GASP! Gulf Area Sea Paddlers

Sweetwater Kayaks Florida '98 Gulf Coast Sea Kayak Symposium

Derek Hutchinson, Nigel Dennis, and Nigel Foster will be featured at 1998 Sweetwater Kayaks Florida Gulf Coast Sea Kayak Symposium: 27 February - 1 March 1998, Ft. Desoto Park, Tampa, FL.

From February 27 through March 1, 1998 three prominent British Canoe Union Coaches, Derek Hutchinson, Nigel Dennis and Nigel Foster , will set the stage for a weekend of paddling, learning, and increasing our appreciation for the multi-dimensional sport of sea kayaking at Ft. Desoto Park, Tampa.

North American BCU coaches Scott Williams (Sarasota) and Dave Ide (Michigan) will team up with Derek and both Nigels to lead three action-packed days of sea kayak instruction.

Both Nigels and Derek have numerous international sea kayaking expeditions to their credit, and are known worldwide for their influence on sea kayak instruction and sea kayak design. These three BCU coaches are defining influences of modern sea kayaking. If you are interested in paddling, then this is the event to attend. Paddle with the experts in a fun and informal setting.

The Florida Gulf Coast Symposium will follow the successful format of the Anglesey Sea Symposium, held in Wales, Great Britain. Novices and experts alike will enjoy watching, learning, joining in, trying new equipment, being entertained, and most of all having fun with fellow paddlers. All participants will have a chance to learn and share their skills and experiences in this unique forum, and all paddlers will gain new insights into this great sport!

As a symposium participant, you will enjoy camping near the water in the clean and well maintained Ft. Desoto Park campground (motels are also available). You can plan on catching the continental breakfasts at the beach, participating in the skills sessions in the lagoon, sitting in on some lectures, honing your paddling skills on the tours, and attending the catered dinner and the stimulating evening programs. If you are anything like me, you'll have a hard time fitting it all in, there simply isn't enough time in three days!

Drawing on the success of the 1997 Florida Gulf Coast Symposium, the 1998 symposium program will include instructional sessions on basic, intermediate and advanced paddling skills, tours for beginner, intermediate, and advanced paddlers, as well as sessions on rolling, towing, surfing, bracing, navigation, and rescues. The symposium's emphasis is on "hands on" participation, so the lectures on boat design, boat repair, expedition planning, and clothing could give you a break from the water. In 1998 we hope to add sessions on safety by search and rescue personnel and weather by a meteorologist. There are numerous concurrent sessions, so you must choose among a range of possible activities for each time slot. The great thing is, no matter what your skill level, there is always something to do.

The $165 registration fee includes participation in all activities, the continental breakfasts, the catered dinner, and evening programs. Join us for this exciting and fun weekend of sea kayak instruction.

For more information and to obtain a registration form and brochure, contact:

Sweetwater Kayaks
5263 Ocean Blvd., #7
Sarasota, FL 34242,
(941) 346-1179, fax (941) 346-0713
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