HPP plans for greater good?

Stu Morris - image from ukfreestyle.com

Stu Morris - image from ukfreestyle.com

I’ve just had a round-robin email from a mate of mine, Stu Morris. I’m sure he won’t mind me posting it here because it was sent to loads of our mates and copied in to most of the World Class team.

For those who don’t know Stu, he’s done pretty much everything there is to do in paddling. He’s been C1 European freestyle champ, he’s been a top-notch slalomist, he’s creeked, instructed and the rest. He’s also a top-notch product designer – he’s done kayaks and open boats for Robson, and it’s Stu who painstakingly designs and shapes each invidual boat for each individual Olympic athlete.

Have a read through Stu’s email, and through my response, and then imagine the robust conversation we’ll be having in the pub when he gets back from Beijing!

From: Stu Morris
To: loads of people
Subject:HPP plans for greater good?

Well its not for everyone but change is good and improves one’s boating skills!

If it’s anything close to Beijing, Tacen, Augsburg, Bourg, Penrith or any of the other major White Water Stadiums in the World that the World Class Team visit on a regular basis then the people of HPP are in for a real treat.

I think we are more in danger of having a so called ‘White Elephant’ on our door step if the changes don’t go ahead!

Best Regards,

Stu Morris

Creeker, Playboater, Slalom Paddler, Open Canoeist.


From: Pete Cornes
To: Stu Morris
Subject: RE: HPP plans for greater good

I completely agree with you – £1.2m investment could be absolutely fantastic for everyone who uses the course.

But without consultation with all the interest groups who use the course on a daily basis, the concern is that we’ll end up with a course for the few rather than a course for the many. Like Penrith – I know you’ll say that it was good enough to hold the Freestyle worlds there, but that was only after a huge amount of investment to turn an Olympic course into a viable going concern that also suits rafting, playboating and recreational paddling.

Clear and open consultation is essential to developing a brief that will take into account all water users – so let’s all get involved and use this opportunity to develop the grass roots as well as the elite.


Pete Cornes.


One response to “HPP plans for greater good?

  1. Hello Pete

    I totally agree with your opinion on the lack of BCU consultation I would be very interested to find out who they did in fact consult on the matters of redesigning HPP.

    Just to clarify why Penrith suffered was for 2 main reasons:

    1. The course was pumped and needed around 100$ an hour in electricity as a minimum operating cost.

    2. The WW kayaking scene in the whole of Austrailia is less than that passing through HPP in one typical Saturday!

    From a design / water users point of view the Omniflop system makes the course flexible in its design so as long as the course inprovements allow the water to pass through the channel quicker with less resistence then a good set of features can be designed therein.

    I can see the concern of the squirt community as depth could be an issue but again COULD doesnt mean it will even creating a scaled course does not create a true representation of the features that it would create.

    We can live in hope that a better course for all will finally be created and may I remind everyone in my opinion the course ant the moment is the pretty bad in terms of the quality of its features and its ability to cater for all. Anyone who has or does paddle multiple disciplines and has paddled at HPP for a while will surley agree!


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