The event was timed to coincide with spring tides, to ensure conditions would be available for British Canoe Union (BCU) leadership training courses and easy access to challenging tidal conditions. This combination of scenery, wildlife and challenge makes the
Isle of Man is the perfect adventure playground and training location. The organiser, Adventurous Experiences (the Adventure Sports Centre based near Peel), are working closely with the Isle of Man Steam Packet and the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure to grow both this event and the Isle of Man Adventure Race, which is held annually in June.
“Safe, Fun, Learning is the key to our success” says Keirron Tastagh, owner and lead coach at Adventurous Experiences. Tastagh went on to say “I’d like to thank our dedicated team of professional coaches who deliver our international events, experiences and coaching courses year round, as well as our sponsors, the Isle of Man Steam Packet and the Isle of Man Yacht Club.”
Students, ranging from improvers to very experienced paddlers, had the choice of different levels of days-trips, coaching in personal skills, tidal races and incident management, and BCU 4 star and 5 star leadership coaching courses. There was a lot of sharing of experiences from the sessions at the social BBQ on the Saturday evening, plus a few drinks to relax some tired muscles.
During the weekend, another fast time was put in for the 85 mile non-stop circumnavigation of the Island by Eila Wilkinson (UK), and Monday a group set off at a more relaxed pace to paddle around over four days, camping each night and carrying all their provisions in the kayaks. This group includes Chris Allix, Director ICM Group, who is training to kayak to Monaco next summer.
Photographs by Vaughen Roberts
2011 Isle of Man Symposium runs 24th and 25th September, circumnavigation following 26th till 29th.