Dolben Hall

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Canoefest 2015 Pricing

Canoefest 2015 aims to tread a fine line.  Past, present and prospective members have hugely diverse aspirations and expectations.  Some would like to bring family and join friends for a relaxed few days… but at the other extreme, we’ve calls for intensive programmes of first rate, highly original workshops in the manner of a symposium. For […]

Micro-Adventure Challenge

If your canoeing is about tripping and journeying then our CanoeFest 2015 “Micro-Adventure Challenge” might be for you. The challenge: to get up on the morning of Saturday 2nd May… and depart Dolben Hall for your own, short micro-adventure! Rules – mostly “don’t do stupid” – and “do take photos” 🙂 We’re encouraging anyone who’d like to take 36 hours out […]

Programme details and booking arrangements

Over the next week or so we will be finalising and publishing further details for Canoefest 2015. ***** Update ***** Update – Programme and Bookings Now Online HERE Share this link: ***** End ***** We’re currently awaiting confirmation of a host of other leading coaches, and are still sorting the details of their workshops. Within […]

Pre-Rally 4* Refresher and Assessment

Ken Hughes is the leading coach in the UK for Performance Boating in an Open Canoe. Although generally operating in the NE of England and up in Scotland… he has agreed to travel to North Wales to offer an “OCA Special” – four days of outstanding paddling and “trad skills” in the week leading up […]

C-Boating UK @ OCA ’15

Ever wanted to know what those funny little canoes are all about? Are you interested in pushing your whitewater paddling to a whole new level? Well the team from C-Boating UK will be on hand all weekend offering River Guiding from G2 to G4 (maybe G5). Also available: Rolling Clinics, Taster Sessions, Safety and Rescue […]

Canoefest 2015!

For 2015 the OCA Canoefest is heading to North Wales! Date: 1st – 4th May Venue: Dolben Hall (near St Asaph) + Lynn Brenig Afon Conwy / Aber Conwy Canolfan Tryweryn Lynn Tegid (Bala) Afon Dyfrdwy (Llangollen / Chester) More! Further details (programme, costs, booking information) to follow!

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

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.

      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.

        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.

          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.

            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:

              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

              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

                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.


                  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.

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