irwell.jpgThe Irwell at Burrs is a good introductory race, with full bank access. The nearby Mersey follows it up as a training venue with slighty easier water but a longer course. Both these race courses can be paddled at practically any level, even if there has not been recent rain. The Irwell comes up and down quite fast. River levels can be found by ringing the Rivercall service run by the EA (0930 107702), select option 3. (this is a premium rate call, but the information is brief and to the point so it's not expensive).


Burrs Site

Burrs (River Irwell) is an excellent venue for WWR. The river is technically interesting (for a Div B), but not difficult, with bank access to the whole course.

This is a sprint race course, taking about 4 minutes per run. There is a canal to paddle back to the start, changing rooms, showers, a café, a bunkhouse and even a pub on site. This is one venue where you can park your car on arrival and leave it there all day (and all night as well if you like).

At the top of the Burrs site is a BIG sloping weir (about 7m high). The race starts about 50m below it, but if you want some extra thrills it can be shot easily in a Wavehopper, so long as the towback at the bottom is small. On the race course, the routes are all obvious, both from the bank and the river. There are various small chutes and steps, none of them difficult, leading to a shallow sloping weir under the road bridge near the finish. This is followed by a simple looking move left to the final chute and the take out. Getting to the chute is easy, but getting there smoothly is more interesting!

It is also worth noting that the Irwell above Burrs is suitable for training at moderate water levels, from Ramsbottom downwards. Ask at the Burrs Centre.

Burrs is easy to find; take the B6214 from the centre of Bury towards Ramsbottom. At the B&Q, follow this round to the right and go through the next set of lights. The next turning on the right is signposted Burrs Country Park. Follow this until you reach the old mill chimney that marks the Burrs site.