2014 English Open Canoe Symposium
...and have started running information on their own website:
This year's programme is looking pretty stunning, and the list of coaches reads very well indeed. Here are a few of the full-day options:
- Lake journey including, open water decision making, tarps, sails & kelly kettles
- White water introduction & intermediate - solo & tandem
- White water advanced (your boat may not return!) -grade 3+
- Up the creek without a paddle - poles & lines
- Journey skills - poles, lines & sails
- “Heart of the Lakes” - Great Langdale Beck - grade 2-3
- River rescue in depth
- Women’s white water solo - different grades
- Leadership as a tool to keep you & your mates safe
- Specialist white water canoes - introduction & intermediate
- Half day moving water poling & half day lining and tracking (full day at Devil’s Bridge)
- The Eden Grade 2-3 - Guided trip
Beyond that, you've got a mass of half day workshops: too many to list here - but arguably including the broadest range of canoe-sailing workshops ever offered in the UK... plus Canadian freestyle with Jörg Wagner... American freestyle with Mark Maier... and an Introduction to and top tips for high kneeling in a canoe with Tibor Herbent.
Other workshops include: Smaller boats for smaller people... Tools of the trade... Technique not strength... Open water, wind & trim... Tarp art & fires... Outfitting a canoe... Stand up paddling (SUPs)... Introduction to surfing - solo... Expedition cooking over an open fire... Tandem American freestyle...
The evening highlights include:
- Flatwater Canadian Freestyle : Jörg Wagner
- ‘Mountainoeing’ - the Power of the Portage : Rich Ensoll
- Being Mobile in Your Boat (a practical session!): Mark Maier
- Canoe Outfitting (a practical session): Jules Burnard
- Planning for an Extended Canoe Expedition : Mark Gittoes
- Lesser Known French Classic Rivers : Paul Villecourt (TBC)
- Why Sail a Canoe Round Britain? : Gavin Millar
- 47 Days of Ups & Downs on the Northern Forest Canoe Trail : Valerie Welch
- Guiding on the Bloodvein : Paddle, Line & Portage - a Study in Decision Making : Ray Goodwin
- Adventures by Canoe : Dave Crooks
Here are a few key profiles: all coaches from whom I continue to draw inspiration...
Jörg Wagner is the Doyen of quietwater canoeing in Europe. He has devoted more than 50 years to teaching, sharing his passions for guitar and canoe. He was one of the first two "American Freestyle" Instructors in Europe, and remains one of very few certified Canadian Style" instructors outside of Canada. He personally certified the subsequent two generations of "Freestyle" instructors, and continues to inspire as the father-figure of a movement which now stretches right across the continent.
Jörg Wagner will offer "Canadian Style" workshops - for solo paddling when heeling large, tandem canoes to the paddling side, with the gunwale near the water. Expect to be blending strokes for precise boat control, most commonly without appearing to do very much at all!
Hungarian born, Tibor Herbent is an unsung hero of British canoeing, from touring right through to racing. He was a founder member of International Long River Canoe Club, and has experience on most of the larger rivers of Europe. He was instrumental in the transformation of the old “Canadian Canoe Association” into what we know today as the Open Canoe Association. In the 1980s, Tibor established canoeing as a discipline within Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club, both as a competitor and through to coaching (to European and World Championship level). He has more recently become a national focus for the coaching of girls and women, with leading GB competitors Sam Rippington and Lisa Suttle among his protégés.
At the Symposium, Tibor will be applying insights from racing technique to the gentle arts of open boating. Expect guidance on effective use of the body and blade from alternative positions in the canoe, and a whole new perspective on the fundamentals of paddling.
: :Mark Maier has won many friends over here in the UK through his light-hearted American "Freestyle" workshops at successive UK symposia. His trademark, minimalist style and his incredible grace and poise make him immediately identifiable on the lake, as does his propensity for making the seemingly impossible look astonishingly manageable. He's a vastly experienced coach with a keen technical eye, and comes to us fresh from assisting with the training and certification of a new generation of Danish, Dutch and German "Freestyle" Instructors.
Mark will offer American "Freestyle" workshops - also emphasizing smooth, efficient flatwater paddling and precision boat control, but with optimised bio-mechanics and using weight shifts to vary heel and pitch, and using a range of off-side strokes and placements.