Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Sea Kayak Symposium

Sea Kayaking UK International Dealers Meet

Its been exceptionally busy with the September series of events, leaving John wrapping up the Adventure Race on the Isle of Man, I delivered the Sunday morning Adventure Club training session, then headed over to Anglesey with George to Dealers Meet...
 The days are divided into trade updates and decisions on kayaks, paddles and promotion, with a delightful mix of paddling the tide races and evening chat as well : )
Whilst there we managed to recruit even more attendees to the IoM International Sea Kayak Symposium.

Isle of Man International Sea Kayak Symposium 

Then it was hit the floor running back home, with the students on the 5 day training course already in residence and looked after by John, we picked up the course on Thursday and got on the water!
 Interspersing some Coasteering training with predominantly rough water handling skills in the sea kayaks, and plenty of opportunity for developing tidal awareness and incident management.

 International Training Weekend

 The International Training Weekend is part of the Isle of Man Symposium, and this year had 70 sea kayakers from all corners of the globe, US, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, UK, Spain, Greece, Denmark....
 Based from the Isle of Man Yacht Club, we utilised the South of the Island to get maximum exposure to the stunning coastline and rough water opportunities :)
 The Grey seal population looked ready to pup, so we avoided many of usual landing spots, and chose some more challenging ones instead....
 Time enough to explore a few caves, enjoy the warm sunshine and the joyous blessings of wearing Kokatat Drysuits!
With different training courses running from various locations, it was impossible to pull everyone together for the group picture, but we got quite a few of them : )
 The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company is the main sponsor for the International Sea Kayak Symposium, and we are very appreciate of their sponsorship, and the support of Sea Kayaking UK and the network of leaders, coaches and expertise which made the event run so well! 
A special thanks to John Keggin for his continued perseverance on the admin and logistics side.
Congratulations to those who passed BCU 3, 4 and 5 star qualifications over the weekend! 

It's the People

It's the people that make International events like this so special, and we are extremely lucky to have met an extraordinary variety of folk. 
The Saturday evening Guest Speaker was Nigel Dennis, the talk was held at the Claremont Hotel in Douglas. Free entry with all donations to the RNLI, a charity which Nigel is also involved in, both on the Lifeboat and developing rescue techniques and drift patterns for search and rescue.
Nigel, a world renowned sea kayak explorer and expedition leader delivered the history of modern sea kayaking and how his career has evolved through various expeditions after his first trip in 1980 when he circumnavigated Great Britain with Paul Caffyn. This expedition was the first successful circumnavigation of Scotland, Wales & England taking 65 kayaking days. Since then Nigel has carried out expeditions in Antarctica, Easter Island and a televised expedition around Cape Horn in 1992.

There were also 12 other guest coaches at this year's symposium each bringing their characters, knowledge and expertise to the event.
Captured a few of them on the camera :)
                                    Johan Wagner - Sweden                     Dale Williams - USA
                                     Fiona Whitehead - UK                 Jukka Linnonmaa - Finland

Great to receive some feedback from members of the local Adventure Club who also attended the weekend:

"Brilliant weekend at the symposium, fantastic to be in the position to be able to learn from the masses of knowledge and skill available. Mike"

"Hi John & Keirron,Thank you so so much for an amazing symposium! I had so much fun, and hopefully learnt a lot (though I can't promise it will show!) I know we only saw a fraction of the hard work that went into it, but it was one of the best things I've done on the island and really appreciate how much effort you put into it. Martha"

"Hi John/Keirron, It was a fantastic weekend. Well done to everyone involved in organising and delivering the symposium. Gerry"

Looking forward to welcoming more sea kayakers to the island next year!
Symposium & International Training Weekend: 27th & 28th September 2014
5 Day training course: 29th September - 3rd October 2014
BCU Courses weekend: 4th & 5th October 2014

Keirron & the team

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