Students are the true stars of the Golden Gate

Tiderace sent top coach Paul Kuthe in his Tiderace Xtreme kayak to the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium 2012 in one of the most spectacular and dynamic locations in the world. Paul tells his story…

Tiderace Sea Kayaks recently sent me down to San Francisco as a guest coach for one of the best rough water sea symposiums found anywhere in the world.  Made bright by warm sunshine and big smiles from some of the toughest, most enthusiastic students I have ever had the pleasure of coaching, The Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium was again a great success.

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The event attracted some of the best coaches and instructors from the West coast and across the globe.  There was a touching tribute and memorial to Tsunami Ranger Commander Eric Soares.  The amazingly entertaining explorer and professor Jon Turk presented his circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island.  San Francisco it’s self seemed to shine in the late day sun, but it was the students that proved to be the true stars of the weekend!

They were up before the sun each day ready for whatever challenges lay ahead; be it a dwarfing swell barreling in off the Pacific or whirling currents coursing through the bay.  Unforgiving barnacle encrusted rocks continually emerged from the depths to transform the heavy blue water to a bright white foam, then disappeared again in an instant, leaving behind only subtle traces along the water’s surface before re-emerging once again moments later.

Those who ventured outside “The Gate” often experienced an exhilarating combination of these forces.  I was fortuitous enough to have the opportunity to coach rock gardening all weekend with good friends such as Matt Nelson and Jeff Laxier along with some new friends like Jake Stachovak, Rowan Gloag, Nick Castro, Roger Schumann, and Duane Strosacker.

“Those who ventured outside “The Gate” often experienced an exhilarating combination of these forces.  I was fortuitous enough to have the opportunity to coach rock gardening all weekend.”

In defining moments of well timed determination and commitment, our rock gardening students punched through slots and over shelves turning the sea into a vast playground filled with endless opportunities for personal challenge and exploration.  I remain truly humbled by their passion, their courage, and the heartfelt expressions of appreciation shared after each day on the water.  It takes a certain breed to do what we do, and the participants at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium have what it takes!  I’m proud of you guys and I know Eric Soares would be too!  I thought of him often as we were passing under the gate and entering Eric’s favorite realm.  I, along with a few others, had the opportunity to lead a class just like this one with Eric at last year’s event.  He will be missed.

It takes a certain breed to do what we do, and the participants at the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium have what it takes!  I’m proud of you guys and I know Eric Soares would be too!

Thank You:  Tide Race Sea Kayaks for sponsoring this year’s symposium and making my attendance possible. Tiderace was a level 5 / presenting sponsor at the GGSKS 2012

Thanks to Paul for this blog! For the full story read Paul’s own blog

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