Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium

Last weekend I headed to the San Francisco Bay Area for the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium (GGSKS). This was the event’s sixth year, and I’ve been lucky enough to have been at each one. The GGSKS is an open water event that takes place under the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge provides a nice backdrop for the symposium.

The Golden Gate Bridge provides a spectacular backdrop for the symposium.

This year’s event had more sign ups than any other year, and spirits were high as the sun shone brightly the first day. Throughout the weekend I instructed two days of Bracing and Rolling and one day of Fun, Balance, Games and Rolling. One thing that I always enjoy about the GGSKS is working with instructors that I haven’t worked with before. I had the opportunity to run classes with Jarrod Gunn McQuillianDavid Johnston and Cindy Scherrer. Clear skies and bright sun filled the first two days, and on the final day the rain and the wind arrived. This was good, as California is in a drought, and participants celebrated the much needed rain by spending the day playing in it on the bumpy water.

There are many ways to practice balance.

There are many ways to practice balance.

The dock was the perfect place to practice maneuvering.

The dock was a great place to practice maneuvering strokes.

This year’s keynote speakers were Erik Boomer and Sarah McNair-Landry. Their presentation was on a 65 day, 1,000 km journey across Baffin Island in traditional skin-on-frame kayaks that they built for the expedition.

Everyone gathered indoors on Sunday for the morning announcements. Much needed rain, and a little wind, waited outdoors.

Everyone gathered indoors on Sunday for morning announcements. Much needed rain, and a little wind, waited outdoors.

The GGSKS is an open water event, with classes that are designed to challenge participants. Once again, Sean Morley and Matt Palmariello did a fantastic job of putting everything together. This year’s event hosted both new and previously popular classes. It was great to catch up with participants, coaches and staff. Thanks to Sean and Matt for having me there once again, and to Riley and his assistants for keeping everyone so well fed.

It's always great to catch up with everyone. Here Ben Lawry enjoys dessert after a busy day on the water.

It’s always great to catch up with everyone. Here Ben Lawry enjoys dessert after a busy day on the water.

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