Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium

The inaugural Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium was blessed with almost perfect weather and sea conditions. Temperatures in the mid 60’s F, light winds, a small but solid long interval ground swell and big ebb tides in the afternoon ensured there were ideal conditions for almost everyone. I say almost because the BCU 5star assessment crew were unable to find the really testing conditions they needed but for everyone else and especially for me as Safety Officer it was the perfect conditions for a first time event.

What was gratifying to me was that so many people were willing to put their faith in us as organizers of a new event and this included the coaches who dedicated their time and the participants who parted with hard earned cash in advance to enable the event happen. Whilst the symposium concept was mine, it was Jen Kleck from Aqua Adventures in San Diego who encouraged and guided me through the planning process and helped promote the event. But the person who actually made the event possible was Matt Palmariello who put in many hours on the computer updating the website, answering emails and putting together class schedules and rosters and he deserves all the credit for the way this first-time event went ahead so smoothly.

I also want to thank a few other folk:
Bob Licht and Steve Hayward from Sea Trek Ocean Kayaking Center in Sausalito who donated the use of a truck and trailer and crucially, their rescue skiff, skippered by Bob’s son Jared whose expertise and professionalism impressed everyone.

(photo courtesy of Dominick Lemarie

Keith Miller, President of CCK California Canoe and Kayak. Keith donated one of his lead instructors, Bryant Burkhardt who helped by leading several classes over the weekend.
Garth Schmeck (Captain Penguin) from Penguin Paddlers who donated his time and brought down some beautiful P&H kayaks for folk to try and whose energy and generosity both on and off the water helped make the event a success.

I also want to thank the several local paddlers who gave up their time to act as safety boaters and share their local knowledge with visiting instructors. Finally I want to thank all the coaches and instructors who supported the event and you can be assured that you are all invited back next year, THE DATES FOR WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN SET - January 29/30/31st 2010.
Keep checking for the latest updates.

1 comment:

PeterD said...

Looking forward to next year's GGSKS!