Conference and Festival Wrap-up

Tuesday, 08 May 2007
Eastern Canadian Sea Kayak Instructors Conference
Eastern Canadian Sea Kayak Instructors Conference.
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It has been a busy couple of days. This past weekend was two huge events for me. Friday was the 1st Eastern Canadian Sea Kayak Instructor Conference that I organized. It took place at White Squall in Parry Sound, Ontario.

It was very successful with over 30 participants in the one-day event. Add that to the 12 instructors who were also there to help out, and that adds up to a really fun group of people who love getting out there and teaching.

We spent all day talking about various teaching topics including risk management, strokes, rescues and adaptive paddling from the perspective of how to actually teach it.

Special thanks to all the presenters listed below for their hard work.

Scott MacGregor - Rapid Media
Richard Alexander - Newfoundland Kayak Company
Matt Cruchet - Direct Bearing Incorporated
Tim Dyer - White Squall Paddling Center
Pauline Halstead - Paddles and Boots
Marlene Hume
Graham Ketcheson - White Squall Paddling Center
Conor Mihell - Naturally Superior Adventures
Erik Ogaard - Harbourfront Canoe & Kayak Center
Serge Savard
Rick Wise - Horizons
Ken Whiting - Heliconia Press

Cardboard Canoe Race
cardbCardboard Canoe Race
Cardboard Canoe Race
The second big event took place on the Saturday and Sunday and that was the Georgian Bay Canoe & Kayak Festival. White Squall always hosts a fantastic event and this year was no exception.

For the first time in several years, it didn't rain or lose power leaving some of the diehards disappointed. Oh well, can't please everybody...

There were a ton of sessions including many of the speakers listed above presenting on land clinics as well as skill development sessions out on the water.

There were two highlights for me over the weekend. The first was the annual cardboard kayak race. I think at the end, only two boats surived. Basically, if your boat stays afloat for the first 0.5 seconds of the race, you have a good change of actually finishing. I paddled in the race 5 years ago and lost to an 8 year old girl. I haven't been back since. I have my pride...

The second big highlight was seeing Fred Eaglesmith. He always puts on a fantastic show. If you don't know who I'm talking about, you really need to spend some time getting to know his music. I know you won't be disappointed.
David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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