The event is small but packed with all the right stuff. There were presentations on recent film releases like "This is The Sea IV," lots of interesting workshops were set-up for anyone who wanted to take part, and tons of shinny; pretty new toys. Plus, everyone that I had been meaning to meet was there! Gordon Brown, Aled Williams, Justine Curgenven, and others were all very nice and more than willing to talk with everyone.
There was some important things that needed done. First and most important of all, I NEEDED to sell my boat before going back home. Remember the "wind surfer" ordeal? Well, the nice girl at the airport check-in counter fudged the measurements for me to get it here, but also warned me that it may not make it back into the states. I still haven't paid off the credit card I put it on, and it was not worth the risk of leaving it behind un-paid for. Luckily, I sold it just a couple hours into the day. With the exchange rate, it more than paid for it self, plus the cost to fly it here! WooHoo!
With one task down I was straight onto the next...Justine and Barry Shaw were giving a presentation on "This is the Sea IV." I had yet to meet her and wanted to let her know that I was looking forward to her visit to Portland this November. She will be presenting the film with Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe at the Mission Theatre. We chatted for awhile and decided that we would have to try to paddle together with the rest of the gang back home when she visits.
Justine and Barry drew quite the crowd
After Justine's talk, there was a workshop on the physics of forward paddling presented by Barney Wainwright, Sport Science Manager at GB World Class. His job is to advise Great Britain's national and Olympic level coaches about there athlete's technique. It was very informative and in depth. This guy thinks about this stuff night and day...and it shows.
Up next was a visit to the Tide Race Sea Kayak booth. Aled Williams and Dave were both there to present the new line of boats just out of production. The newest boats are being made in Finland. I must say, they look superb. The new color scheme is sweet, and the quality and finish work (excuse the pun) were far and above any other company out there. I finally got to meet those guys after countless e-mails back and forth. Since I have been pursuing sponsorship, I felt it essential that I introduce myself in person. We had a nice chat before I let them get back to there BUSY booth. Seems like they were being well received from the looks of the constant stream of interested paddlers around their end of the show.
I REALLY wanted to get to the west coast and do some sea kayaking in Skye while I was here. Gordon Brown is one of the best in the biz, and told me that he might have time towards the end of the month. I tracked him down at the show and asked if it would be possible to join him this Monday / Tuesday. It turns out that not only will he be on the water, but he is running a 5 star sea refresher course! I am going to be a guinea pig / observer on a 5 star course!! This will be great training for me on advanced navigation, coastal planning, rough water skills at sea, incident management, etc... Gordon even agreed to give me a lift out there and let me use one of his boats!! What a nice guy. I am sure to learn A LOT from him in the next few days. Get ready for some Sea Kayaking shots on the next posting!!