Doon

Div B race, Ayrshire Race venue used in 2000 © David Gibson

The River initially consists of numerous small drops, man made with rocks placed from the banks to approx a third the way in the River. One part of the River which requires some steerage occurs after 5 mins. On the right is a small red brick hut followed by a left hand turn, here keep left but slightly facing right. After the waves you will be heading over to the right bank, steer hard left and down through another set of waves. Shortly after that you be aiming for either side of the remains of a bridge, with just the central upright remaining. The easiest passage is keep left, but it is possible on the right but you need the paddle hard to get across to avoid the rocks and travel down the rapid on the very far right, cutting across to the left to avoid a rock. That was the most difficult steering bit. The rest of the River is straight forward.

At the first weir which crosses the River diagonally, about a third the way from the left hand bank is a 3 ft (1 metre) wide slot which can just be made out due to the dip in the water level at the top of the weir. A 3 feet 45 degree drop follows, with hardly any stopper with a sharp right turn to avoid hitting the left hand bank. There is a very picturesque part of the River shortly afterwards with three bridges, the first being the Auld Brig 0' Doon with the Brig 0' Doon Restaurant on the right hand bank. Just before the second bridge is a 2 feet drop best taken right of centre, since on the left and right are rocks. The next weir is after 20 mins paddling ( 2/3 the way along), it has a 15 feet 45 degree drop. This weir cuts straight across the River and again is best shot in the 4 feet wide slot central in the weir. This again can been seen by the dip in the water at the top of weir. Again there is hardly any stopper and makes for a most exciting thrill.

The last weir is only 150 yards from the finish and is tidal. It comes 50 metres after a stone bridge and cuts the River from bottom right to top left, ie a right hand turn is needed to shoot it. It again has a central slot, but this time is 15 feet wide and has some sharp boulders at the bottom of it. For a clear run is best shot right of centre. The wave at the bottom can be large depending on the state of tide ie 3/4 feet and sometimes your head gets wet. That is not all, you need to paddle reasonably hard to turn left to avoid the wall straight in front. Perhaps a good place to get your support crew to take some photographs of you shooting the weir. If the level is high then water flows across the entire length of the weir but it is still best shot in the right of the central slot. Race like mad to the finish and get out on the left by the toilet block and drink your hard earned Irn Bru. Have Fun and enjoy the race!!!

DIRECTIONS:
The start starts at the Riverside Inn on the main A77 approx 3 miles South of Ayr on the way to Stranraer. Please park around the back of the Inn in the overflow car park. There is an observation test next to find the River. Come back out of the overflow car park go through the gate immediately on the right, through the field to the opposite side. Through the next gate and the River is 50 yards (or metres) on the left. The start will be below the first drop. The finish is by the sea approx 4.5 miles and 30 minutes away.

David Gibson