Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pagaia Sea Kayak Symposium

The Pagaia club is a sea kayaking club based in Costa Brava. Every two years it hosts the biggest sea kayaking symposium in Europe with around 250 paddlers attending the week-long event.

Last January I was invited to coach at the symposium  and the first thing I was asked to do was to make a short video to help promote the event.

The flight into Barcelona was spectacular. The weather was clear and there were spectacular views over the snowy peaks of the Pyrenees. Next was a two hour drive along the coast to Llança where the symposium is based.

The first three days of the event are spent doing workshops in specific skills like rolling, forward paddling and boat handling. I teamed up with my friend Rick to coach rock-hopping and incident management.

After the first day a banquet was held for all 250 participants. The seafood paella was made and served up by volunteers from the Pagaia Club. The evening was rounded of with a warm rum drink, which is traditional among fishermen and sailors from this region.

The rest of the week was spent helping out with guided trips of the region. This is an opportunity to put the skills learned during the weekend workshops into practice. We even started some of our trips in Port Lligat which is famously overlooked by the house of Salvador Dali.

For the most part we were very lucky with the weather and sea conditions. There was only one day with any significant swell. On that day many paddlers felt 'tested' in the two-metre swell with awkward choppy clapotis.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Pagaia Club de Caiac Cap de Creus for inviting me, and for making me feel so welcome. I hope to be back in two years time.