10/head, $15/couple or $5/junior apply.

Instructors:The course will be run by Paddle Australia Packraft Instructor Vicky Bonwick, ably assisted by Jen MacGibbon (who’s probably the most experienced female packrafter in Australia).

Who is it for?Women who prefer an all-women environment from novices who’ve never paddled before to those who’ve got a few Grade 2 trips under their belt and want to top up before tackling more challenging trips. For intermediate paddlers there will be some opportunities to work on group leadership and technical skills. However, Vicky highly recommends the normal intermediate/advanced courses run on the Mersey for those seeking more challenging water.

Participants must be prepared to get wet as swimming is a normal part of packrafting! (See equipment section)

Location Details:Drive approximately 8km south of Forth towards Wilmot and look on the left for a large sign next to a gate that indicates ‘Tasmanian Canoe Club’. Toilets are located up towards the road with camping down on the river flats. On Google Maps the location is listed as Forth River Whitewater Course:


Equipment:Participants will need their own packraft & all personal paddling gear including a decent white water paddling helmet (bike helmets are not appropriate), wetsuit/drysuit and PFD (Personal Floatation Device). For Tasmanian paddling we recommend self bailing boats with thigh straps but any old tub will do for this course.

Alternatively, packrafts can be hired through:

Watermarked Expedition Serviceswww.watermarkedexp.com(near Hobart)

Wildabout Packrafting 0467 648 989 (Devonport)

Packraft Australiawww.packraftaustralia.com.au(Melbourne)

Participants need to provide their own camping, cooking and food for the duration of the course. Drinking water is available.

Topics covered will include:

Packraft design and outfitting options

Personnel Protective Clothing & Paddling Equipment

Group Safety Considerations & Equipment

River Communications

Defensive and Aggressive Swimming in Moving Wate

Throwbagging Techniques and Practice

Self and Assisted Rescues

On River Group Management

Understanding Moving Water

Basic Technical Paddling Strokes

Paddling Techniques for Entering and Exiting Eddies

The Advantages of utilising Cross-Current Momentum

Using Position, Angle Speed, Edging, Eyes and Strokes to achieve an objective

Strategies for paddling as a Team

Improvisation techniques for lost paddles, lost boat, injured paddler scenarios

Resources for exploring Tasmania’s rivers

To register click here:


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