February 2010 saw nearly a hundred delegates come together for the 3rd Paddlesport Expedition Symposium at Plas y Brenin in North Wales. It was organized by Pete Catterall, Head of Paddlesports, and supported by many great guest speakers and coaches including the likes of Justine Curgenven and Ray Goodwin, one of the UK’s few triple Level 5 coaches. The event provided a memorable opportunity for participants from all over the UK, Europe and the USA to come together to share their experiences and skills.
The two days was jam packed with fascinating talks, workshops and discussions covering everything from canoe poling, gear selection, tarpology with Jules Burnard and bushcraft to bear proofing your kit, recording the trip and exploring leadership / group dynamics on expedition with yours truly. It was all run with the relaxed professionalism always associated with Plas Y Brenin. However that didn’t stop a few symposium staff from getting up to mischief on the Sunday morning by participating in some ‘snowyaking’ after a fresh dump of powder!
Saturday was concluded with a highly exclusive preview of Justine’s forthcoming DVD release of ‘This is Canoeing’, which was very well received. This was followed by Peter Catterall and his team talking about their ‘Below and Beyond Machu Pichu ‘09’ trip which was a kayaking expedition to complete a first decent of the Rio Concebidayoc in the Quillabamba region of Peru.
Overall it was an engaging and enjoyable experience as to be there as a guest speaker and occasional participant when there was time to sneak into other workshops. Praise should go to Pete and all the team for delivering a great symposium that was all things to all participants with plenty of time to network and gather information.
As always, ...and a big thank you to Kokatat who continue to provide me with quality paddling apparel to wear on and off the water