The New Streamlined Journey to Becoming a British Canoeing Sea Kayak Coach

A new development in British Canoeing sea kayak (and other disciplines) coaching is arriving in January 2018.  It promises to personalise, simplify and reduce the cost of gaining UKCC Level 2 endorsed sea kayak coaching qualifications.

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The pre-2018 system of UKCC Level 1 –> UKCC Level 2 –> Moderate Water Endorsement Sea –> Advanced Water Endorsement was often seen as a poorly personalised system for training and endorsing the coaching skills of discipline specific paddlers.  There are anecdotal stories of kayak/canoe clubs in recent years seeing only a few (or even none) of their members attain sea kayak coach status.  This is despite the significant enthusiasm many of their members have for introducing other participants to sea kayaking and developing their skills.

What’s new for aspirant sea kayak coaches in 2018?

Kayak Coach (sheltered water)

Sea Kayak Coach (moderate water)

Advanced Sea Kayak Coach (advanced water)

Performance Sea Kayak Coach (just a rebranding of the current UKCC Level 3 Sea Kayak Coach)

Advanced Performance Sea Kayak Coach (Performance Coach with Advanced Sea Kayak Coach)

What does this mean for me?  (The direct entry options to coach in the environment you paddle)

For sea kayakers without any personal performance, leadership or safety awards

You can attain Kayak Coach (shelterd water) by:

  • Attending the 2 day Core Training course on coaching theory
  • Followed by a 2 day Kayak Coach Training (sheltered water) course (both training courses are supported by e-learning modules and do not require workbooks).
  • Finally, when you are ready to attend a 1 day assessment you can (there are no set post-training consolidation requirements other than your own action plan).

For Sea Kayak Leaders (formerly BCU 4*)

You can attain Sea Kayak Coach (moderate water) by:

  • Attending the 2 day Core Training course on coaching theory (the same one as above)
  • Followed by a 2 day Sea Kayak Coach Training course (both training courses are supported by e-learning modules and do not require workbooks).
  • Finally, when you are ready to attend a 1 day assessment you can (there are no set post-training consolidation requirements other than your own action plan).

For Advanced Sea Sea Kayak Leaders (formerly BCU 5*)

You can attain Sea Kayak Coach, as above.

Or you can go straight to Advanced Sea Kayak Coach by:

  • Attending the 2 day Core Training course on coaching theory (the same one as above)
  • Followed by a 2 day Advanced Sea Kayak Coach Training course (both training courses are supported by e-learning modules and do not require workbooks).
  • Finally, when you are ready to attend a 1 day assessment you can (there are no set post-training consolidation requirements other than your own action plan).

Coach Award Pathway Final

For current BCU coaches

There are various routes into the new scheme, see below:

Who is providing these qualifications?

The full range of coaches and centres will be published on January 1st 2018.  Sea Kayaking Wales will be among them!

What about the other paddlesport disciplines?

Coach Award Choices

See https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/courses/new-for-2018/ for more information.

 

 

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August 2017 Adventures – Part 2

Fiona and Peter joined me for two days of kayaking in the third week of August.

17 August – Porth Eilian to Amlwch

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August 18 – Menai Bridge to Plas Newydd

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19-20 August – Sandra and Kean celebrate Kean’s birthday!

19 August – Menai Bridge

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20 August – Rhoscolyn

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August 2017 Adventures – Part 1

Peter Holshke, from Hamburg, joined me for three days of sea kayaking in the first week of August.

6 August – Menai Bridge to Indefatigable and back.

Menai Straits - Swellies

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7 August – The Stacks, Soldiers Point to Porthdafarch

Stacks

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9 August – Rhoscolyn

Rhoscolyn

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Thanks Peter!

13 August – Giovanni, Lorenzo, Paul, Ed and Geth Stacks trip

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Thanks Giovanni, Lorenzo, Paul and Ed!

Turtle Conservation and Sea Kayaking in Greece

For two weeks, in July 2017, I had the pleasure of leading a school group from Carterton College, Oxfordshire, on their Outlook Expeditions trip to Greece.  The itinerary took us from Athens to the Peloponnese Peninsula and then on to Lefkada, Ionian Islands, before returning to Athens.

The loggerhead turtle conservation project was conducted with Archelon, the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece.  Firstly, we visited Archelon’s sea turtle rescue centre in Athens, before volunteering to help with three days of morning and night surveys on the Peloponnese Peninsula.  These surveys are useful for collecting data on the turtles’ nesting behaviour and nest numbers.  Additionally, they enable Archelon volunteers to install protection around the nests to deter predation from dogs and foxes.

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Our rare sighting of a morning turtle, still nesting on the beach after sunrise.

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An attempted predation by a dog on a bamboo and steel mesh protected nest.

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Locating a newly laid nest.

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Protecting a newly found nest with bamboo and steel mesh.

For the final week of the expedition we travelled to Lefkada for a four day sea kayaking trip to the island of Meganisi.

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A secluded Lefkada island beach.

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Two of our double sea kayaks.

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Evening 1 camp site.

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Syvota

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Evening 2 and 3 camp site, Meganisi.

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Returning to Lefkada.

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Lefkada’s Blue Cave.

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Celebratory meal.

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Temple of Hephaestus

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The Acropolis

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The first modern Olympics Stadium

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Athens

A Paddle to Ynys Dulas with a Girl in a Dress! By Richard Janes

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Saturday 30th April was the first day of the Anglesey Sea kayak symposium. Now, we are not an antisocial lot, but prefer sea space when playing in tide races. We are also lucky enough to have regular access to the well known spots of the West Coast, so tend to ‘go East’ on this busy weekend.
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Forecast: Wind predominantly Southerly, (F4/5). Highwater (Liverpool): BST 1400 (9.7M)
The day started with a coffee, planning and usual banter in the Holyhead Truckstop before launching from Porth Eilian. The West side of Trwyn Eilian / Point Lynas provided a sheltered and scenic ‘bimble’ with lovely rock architecture before the headland is reached.
For the Geologically minded, these rocks are of the New Harbour Group – Mica Schist And Psammite. Metamorphic Bedrock formed approximately 542 to 635 million years ago in the Ediacaran Period. Originally sedimentary rocks formed in deep seas. Later altered by low-grade metamorphism.
Trwyn Eilian is a significant obstacle to fast moving tides. The South East (flood) starts around 5 hours 30 minutes after High Water Liverpool. The North West going Ebb Stream starts around 30 minutes before High Water Liverpool. The ebb was due to start at 1330 and we arrived with swirlings and buoy movements suggesting an early start to the ebb. Not enough to hinder our onward passage to Ynys Dulas, we were now exposed to the Southerly wind which was doing it’s best to slow us down!
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We chose a line crossing Freshwater Bay, close to shore at Porthygwychiaid and stopped for an early lunch at Porth Helygen (Willows). The beach hereabouts being a very narrow strip of rock, shingle, ‘plastic cups and sea shells, spewed from curling reach’ as we were close to Highwater. After lunch, the ebb had got going! And called for a significant ‘ferry’ angle to Ynys Dulas. I’ve often found this an interesting area. Exposed to wind from most directions, it seems to be in line of the confluence between main tidal streams and water emptying from Dulas Bay.
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Arrival at Ynys Dulas is a joy! Boats quickly surrounded by inquisitive heads of Grey Seals, the ubiquitous smell of guano delivered by many Cormorants. The island is mainly rocky, but at low tide sand is exposed, most noticeably on the southern part of the island where it separates the main rock formation from two smaller ones named Garnog (‘Hooved’). A smaller rock called Garreg Allan (‘The Outer Stone’) is found about 100 m behind the island.

The island also marks the termination of an old limestone headland which geologically separated Dulas Bay from Lligwy Bay and Red Wharf Bay.

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On the island is a beacon. Today dominated by ‘head honcho’ Cormorant, it is a cylindrical structure with a cone shaped top, built in 1821 by James Hughes of Llys Dulas Manor to store food and provide shelter for shipwrecked seamen. There is evidence from a map drawn up in September 1748 by Lewis Moore that the island was once known not as Ynys Dulas but Ynys Gadarn (‘Strong or Mighty Island’). Fascinating stuff! But it was time for us to take the escalator (ebb tide) back to Lynas and of greater importance, leave the birds and seals in peace!

 Geth had a Red Hot Date with his Wife, Kirsty and Daughter Heidi and the promise of a night in their campervan following a Red Hot Curry! (Hmmm…)  Paul and I had the promise of a play in the ebb race off Lynas!!

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 Goleudy Trwyn y Balog or Point Lynas Lighthouse grid reference; SH 479936 If you are here at night, look out for ‘Occ. 10s. 39m. 20M’ The lighthouse is a distinctive feature along this section of coast. It was designed by Jesse Hartley engineer to the Mersey Docks and was also responsible for the World’s first great floating dock system at Liverpool.

(Note: As a ‘benson Saesneg’, I’m having trouble translating ‘Balog’. Nearest I can get is ‘flies’, like on trousers! Any ideas?)

The present lantern dates from about 1874. In 1952 the station was electrified and the mechanical elements of the original light-shutter were removed. The light was automated in 1989 and is now controlled from Holyhead.

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By now, Lynas race was running at full spring tilt of nearly 5 knots. Surging, steep waves were very playful and occasionally challenging. Easy access to an ‘eddy return escalator’ made for great fun! Gethin ‘coaching’ Rachel to a new technique whilst terrified of the wrath of our Mancunian Lady if it went wrong, sharpened his technique to a higher level!

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The easy return to Porth Eilian was again, a true joy!

Oh, I nearly forgot. The Girl in a Dress? Well, I had to say something to gain attention! Young Rachel had a ‘Senior’ (has our youthful friend started early?) moment and left some paddling kit at home. Improvising and resourceful (although Rachel didn’t accept all our ideas), we fashioned kit from a spare spray deck, my XL Storm Cag (Rachel’s natural size is probably XS)  and assorted bits and pieces. We thought she looked rather fetching! Rachel said it was like; “paddling in a dress”! Take her word for it, but she did stay dry!

…..And we all had a ‘wet’ to celebrate another great day!

Richard Janes

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Anglesey Circumnavigation Mini Expedition Sept/Oct 2016

The circumnavigation of Anglesey is a fantastic 120 km seafaring challenge. The kayaking time record for this trip is 9 hours and 24 minutes and was set in 2014 by John Willacy. Most people attempting this trip allow around 4 days to complete the expedition at a more leisurely pace.

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This expedition combines impressive scenery, exposed coastline, tide races, wildlife, open crossings, and fast-flowing Menai Straits into one unique kayaking experience. Our camping sites will be in some of the most stunning wild coastal locations. This is the ultimate short multi-day circumnavigation, a sea kayaking challenge that never fails to inspire!

September 30 – October 4

Price

  • £490 including kayak and other equipment
  • £350 not including equipment

Previous paddling experience required