Monday, 14 November 2011

UK SGS 6: Organiser's Report

Following on from the traditions of coastal Scandinavian fishing communities, Storm Gatherings have become a means for like-minded people to get together and celebrate a fruitful and rewarding summer on the water with some excellent paddling in often challenging conditions and unparalleled entertainment in the evenings before the winter nights set in. 

The 6th UK Storm Gathering took place on Anglesey in October, and was followed by BCU Week that included both BCU 4 and 5 star trainings and assessment courses. The weather was true to form and kicked up a fuss with southerly Force 6 winds building to Gale 8 in preparation for the weekend. Undeterred, however, 90 paddlers from across the UK and Europe including participants from Switzerland, Sicily, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden converged on Anglesey Outdoors for an action-packed symposium. 

The coaching team was also expansive in terms of nationalities and experience. Helen Wilson, Paul Kuthe and Warren Parker from the US along with Axel Schoevers from Holland joined the likes of Jeff Allen, Justine Curgenven, Steve Graham, Ollie Jay, James Stevenson and Phil Clegg in providing some excellent on the water workshops. A special mention goes to Nick Cunliffe, who tackled the tremendously difficult task of coordinating participants and coaches each morning based on some very exciting sea conditions. 

Locations such as Rhosneigr, Trearddur Bay, Penmon, Bull Bay, the Menai Straits and even Llyn Padarn where used for a variety of workshops including incident management, open water rolling, rough water handling and surfing amongst. Participants were stretched and challenged, but tired smiles and laughter over a beer in the Paddler’s Return suggested that the event was living up to expectations. Paddlers were clearly thrilled that they had faced conditions that they would not normally have gone out in. 

Each evening was filled with activities and entertainment too. Friday night saw Jim Krawiecki, with the help of Barry Shaw, Kate Duffus, Andy Morgan and Roger Chandler presented a series of short films and slideshows to get people in the mood as they arrived. Nick Cunliffe and Matt Giblin put on a sea kayakers pub quiz on Saturday night that combined elements of a celebrity quiz show, trivia rounds and various embarrassing party games. Sunday night had everyone gather at Rhoscolyn School to hear Jeff Allen present ‘Into The Wind’, the epic account of a record breaking circumnavigation of Ireland he completed with Harry Whelan earlier this year. 

A tremendous thanks go to Kokatat, Tahne Marine and Tiderace Sea Kayaks for supporting the event in a numbers of ways including raffle prizes, demo boats and promotional services. Appreciation also goes out to Joe O’ Paddles, the Fat Paddler, Mitchell Blades and Bluewater Kayak Works for donating some wonderful prizes to the raffle also. 

Well done to Jim Krawiecki and Journey Man for winning the prizes donated by Fat Paddler. To Alan Trevarton for winning the T-stick and Norsaq donated by Joe O' Paddles.To Graham Dudley for winning the MisFit Tor PFD donated by Kokatat Watersports Wear. To Mark Eldridge for winning the Freedom 500 pump donated by Bluewater Kayak Works. Finally to Sarah Wootton for winning the Atlantis paddles that was donated by Mitchell Blades. Neil Turnbull was the lucky recpeint of a Kokatat Storm Cag after his video diary of the events was judged to be the winning entry. 

Overall, it was great to see everyone getting stuck in and relishing the opportunity to experience some really rough water. The UK Storm Gathering symposiums are gradually becoming the event to attend for anyone looking to paddle in some amazingly dynamic waters in the company of some superb coaches. See you all on the water again soon.

Monday, 7 November 2011

UKSG6: Blog Reports

The following guest coaches and participants have shared their thoughts and perspectives on the 6th UK Storm Gathering. Have a read and maybe get inspired to come along next time :o)

Helen Wilson

Francesco Petralia 

Justine Curgenven

Jim Krawiecki

Paul Kuthe

Roger Chandler

Here is a link to Steve Godfrey's photo album of his event experiences

Photos by Paul Kuthe

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

UKSG6 - Fund Raising

The organisers would like to inform you that we hope to do some fundraising at this year's Storm Gathering.

The intention is to raise money for the RNLI and Qajaq Japan's Tsumani Relief Fund.

Prizes have been donated by Kokatat, Blue Water Kayak Works, Fat Paddler, Joe O Paddles and Mitchell Blades.

Look out for ticket sellers over the weekend and the draw will occur on Monday morning.

Monday, 4 July 2011

UKSG6 - Coaches Blog Roll

Many of the coaches who are giving their time to the 6th UK Storm Gathering are authors of some very entertaining and informative blogs. You can follow their exploits and adventures as well as get to know their thoughts on sea kayaking and training issues by clicking on the names below.

Check these out:

Jim Krawiecki

Why not get to know your instructors by connecting with them before the symposium!

Monday, 27 June 2011

UKSG6 - Cackle TV Special Offer

If you are a fan of digital downloads, or never tried and want to give it a go, I recommend you call in at Cackle TV to see what's on offer. Justine Curgenven has begun to provide many of her superb and expertly made sea kayaking films from the award-winning This Is The Sea DVD series as digital downloads. With over 40 films available with some featuring never before seen footage, there is plenty to choose from.

Justine is an award winning adventure filmmaker and expedition sea kayaker with an established reputation for creating professional, innovative and inspirational sea kayaking movies. Some her personal accomplishments have involved a number of challenging expeditions around the globe including a crossing of the Bass Strait, circumnavigating South Island of New Zealand, Tasmania and the Queen Charlotte Islands.

I am pleased to announce that Justine is offering a special discount to anyone visiting the UK Storm Gathering Sea Kayak Symposium blog on two selected films. Buy one or both of the following digital downloads and get 20% off the already incredibly good value prices. All you need to do is enter 'UKSG' at the check-out.

This is the Sea 1 - Penrhyn Mawr

Penrhyn Mawr is North Wales’ most famous tidal race. This film is a short introduction to the race with some explanation of it’s location and how the waves form. Filming from onboard the kayak gives a sense of scale. 5 minutes . Price: UK £0.99 (UKSG6 discount - £0.79)

This is the Sea 2 - Penrhyn Mawr

More action from the inner and outer races at Penrhyn Mawr tidal race on Anglesey. Skilful paddling (and good recoveries!) from Aled Williams, Phil Clegg, Simon Osborne, Harry Whealan & others. This was originally 2 separate films on “This is the Sea 2″ but brought together into 1 film here. 8 minutes. . Price: UK £1.99 (UKSG6 discount - £1.59)

Download today and get inspired to plan your own adventure, wherever that might be :o)

Monday, 13 June 2011

UKSG6 - Flyer

Please note.....register by August 1st 2011 and enjoy the early bird rate of £100.

Get in touch with Mark if you would like a booking form.

Monday, 6 June 2011

UKSG6 - Accommodation

Anglesey Outdoors has a number of accommodation options on offer for the 6th UK Storm Gathering. It has been chosen as the base for this event because the location offers us a great deal of flexibility and a number of workable options dependent on the weather.

Please note that rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and should be booked directly through the centre. And whilst camping is extensive, some limits exists.

Camping: £4 per person per night

Self catering bunkhouse: £12.50 per person per night - 26 spaces

Full board: (bed, breakfast, packed lunch & dinner) £34 per person - 43 spaces

There are other accommodation choices in the Holyhead area that include several good B&B's, campsites, guest houses and hotels:

Drws Gwyn - Cemaes

Ingledene B & B - Treaddur Bay 

Outdoor Alternative has both rooms and camping available

Anglesey Holiday Cottages - the wide range of self catering accommodation offered by the Cottage Guide in Wales includes farm houses, town houses

Menai Holiday Cottages - holiday self-catering vacation rental cottages in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Lleyn Peninsula

If you want a larger selection of accommodation to choose from then North Wales Tourism is very helpful and comprehensive. A list of providers in the area can be accessed here.

Please note.....register by August 1st 2011 and enjoy the early bird rate of £100.

Get in touch with Mark if you would like a booking form.

Monday, 30 May 2011

UKSG6 - Event Flyer

Please note.....register by August 1st 2011 and enjoy the early bird rate of £100.

Get in touch if you would like a booking form.

Monday, 23 May 2011

UKSG6 - Guest Coaches & Contributors

So far the following people have offered their services to help coach and guide at the 6th UK Storm Gathering that will held on Anglesey this October.

I would recommend spending time on the water with any of these people if you wish to expand your skills or increase your knowledge of sea kayaking.

Nick Cunliffe - Kayak Essentials

Helen Wilson - Greenland or Bust

Roger Chandler - Coastal Spirit

Paul Kuthe - Professional Paddlesports Ambassador

James Stevenson - Adventure Elements

Aled Williams - Tiderace Sea Kayaks

Richard Rogers - Cardiff International White Water Ambassador

Ali Othen - Oswestry School Adventure Education

Richard McEvoy - Professional Paddlesports Ambassador

Kate Duffus - Professional Paddlesports Ambassador

......and finally, but by no means least

Jim Krawiecki - Master Raconteur and Pompetous of Wit

In the coming weeks their profiles and picture will appear here to give you an insight into the folk who will be on the water with you, and more guest coaches are expected soon.

Please note.....register by August 1st 2011 and enjoy the early bird rate of £100.

Get in touch if you would like a booking form.

Monday, 16 May 2011

6th UK Storm Gathering Sea Kayak Symposium - Update

The 6th UK Storm Gathering Sea Kayak Symposium will be held on the Isle of Anglesey over the weekend beginning Saturday 22nd and running through to Monday 24th October 2011. The aim of this symposium is to bring together intermediate and advanced kayakers with similar passions and provide a practical programme with an emphasis on challenging conditions, commitment and open crossings.

The registration fee for attending includes access to all workshops, evening lectures, social events, raffle ticket, delegate pack and a symposium souvenir. 

Register by August 1st 2011 and enjoy the early bird rate of £100.

Register after August 2nd at the full rate of £150 and receive a bonus gift.

There will be a daily participant rate during the main event only if places are available.

The Symposium will be based at Anglesey Outdoors and workshops/ journeys will launch from the surrounding bays and harbours. The venue offers us a great deal of flexibility and a number of workable options dependent on the weather.

Participants will need to arrange their own accommodation. An information sheet listing options, above and beyond what Anglesey Outdoors has on offer, is available on request.

On the water clinics are likely to be based around the following themes - Performance Rolling - Seamanship & Navigation - What if...? (Incident Management) - Rescues - Moving Water - Tidal Races and Overfalls - Crash and Bash (Kayak Repair) - Forward Paddling - and led by guest coaches from within the UK and further afield.

Day trips, land based workshops and lectures will be scheduled as appropriate.

BCU Paddlesports Performance Awards, trips and further coaching opportunities are planned to run from 25th - 28th October. BCU courses and trips will run when workable numbers are reached. Costs will be published in a separate post.

The intention is to attract a number of well known brands from the sea kayaking world to exhibit at this event including Kokatat Watersports Wear and Tiderace Sea Kayaks, as well as show support for local retailers such as Summit to Sea.

A booking form is now available on request.

Please e-mail Mark should you wish to discuss matters relating to the symposium.

Monday, 9 May 2011

6th UK Storm Gathering Sea Kayak Symposium - News

Here is some initial information with regards to this years UK Storm Gathering

More details to follow in due course, so please stop by again for updates

If you have any questions or queries then contact me at seakayakmark @

Main Event

Date: 22 - 24 October 2011

Workshops / Clinics (Examples): Rolling Clinics - Seamanship & Navigation - What if...? (Incident Management) - Rolling and Rescues - Moving Water - Tidal Races and Overfalls - Crash and Bash (Kayak Repair) - Forward Paddling Workshops - Lectures - Slide Shows - Day trips - Demo Boats

Guest Speakers: Helen Wilson and Jeff Allen

Guest Coaches: Helen Wilson; Aled Williams; Phil Clegg; Olly Jay; James Stevenson; Pete Jones; Warren Parker; Taino Almestica; Richard McEvoy; Nick Cunliffe; Jim Krawiecki; Paul Kuthe

Cost: £150 (3 Days). This includes access to all workshops, evening lectures, social events and a symposium souvenir. Daily rates available. Accommodation not included

BCU Week

Date: 25 - 28th October

Cost: Variable

Courses: BCU 3*, 4* (T & A), 5* (T & A), FSRT, VHF, Coastal Navigation, Open Water Naviagtion