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Thread: English Canoe Symposium - a report

  1. #1
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    Default English Canoe Symposium - a report

    English Canoe Symposium 11 – 13th November 2005 – a report


    At the latest Canoe Symposium, beautifully sited on the shores of Lake Windermere, every discipline imaginable was on offer and all skill levels were catered for, from gentle Lake Windermere hangover remedies, to paddling (or falling) down a hard river, or all levels in – between with James Raffen and other top coaches. There were solo and tandem workshops, with the ladies getting their own spot.
    The choice of workshops was staggering, journeying skills using poles, sails and lines on rivers and lake, Harry Rock had been invited over from the States to mastermind his eye - opening poling workshops. Lake Windermere was perfect for the sailing: “extreme” canoe sailing plus tandem and an amazing variety of improvised rigs were all demonstrated and tried out.
    Also on offer, safety and rescue, bushcraft, and the art of the tarp. Then there were the evening sessions, not forgetting the lectures and film shows – oh - and the trade stands – my bank manager was not amused! Best of all, the social atmosphere was just wonderful, and the administration was utterly professional – paddlers changing their minds at the last minute were accommodated quickly and happily.
    Last year I attended the Welsh Canoe symposium with my wife at Bala and were impressed by the friendly atmosphere and the breadth of skills on tap. We knew we were on to a good thing when the wine we ordered came in pint glasses!
    Having run a couple of OCC star courses for my club I was determined to extend myself a bit further, and prebooked myself and our club chairman on Intermediate whitewater specialist saddled canoes (our club now has a Spanish Fly and a Caption) Forget “J” strokes and “C” strokes, we learnt to edge and accelerate on the lake in the morning then off to the Leven (in spate!) in the afternoon to hit that wave and surf it! – boy – some learning curve!



    Sunday we both went for the intermediate ww solo day trip in “trad” 16’ boats on the Lune; a wonderful change from paddling the Basingstoke Canal.







    One regret: I was really sorry we had no time to join Harry Rock, or sail “on the edge”, or….. a week long seminar would have been just about right.
    In ’06 the seminar will be in Scotland – sadly too far for us southerners, but in ’07 you bet we’ll be back at Bala, in North Wales. See you there?
    Check out
    http://www.canoesymposium.co.uk/
    for more info.
    Brian Biffin
    Last edited by MagiKelly; 31st-December-2005 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Pictures added

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    East Lothian, Scotland
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    Default Too far

    Too far, some ideas - make a week of it? Get the train?

    The Scottish event is usually fabulous with loads of good times on & off the river & the venue is brilliant.

    It's great to see someone else enjoyed the symposium as much.

    A wee pic of one of the car parks



    And one from the poling workshop


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
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    Default

    Original post edited now to add pictures.

    Looking forward to the symposium.
    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    East Lothian, Scotland
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    Default uploaded

    Have also uploaded the article & pictures on the Canoe Symposium site

    Alastair

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