This year marked the 25th annual Delmarva Paddler’s Retreat, which took place last weekend on Rehoboth Bay in Delaware. This was my fourth time at this event and every year I’ve gone it has been an absolute blast.
The event is organized by Robin Snow and Chris Beckman, and they do a fantastic job.
Several people arrived early to build kayaks with Brian Schulz. I arrived early to attend the Qajaq USA board meeting, and I stopped in a couple of times to admire the gorgeous F1 qajaqs that they were building.
What made this year a little unique was the weather. The usually calm bay was stirred up by wind and rain, which made the water quite challenging. Some chose to brave out the storm, which lasted throughout the entire event, while others chose a roll class in one of the camp’s two swimming pools. Others worked on Greenland Rope Gymnastics inside with Dubside or were critiqued on their strokes with Greg Stamer who was using an ergometer.
Of course the weather didn’t prevent usual activities such martinis with Dan Segal, a fantastic silent and live auction and a raffle, which had some incredible prizes, two of which I was thrilled to win. Eiichi Ito presented on Greenland Kayaking in Japan, and James Manke gave a presentation on kayaking the Grand Canyon. Peter Gengler kept people entertained with his 3rd Annual Peter’s Shorts (If you don’t know what that is, I guess you’ll have to come next year). There was also a qajaq skinning demonstration taking place throughout the weekend. Each morning I ran Yoga for Outdoor People, and the rest of my time was spent in the pool, working with participants on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.
The usual Palo’s Wedding race began with a portage to the pool. It wasn’t easy though because Qajaq USA’s president Terry O’Malley aggressively chased racers with a hose.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Thanks to the organizers for having me there, and to everyone who attended for creating such a memorable event. See you next year!