Our Website is Getting a Spa!

Well, sort of. During the upcoming weeks the pages will change somewhat; same look just more to offer! We will be adding a page specifically for techniques articles, a link to canoeing videos, and we’ll be also linking to Facebook!

Stay tuned!

Finishing up 2011

YMCCC River Reading Course

Our fall season finished with the Y River Reading course on the Ottawa River Middle and Main channels. The weekend was highlighted by both superior paddling and culinary skills. Thanks for the terrific food, gang! As always, a very entertaining weekend.

Festivals and Events:

Andrew attended the Gauley River Fest this year – first time in about ten years! He and a group of advanced paddlers will likely appear in the upcoming Canoe Movie II which was being partially filmed at the event.

Gull River Race 2011

Our only race this year was the Gull River Race during the second weekend of September. Unfortunately I was (and still am) nursing a partial supraspinatus tear (and probably labrum as well) in my shoulder and couldn’t participate. Andrew did and brought home 4 medals – 3 gold and one silver. Steve Senoir, coached by Andrew over the summer, was successful obtaining a top 5 finish! Well done, Steve!!

MKC’s 40th Anniversary!

August was quite memorable especially being at MKC with past and present alumni for 5 days of teaching and ending on the weekend with the Anniversary celebration. Over 300 instructors, and staff with their families attended, some of which worked at MKC from the very first days in 1972. It was for us a truly magical time. For Andrew it was reconnecting with people he had taught with since 1992-93 – so over 20 years! For me, I was in awe as most of my relationship with MKC was through the instructor programs with Whitewater Ontario, and had not spent much time at the facility proper. It was wonderful to see so many people share the same teaching philosophies, camaraderie, and how MKC played an important part of each of these persons’ lives in some form or another. (Not to mention recapping the past practical jokes!!) Thanks to Claudia and Dirk for making MKC – OWL what it is today.

The Red Deer River, Alberta

The last week of July found us at a dude ranch right beside the Red Deer River for Alberta’s first Paddling Symposium. Hoskins Canoe hosted this 10 day event which had local instructors as well as a crew from the east: Dave Humphries, Paul Mason, Andrew, and yours truly. The Symposium comprised 5-day and 2-day Novice to Advanced technique courses for both tandem and solo.

The instructors never having been on the Red Deer were taken down by local advanced paddler, Ryan on an epic run on the Sunday covering the equivalent of 3 day trips. By the end of the day we realized a few things: first there are NO eddies big enough to stage practice drills on the river (well no, there were perhaps 3), second, this river is continuous as in, you swim, you better have good self rescue, and finally there are NO (I mean zero) flat water areas to fine tune paddle strokes. No lakes either. After some prodding, we found out that a local kayak club was using the fire water reserve pool in back of the town Home Hardware to play water polo. Yep. You got it. That was our flatwater area! It was great to teach the 2X4 as a technique to carve in and out of river features.

I had the opportunity to do a woman’s only course that was very successful. The course not only looked at honing skills, but also using the river to one’s advantage by focusing on efficiency. We also dealt with real vs. perceived risks and how to manage that mindset. Mornings would start with focusing on a mix of yoga style stretches and meditation. Near the end we had a few of the boys join in on the stretches as well!

Andrew and Paul taught an advanced skills course in their usual style of precision and playboating in the same course. Paul drew a collage that showed some interesting events that happened during the week. Evenings had us viewing the day’s videos and Paddle Pointers technical video clips.

A big thank-you to Hoskins Canoe and the crew for making this an amazing trip that I will not soon forget!

Check out this link for photos and video on the event!







Update – Massechusetts July 2011

We were invited to the Deerfield river to teach a course on the Dryway section by Ken Glusman. Having never been on this section, we were quite excited by the prospect! It definitely has some creeking aspects to it and draws in the use of river scouting, and quick manoeuvering to get must moves – a perfect playground for advanced instructing!! We started the 3 day course honing down precision paddling skill and used the Zoar Gap eddies as targets for manoveuring. Our group consisted of Ken, Deb Riel and Rod Sleith, Barry Kesselman, Tom Sawyer and Charlie Sweet. Our proud supporters were Ellen Glusman, Diane Sawyer, and Julie Sweet who joined us for the apres-canoe! Thanks for the good times, victuals, toasts and lovely conversations!


New This Year!

Several people have asked Andrew to start doing personal coaching for canoe slalom. Steve Senoir in particular sparked Andrew’s interested and we have thus started a new endevor of personal coaching! This includes analysis of where the person is in their slalom skills and creating a work plan to improve; nutritional advice and planning better nutritional habits;  helping the athlete in training with skill exercises; and support during races. Steve our “first” coaching client achieved a top 5 finish at the Gull River Race. Way to go Steve on an astounding success! We are already signing up participants for the coming year! Let us know if you want to take part.



Spring 2011 – Tennessee and Paddle Canada

March Tennessee Trip:

Basement floods a week before we leave for paddling in Tennessee. (BTW we are still finishing renos in the basement). Tennessee was amazing as always. Ended up doing some new creeks as there was a good amount of water that week. The best thing about this trip is reconnecting with the crew in the US. Paddling season had begun!

Paddle Canada:

Andrew has been busy most of the year taking part in the Canoe Program Development committee representing Ontario. The Canoe Instruction Manual came out this spring and he spent time recertifying and conducting PC Instructor Clinics throughout the year.

I obtained my PC Advanced Instructor for both Solo and Tandem canoe last year from PC IT Andy Convery so was quite keen to get some specialized courses going!