Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sea Kayak Symposiums of the Past

Whilst continue to look through my old slide collection I came across a number of photographs, which help to illustrate what informative and entertaining events the Jersey Sea Kayak Symposiums have been over the years.  In addition they have attracted a number of paddlers who are well known throughout the sea kayaking world. 
If you are thinking about attending the Jersey Symposium in 2014 perhaps these photographs will help you come to a positive decision.
1992 was the year of the first Symposium, attracting about 60 participants.  Unusual sessions include this one being run by Dave Collins, who became better know through his work with UK Athletics.  Also in the picture are Kevin Danforth, at the time editor of Canoe Focus and Martin Melling who was Secretary of the BCU Sea Touring Committe at the time (I think).
The social side has always been important, the 1992 BBQ.  The person in the blue sweatshirt is my dad (Ray Mansell) who was Chairman of the Jersey Canoe Club at the time.
In 1994 we were fortunate enough to have French paddler Didier Plouhinec talking about Greenland paddling.  At the time it hadn't really arrived in the UK.
Based at the Canoe Club premises launching was sometimes a problem when the wind was in the east.  Monday in 1994 was borderline if you had a composite kayak.
The weather had been kinder earlier in the weekend.  Derek Hairon is running a towing session.  Peter Midwood is one of the paddlers observing.
Rolling sessions are always popular, this is rolling 1994 style with Graham Wardle.
 By 1996 we had a swimming pool for the Greenland session but still didn't have enough kayaks and paddles to go around.  Gordon Brown is demonstrating the techniques whilst world authority, John Heath gave a running commentary.  We were really fortunate to have such an icon of the sea kayaking world.
 Gordon setting up for another roll.
1996 was the third Symposium and Derek Hutchinson had been to all three.  His on water sessions were always popular but it was his talks which were the most memorable.  Anybody who heard his North Sea Crossing talk will never forget it.
Graham Wardle and Donald Thompson clearly discussing the finer points of a particular stroke.
Cliff jumping has always been a popular Jersey sport.  Here is Barry Howell jumping off the Paternosters.  Derek Hutchinson is the paddler
1996 was the year that we finished the event with a sea kayak slalom.  Possibly the only slalom ever held when every entrant was in a Skerry.
Pete Scott ran a sea anchor session, the first time it appeared on the programme.
Howard Jeffs discussing paddling with Terry Harlow from the United States.
The 4th Symposium was 1998 and were fortunate to have Bill Oddie as our personal guide on the sea birds paddle.  I paddled him around in a double Spud which proved to be ideal for the task.
 Gordon Brown was back and here he is working on a small wooden kayak which had been designed by Duncan Winning.  It was completed over the period of the Symposium.  In following events Duncan stuck to making Greenland paddles as they take less time.
 The event has always attracted coaches who have been able to offer something different.  Mike McClure from Northern Ireland has been a popular and regular contributor.
 As well as visiting coaches local paddlers have also worked on many sessions.  Nick Querree is running a navigation session in 2002.
 Chris Jones is running a rolling session in 2006, as popular then as it was 12 years earlier.
 In 2008 the BBQ was still going strong on the Monday night, prior to the start of the extended paddling programme.
 One of the most popular paddles in the following week is always the day trip to the Ecrehous.  In 2010 on at least one day we had great weather.

The 2014 Jersey Sea Kayak Symposium will be the 11th time that the event has been held over a period of 24 years and it all came about after Bill Small and Pete Scott had attended the Anglesey Symposium in 1991 and decided that Jersey CAnoe Club could do something similar.

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