The initial seed about considering the Level 5 Sea award, (the highest British Canoe Union award) was sown October 2003 ... over 6 years ago. I had applied to be a student on a level 5 training course at Plas Y Brenin. It was a couple of years later, in May 2005 that I booked on the Level 5 training course, which Loel Collins was heading up and in relation to the sea element was initially supported by Nick Cunliffe and then Olly Sanders.
In June 2009 I put my self forward with support from Olly, for an assessment and unfortunately failed the first day, but passed the second day. This meant overall I had failed! Oh hum ...
Three months later I was re focused on working towards another assessment, actioning some of the extensive feedback, achieving 4 Star Sea leader trainer and assessor status as well as for the Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning award. June 2010 had now become the focus!
The 2nd day of my assessment was with my long term students and the first video clip is Helen having a go at a self rescue, called a re entry & roll and this was her first go!
The 2nd video clip is Di demonstrating and taking Helen through a paddle float self rescue and in the back ground, is Franco Ferrero the 2nd assessor. We spent an hour or so in the calm of the bay going over two self rescues and then we needed to put them into context. Point Lynas was on the last hour of the flood and with a F3/4 and occasional F5 gusts, conditions were ideal. Once in the rough stuff, both capsized and Helen choose a re-entry & roll, while Di set her self up for a paddle float self-rescue, both were successful. Nice one : )
The first day of the assessment I was with Doug Cooper (assessor), and 2 unknown American students, with a trip along the Stacks planned. This went really well and we had excellent conditions. A change to the assessment that was being trialed was starting on Friday evening, this I felt was a real bonus as more time was provide to get to know wants/needs of a student and loads more time on the water on the Saturday.
Congratulations to John Carmody who travelled over from the States, for his 2nd assessment, who also passed. Thanks to my main long term students, Di Lee for working with me for over 17 months, to Mark Baggy Richards for being one of my initial students (he achieved the level 3 sea kayak coach award) and to Helen Cooke. You all taught me allot along the way.
Big thanks to Olly Sanders, who has been my mentor throughout the whole process and introduced me to the many fine coffee shops around Anglesey, and to Sonja for her long suffering patience, as sea kayaking took priority, yet again!