Come and Play in little boats! Advanced WW Guiding, Rolling clinics and Demos
Mile End Mill

Mile End Mill Day

We'll be making extensive use of the Llangollen area - but especially on Monday 4th May, when many workshops will start from Llangollen Outdoors.
Greg Spencer

Adventure Sailing

Come and try it - basic paddle sailing through to rigging for coastal expeditions!


Get out and in North Wales - either independently or with our guides - river running through to lake & sea PLUS walking, scrambling, climbing and more!

Social & AGM

The biggest OCA gathering of the year - a great opportunity to help us plan ahead!


Assorted aspects of Canoeing from C-Boating on the Tryweryn and Dee to tidal play with Ray on the Swellies (Menai Straits) - and we've got quietwater sessions on Lynn Brenig, plus Bushcraft and more!

Update / Revalidation / Reinstatement

Updating as a coach has never looked so good - workshops with leading UK Coach Educators - for kayak coaches as well as for canoeists - update in a day without Canoefest fees!
Hou Canoes Logo

Boat / Equipment Testing

Test an exceptional range of specialist WW boats, touring canoes, tandem canoes and more - assorted venues, as appropriate to the craft / kit!

Pre- & Post-Rally Extras

Additional courses - workshops - led trips and more both before and after the Rally! 1. Pre-Rally 4* Refresher and Assessment with Ken Hughes

Dolben Hall

Latest News

Let the Festivities Begin!

That photo was taken just a few weeks ago in France, but organising Canoefest 2015 has pretty much taken over my life since then. Fortunately, we’re finally about to gather to showcase and celebrate the many ways in which little boats allow us to satisfy our natural curiosity and release our spirit of adventure. Our […]

Update – New Programme Options!

A week today, Canoefest 2015 will be well and truly under way – so it’s time for an update! Minor glitches with the system have been ironed out, and bookings and membership renewals have been flooding in – commonly mixing a little of the Core Programme with a few of the Highlight Workshops. Some key changes you may need to know […]

“Leave No Trace” with Ian Purkis

On Saturday 2nd May we’ve got Ian Purkis offering a half-day taster of what we’re hoping to add into the regular OCA calendar as entire weekends centred on Leave No Trace training – all especially developed by canoeists, for canoeists! This 3 hour taster-session will look at things like: Site selection for camping and minimising the effects of […]

“Trad” on the Tryweryn with the Canoefest Team

On Saturday 2nd May, Matt Mandrell and others from the Canoefest team will be available to take “Trad” Boaters onto the lower Tryweryn. Expect quite flexible arrangements, with scope to be guided and/or coached. This can be independently of the C-Boating with Kelvin Horner and Friends – or mixed in with the dudes in little boats.  We’ll send a […]

Coach Update

Updating as a coach has never looked so good! With Dave Kohn-Hollins heading up the team, and several workshops which are not craft-specific our 2015 update can cater for kayak coaches as well as for canoeists. Anyone just wanting to update can also attend one day of workshops without registering for Canoefest. Four full-day sessions have been put on specifically with […]

Programme Details

May Day Bank Holiday Weekend is just around the corner – and that means Canoefest 2015! Highlights this year include: Coastal Canoing with Jules Burnard A Day of Coastal Play with Ray (Goodwin) C-Boat Coaching with Kelvin Horner and friends “Trad” on the Tryweryn with the Canoefest Team River Rescue & Incident Management for Canoeists – […]

Annual General Meeting

We recently sent out our very first mailing from our all-new Open Canoe Association website – launched just in time for our forthcoming Canoefest 2015 Rally and AGM! The mailing was an invitation to: Register, get involved and/or renew your memberships; Book for Canoefest 2015 Participate in our forthcoming AGM Please click here for the formal invitation to our Annual General Meeting, […]


Ray Goodwin

Coaching Co-cordinator @ Menai Straits

Does Ray Gooodwin need any introduction? The first Multiple Level 5 Coach (WW, Sea and Canoe), he's also an MIC and has climbed and paddled on four continents. Notable canoe-based expeditions have included the first complete circumnavigation of Wales and the first unsupported crossing of the Irish Sea. Recent expeditions have included the Bloodvein and French Rivers in Canada. Following other publications, he quite literally "wrote the book" - see Canoeing at Pesda Press. For more on Ray see his profile on the Frontier Bushcraft website.

For Canoefest 2015 Ray should be heading up a day on the Swellies in the Menai Straits :)

Jules Burnard

Jules Burnard

Ex-marine and adventure paddler Jules Burnard is a BCU Level 5 Canoe Coach, inland WW paddler, sea kayaker and bushcraft specialist with a passion for solo expeditions in remote locations. Amongst other roles, he's also European Chief Instructor for Rescue Training International. If we could clone him to run simultaneous workshops in all of his areas of expertise, we would!

At Canoefest 2015, Jules will be running advanced Coastal Canoeing and river canoeing workshops.


Kelvin Horner

C-Boating Guru

C-Boater Guru and Esquif Team canoeist Kelvin Horner of can usually be found knocking about in his van or boating a crazy river - but during OCA Canoefest 2015 he'll be with us to offer his trademark blend of top tips and workshops :)

L'Edge Lite 2, Tryweryn from Sweet Skills on Vimeo.

We're hoping to hit the Tryweryn on the Saturday and Sunday and Mile End Mill on the Monday - full details to follow :D


    Chris Onions

    Aside from being a SRT Advanced Instructor and a Rope Rescue Technician Instructor trainer delivering water incident management and search classes, Chris is active within mountain rescue and has previously held the position of Regional Training Officer for the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association (NWMRA).

    Chris is currently the Regional Water Officer engaged with assisting mountain rescue teams enhance their water rescue capability. At Canoefest 2015 he will be teaming up with Tim Bird to deliver "River Rescue & Incident Management for Canoeists" - a pioneering day introducing canoeists to perspectives from beyond standard WWSR training.


      Tim Bird

      Those who know Ray Goodwin's book will have heard tales of Tim Bird: he's the one on page 36 - with the photo and story of a long portage across Rannoch Moor to Rannoch Station.

      Aside from being an SRT and Rope Rescue Instructor, Tim Bird has been a member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team for over twenty years and is a Course Director of MountainSafe, a group made up from experts from the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, Snowdonia National Park Authority and North Wales Police.

      At Canoefest 2015, Tim will be working with Chris Onions on our pilot River Rescue & Incident Management for Canoeists – Beyond WWSR course.

        alex2 (1)

        Manzo Alejandro Cordero

        How do you introduce Manzo Alejandro Cordero?  He's an ACA certified maestro in / on whatever floats... and a dive master & cave diver when he sinks. Oh - and he's got rescue-instructor certifications for everything from "high angle wizardry" through "Swiftwater" to scary sounding stuff linked to plunging the deeps.

        First and foremost though, Alex is Stand Up Paddleboard ambassador.  He's paddled professionally for manufacturers, pioneered training, organised festivals and helped expand SUP to both sea / surf and wild water river environments - and aside from coming along to meet us, he's a bring us a monster of a SUP!

        You can see him guiding it here:


          Dave Kohn-Hollins

          Dave has lived and paddled all over the UK but now calls North Wales home. He started paddling when he was at school and began coaching whilst at University. He has worked coaching and guiding all over the UK, Europe and in Chile.

          Starting from his first paddling trip abroad in Spain, Dave developed a passion for travel and exploration. His travels have so far taken in all of the great European white water destinations as well as trips to Chile, Argentina and New Zealand and expeditions to Colombia and Tajikistan.

          When not working or off on expedition, Dave also coaches as a volunteer for Colwyn Bay Canoe Club and competes in white water extreme races as part of Team Pyranha.

          Afon Cynfal - North Wales (2015) from Shaun Hazell on Vimeo.

          At Canoefest 2015, Dave will be offering “Mythbusting” and “Does Leadership Exist” workshops.


            Richard Prideaux

            As a qualified Mountain Leader, Richard has worked all over the U.K. as a freelance expedition and challenge leader on challenges such as the National Three Peaks or the Coast to Coast. As well as challenge events and expeditions Richard works in outdoor personal development He is an experienced navigation and leadership instructor, and is involved in the training of Mountain Rescue and Search and Rescue personnel across the country.

            At Canoefest 2015, Richard will be running on-site and off-site workshops on Natural Navigation (without map and compass, using natural clues and signs), Foraging and Wild Foods, Tracking (animals and human) and General Bushcraft/Wilderness Skills.

              Greg Spencer

              Greg Spencer

              Chairman and Rally Coordinator

              Greg is Chairman of the OCA and works near enough full-time to promote independent adventure, exploration, journeying and self-development.  He is a British Canoeing Coach and an American Canoe Association (ACA) Coach and has coached throughout Europe and in North America. In quiet moments he serves as Head Coach of his local Canoe and Rowing Club, as Area Coaching Representative for British Canoeing, as a member of the Yorkshire Regional Development Team, as the UK Representative of the ACA (see Symposium) and as Membership Secretary for the Open Canoe Sailing Group.

              • Email Greg Spencer
              Andy Oughton 2

              Andy Oughton

              Andy Oughton has been quietly impressing for years as a pioneering Coach Educator.

              For an example of Andy's pioneering Coach Education read his discussion of "An Integrated Approach to L2 Paddlesport Coach Education" - although if a picture tells a 1,000 words, you might just take in this photo from the Open Canoe Festival at the Drôme...

              Andy Oughton

                Caroline Carr 4

                Caroline Carr

                Caroline is director of Outdoor Learning Consultancy – a company that’s passionate about outdoor learning.

                She has developed & facilitated training programmes to support CPD for outdoor educators and teachers nationally & internationally. Through her experience in the outdoors she has an understanding of a wide range of teaching and learning pedagogies and is passionate about innovative and creative ways to inspire outdoor learning. Caroline is a UKCC L3 Canoe Coach

                Caroline Carr

                On Saturday 2nd May, Caroline will be delivering two Canoefest 2015 workshops:

                In addition, on Sunday 3rd Caroline's offering:

                That Sunday workshop will take place on the Lower Tryweryn.


                  Mat Howes

                  Nickname: The Minnow (this was a while ago - I try not to swim so much these days)

                  Hometown: York, England (UK)

                  Current City: Tidworth, England (UK)

                  Favourite Paddle: AB Edge Canoe Paddle

                  Favourite Paddling Location: Upper Fium Orbo- Corsica

                  Biography: OC1 WW is my life! Seriously ask my wife…. The hit of running “Extreme White water” in an open Canoe is like no other, each move harder than the last due to water in your boat and just being cooler than any kayaker on the water

                  Accomplishments/Experience: OC1 Descents of Allt a Chaorainn(UK), Upper Fium Orbo(Fr), Travo(Fr), Ger(Fr) Big Brush Cr(USA) Cane Crk (USA) and many more… OC1 5*WW Leader. Full Gnarlz Paddler

                  Supported by: Aquabound, Astral, FallLine Canoes

                  When I’m not pushing the limits of an open Canoe I’m usually found guiding expeditions into Borneo or teaching hammock camping and advanced campcraft around the world.


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