Also known as:Commercial Road weir, YMCA weir
Under Commercial Road and alongside the Pmb YMCA – with guaranteed crowds on raceday – lies this old and much modified weir. It can only be shot down the fish chute on the river right which angles in back towards the centre of the river. This chute has been repeatedly rebuilt and is not a lot more boat friendly than its predecessors.
There is normally a lifesaver/diver on duty to show you a line down the chute, which can be tricky to spot in a full river as the wall sides of the chute are small. Take it slowly, right of centre of the chute, after which you need to work positively to move left and into the main flow of water. There is a 100m long rapid below the weir that has numerous rocks in play. Move positively, pick and line and stick to it, keeping your boat straight. Even if you get the lines a bit wrong you will be able to ramp over the rocks safely. This is not a tricky weir and much faster than the slow awkward portage on either bank.
This is a lot easier now than what it used to be because the gradient is lot less than in
years gone by. Go down right of middle and try gather some speed when approaching the weir. Whilst you’re going down tap your left rudder lightly because the water washes quite strongly from the left at the bottom.
Right of middle whilst going down and then head left as quickly as possible when you get to the bottom to avoid the clumps of grass on the right.