Anyone familiar with Wikipedia will get the idea behind the OCA Wiki: it's a community-edited online "Resource Base"... with scope to develop, in time, into a full Canoeists' Encyclopedia.

A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ wik-ee) is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser

We're currently working on a structure for core content - but we'll not let that stop us making a start - so keep checking back for additions and get in touch if you'd like to get involved!

The Important Places...

"Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

The Important Places...

"Flipping through Dad's old slides it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, if I can bring back together these two things that were young once - my father and the Colorado river - I can somehow travel back in time to learn something of who my father was...

The narration is superb... but Dad's the real star of this beautiful film....

Morall River Films - Introduction to Canoe Camping

Two years ago, Mark and Merri Morall of Morall River Films built up expectations of a DVD they had been working on by releasing "More than a River": a lush opening sequence, capturing the spirit of tripping and journeying in song as well as in great footage, and heightening anticipation by ending with Sigurd Olsen's famous line about the way of the canoe being "the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten"...

Morall River Films - Introduction to Canoe Camping

Two years ago, Mark and Merri Morall of Morall River Films built up expectations of a DVD they had been working on by releasing "More than a River": a lush opening sequence, capturing the spirit of tripping and journeying in song as well as in great footage, and heightening anticipation by ending with Sigurd Olsen's famous line about the way of the canoe being "the way of the wilderness and of a freedom almost forgotten"...

Groups

The Paddler eZine

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Wow - the water's crystal clear

The Open Canoe Association exists "promote the use of open canoes for independent adventure, exploration, journeying and self-development" - and has a commitment to "work with other organisations which promote a spirit of adventure" - so we've established a partnership with The Paddler eZine to get our great canoe-features to the widest possible audience!

Recent contributors

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

Wooden Canoe Heritage Association - UK Chapter

The Wooden Canoe Heritage Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to preserving, studying, building, restoring, and using wooden and bark canoes, and to disseminating information about canoeing heritage throughout the world.

Young & Adventurous

Commons Groups: Group contributor count and topics

This group is for under 18's, students, parents and guardians who are intrested in the outdoors.We don't only paddle but also other related and exciting "sports"! Items/topics we like to involve are camping and camping skills(bushcraft), tracking, leave no trace and environment, cooking on fire and fire lighting, foraging, archery and other target sports and lots more fanstastic stuff!

Recent contributors

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  1. As in past years, Spring 2016 saw many Open Canoe Association members heading out to the Drôme for Europe's premier open-canoe rendezvous. As ever, a few headed out before or stayed on afterwards to maximise their time in France. 

    At the Festival, Matt Thompson of Wilderness Canoe was again on the volunteer staff team at this years Open Canoe Festival. Amongst other things, this year saw him instructing in photography: a tribute to exceptional artistry at an event organised by a professional in Adventure Photography. The above album of images from this year's trips includes shots of many OCA members, and shows why he was given this role!

    Canoefest regular Ian Purkis was also running workshops on the Drôme, as were Matt, Greg and many others well known to OCA regulars, and all concerned enjoyed near idylic conditions - not seen since the inaugural British visit first blogged as Dad and Daughter in France: Drôme (Canoe Festival), Ardèche, Allier smiley

    Those familiar with the Massif Central will recognise that OCA members first joined Wilderness Canoe on the Ardéche. As ever, they took in the iconic Pont D'Arc before a wonderfully gentle and relaxing overnight trip through France's most iconic gorge. If you've not done it, do it yourself or join a peer group trip or (if you've limited experience, or want the insights that only come from working in that gorge) sign up to be led through by a guide.

    After the Open Canoe Festival, a group headed to a base on the Allier at Langeac, not least to take in the classic run from Chapeauroux to Pont d'Alleyras. With ~ rapids in ~ Km, this is rightly hailed by guidebook author Peter Knowles as "the Jewel in the Crown for paddling in the Massif Central" with almost forty rapids making for almost continuous class two white water (with a few easy bits of class three) in a beautifully wild gorge. Those attending certainly got the assured water levels, though rainfall did mean a return visit will be needed to get another fix of "crystal clear water" and "the hot sunshine of southern France" smiley

    Adrian has written up his experience and concludes...

    a really relaxed holiday with Matt giving us plenty of rope to enjoy ourselves with a watchful eye and suggested challenges which I hope improved my paddling a little

    Adrian Cooper in Central Massif with Wilderness Canoes

    If you missed out, next year's France trips are being advertised here.

  2. It had been a busy week in Cambridge where the property market is continuing to run away so I ended up having to work Friday morning. With that it mind, on Thursday evening I had loaded the trailer and topped the Defender with 108 year's worth of canoes. My 107 year old Peterborough Cedar Rib sailing canoe and my Swift Flax Fusion Osprey. At 2.30pm Friday I simply hitched the trailer and set off from St Ives. The A14 was surprisingly clear and I made good time and then joined the A11 northbound. Just before Thetford there's a sign "Norfolk. Welcome to Nelsons County". Seeing and passing that sign always lifts my spirit as it means I am 30 miles closer to Britains Magical Waterland; the Norfolk Broads. I work my way around the south and East of Norwich through Little Plumpstead and Salhouse at which point I am dangerously close to The Fur and Feathers where the Woodfordes brewery is sited. I do not falter from my route move on. I cross the humpback bridge where Wroxham becomes Hoveton and steal a glance left and get my first sight of the River Bure. Spirits lifted further I leave the land of Roy and head north until I see the outline of the round spire church atop the hill where I turn right towards Pennygate. I am excited now as I am only a few minutes from my destination and base for the weekend, Barton Turf.

    This weekend we had a joint meeting of various groups being based at Barton Turf Adventure Centre hosted by Simon and Sheila. I have fond memories of Barton Turf as in the early 1960's I used to come here with my father, hire a clinker boat from Cox's Boatyard and explore Barton Broad. 50 years on I do the same but by canoe.

    The represented groups were:-

    • OCA
    • OCSG
    • SOTP
    • WCHA
    • HBBR
    • Vegetarians
    • The Pie & Beer Appreciation Society

    Others were already pitched up on the newly cut camping field. I got the Bell Tent up quickly and set my own camp before putting up the group event shelter and building up the Frontier stove. We headed for supper which was taken at pace as with the wind having dropped, a few of us were heading out onto the Broad for a late evening paddle. It was mild, calm and idyllic as we set off.

    Read the story in full at 5 Mills on the Bure & a Wherry

  3. In a break with tradition, the 8th Open Canoe Festival was held in May... which meant blue skies and sunshine on a scale not seen since the 2nd year of the event. Hundreds of open boaters turned out from across Europe to savour a delightful region of France.

    For more comment see OCF Website and SoTP.

  4. "Last weekend, 200 odd paddlers (some very odd ) came together at Ross-on-Wye, for the OCA's Canoefest event. As the Wye is one of my favourite rivers anyway, there was the promise of cheap ale and a ceilidh, I might actually learn something from the various coaching sessions and workshops, and I'd been promised more home made pizza on the reflector ovens, I decided to join in. The added attraction of getting to paddle with, or be coached by, some of the best known folk in the paddling world didn't do any harm either [...]

    "[...] I really enjoyed this weekend. There were so many different things to try, workshops, lessons, demos, silly games, top food and ale, music (including poo songs of course), dancing and just great company. It may have cost a little more than a weekend wild camping, but the value for money was outstanding for me.

    "Many thanks to Gary, Greg, Paula, Ian and the many other OCA folk who organised this, to all the coaches, to the suppliers and manufacturers, to the Scouts who did the breakfasts and lunches, and especially to the whole bunch of paddlers who made this such a good event.

    To read in full and to see everyone else's photos and comments see Canoefest 2016 - the OCA's 60th Birthday Bash on SoTP (click here

  5. "Last weekend, 200 odd paddlers (some very odd ) came together at Ross-on-Wye, for the OCA's Canoefest event. As the Wye is one of my favourite rivers anyway, there was the promise of cheap ale and a ceilidh, I might actually learn something from the various coaching sessions and workshops, and I'd been promised more home made pizza on the reflector ovens, I decided to join in. The added attraction of getting to paddle with, or be coached by, some of the best known folk in the paddling world didn't do any harm either [...]

    "[...] I really enjoyed this weekend. There were so many different things to try, workshops, lessons, demos, silly games, top food and ale, music (including poo songs of course), dancing and just great company. It may have cost a little more than a weekend wild camping, but the value for money was outstanding for me.

    "Many thanks to Gary, Greg, Paula, Ian and the many other OCA folk who organised this, to all the coaches, to the suppliers and manufacturers, to the Scouts who did the breakfasts and lunches, and especially to the whole bunch of paddlers who made this such a good event.

    To read in full and to see everyone else's photos and comments see Canoefest 2016 - the OCA's 60th Birthday Bash on SoTP (click here

  6. OCA Membership    

    According to the Met Office, we can finally say goodbye to what has, for some, been an incredibly wet winter.  Spring has sprung... and that means we move on from what has been a varied winter, both on and off the water.  Here's a round-up of a few recent highlights...

    OCA @ the British Canoeing Coach Conference

    Before Christmas, a host of us were at British Canoeing's Coach Conference. This kicked off in fine style with Loel Collins giving a keynote address on a recurrent topic of OCA discussions: "Decision Making and Judgment in Paddlesport Coaching" - drawing on the findings of a 5 year study into coaching in adventure sports.

    Canoeing - but maybe not as you know it...The conference rounded off in even finer style as a host of coaches joined an OCA team to explore "Canoeing, but perhaps not as you know it" - looking at the sheer variety of canoeing, OC1 boats for steep creeking and river running to decked and open boats for coastal adventure sailing... and from touring solos to Va'a and a 3-up Outrigger Canoe for high speed ocean cruising... and from wild water C1 to slalom C1 and C2.  Check out a few of the photos!

    River Running & an inaugural "Quietwater-Plus" Conclave

    As in previous years, Rich Wright arranged a pair flagship winter gatherings in the south west for those into river running.  We've uploaded a few photos from the Dart and Tywi.  Elsewhere, this winter also saw our very first "Quietwater Plus" Conclave.  We aimed at “a quality weekend both on and off the water”… and whilst a few muscles were reported as a little stiff, a combination of inspirational coaching, excellent venues and (above all) enthusiastic and positive participants created a weekend to remember.

    Other boating - and news from our Facebook Group

    Of course, above and beyond such fare, most OCA Member boating over the season was independently organised.  Our 2,000+ strong Facebook Group brought us news of some of it, from Mat Howes' antics in the new "Dropzone" C-boat to Kev and Gill Robinson's excellent videos of their tandem river running - and Mark-Jan's also been highlighting a Survey reflective of the winds of change blowing through British Canoeing since the appointment of the new CEO.

    Speaking of new boats, we've also been keeping track of what's turning into a remarkable period of innovation for open boaters here in the UK, not least with new, UK-built Polyethylene boats from Silverbirch, Hou & Venture - plus UK built composite boats from Burnett Boats and Solway Dory and international news, including of the new Savage River Illusion.

    Canoefest 2016

    Looking ahead, our year moves on very shortly with an Easter gathering at Barton Broad, but shortly afterwards, at the end of April, Gary Rice and his team have arranged for us to gather for the highlight of our 60th Anniverary Celebrations: Canoefest 2016 @ Ross-on-Wye.

    Gary's written an introduction entitled "a little of what you can expect…" and elsewhere on the website you'll find an outline Programme and coaching team (including with Ray GoodwinBecky MasonIan Purkis and Mat Blackwell) and much else.  You'll also find a link to the online booking form on the OCA website.

    Open Canoe Festival

    Hot on the heels of Canoefest we've got the Open Canoe Festival on the Drôme... and for the first time, this is being held in May to showcase this glorious river and valley at its very best.  Get in touch if you'd like to join us!

    Elsewhere...

    Our events team is also pulling together a huge calendar of UK events for 2016 and beyond.  Many dates have already been added.  Other dates we've already got should all appear in the near future.  

    If you want something else, and don't mind doing a little organising... send through some details and lets see what we can arrange!

    These events are just some of the ways in which OCA Members work to promote canoeing here in the UK.  If you're wanting to support this work, to contribute to this work or to take advantage of the opportunities being provided, please give some thought to Membership - whether joining or renewing!

    Sincerely,

    The OCA Committee

    You may also like this...

    Most of our events get listed under "Getting Involved"...

    Getting Involved

    Hint: click the image!

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    We have specialist groups for different areas:
     
    Sailing...

    Adventure Sailing

    C-Boating...

    OCA C-Boating

    Coastal Canoeing...

    Coastal Canoeing

    Festivals & Symposia...

    Festivals and Symposia
    River Running...
    River Runners
    Paddles, Boats & Kit...
    https://www.opencanoe.info/groups/paddles-boats-other-gear-equipment
    And Quietwater Canoeing....
    Quietwater Plus

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    Leadership Development within the OCA....

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    Other innovations in coaching...

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    Your Membership may well be due!  This is now all handled online.  Use the most relevant of these links:

    Please address any queries to our Membership Secretary, Paula.

     

     

     

     

     

  7. From OC1 boats for steep creeking and river running to decked and open boats for coastal adventure sailing... and from touring solos to Va'a and a 3-up Outrigger Canoe for high speed ocean cruising... and from wild water C1 to slalom C1 and C2... we introduced folk to a lot of craft on Sunday at the British Canoeing Coach Conference!

    At the steep creek end of things, Matt Blackwell had folk carving, varying cadence and playing with heel and pitch - including in the new Silverbirch Covert. That was all whilst introducing insights from his preferred world of flares, boofs and ear-dips on advanced WW. At the other extreme, we also had Matt showing his versatility with a short session introducing the high-kneeling stance - as used for racing, but also (by some, at least for variation) in touring. 

    Everyone worked hard on sit-and-switch (aka North American Touring Technique) in a solo J-203 for "optimum wake riding in packs" and in Pro Boats designed to "maintain and keep a 'pop' in shallow water." At the other extreme, we were "drilling holes in the water" with Freestyle moves in touring solos fromBill Swift / Sebastian Stetter.

    Paul Lister brought along his exceptional "Pride of Manchester": perhaps the most beautiful and yet functional sailing canoe ever produced by David Stubbs at Solway Dory.Andrew Oughton also deployed a big stick to ensure sailing wasn't the only way in which we got "beyond the paddle" - and he managed to fit in a great introduction to the new Touring Awards.

    Special thanks go to Richard Parrot and Stefanie Mullins of the Paddlesports Racing Canoe Club and to the 15 delegates whose enthusiastic participation (and diverse takes) took us down so many different paths. A great day :)

  8. From OC1 boats for steep creeking and river running to decked and open boats for coastal adventure sailing... and from touring solos to Va'a and a 3-up Outrigger Canoe for high speed ocean cruising... and from wild water C1 to slalom C1 and C2... we introduced folk to a lot of craft on Sunday at the British Canoeing Coach Conference!

    At the steep creek end of things, Matt Blackwell had folk carving, varying cadence and playing with heel and pitch - including in the new Silverbirch Covert. That was all whilst introducing insights from his preferred world of flares, boofs and ear-dips on advanced WW. At the other extreme, we also had Matt showing his versatility with a short session introducing the high-kneeling stance - as used for racing, but also (by some, at least for variation) in touring. 

    Everyone worked hard on sit-and-switch (aka North American Touring Technique) in a solo J-203 for "optimum wake riding in packs" and in Pro Boats designed to "maintain and keep a 'pop' in shallow water." At the other extreme, we were "drilling holes in the water" with Freestyle moves in touring solos fromBill Swift / Sebastian Stetter.

    Paul Lister brought along his exceptional "Pride of Manchester": perhaps the most beautiful and yet functional sailing canoe ever produced by David Stubbs at Solway Dory.Andrew Oughton also deployed a big stick to ensure sailing wasn't the only way in which we got "beyond the paddle" - and he managed to fit in a great introduction to the new Touring Awards.

    Special thanks go to Richard Parrot and Stefanie Mullins of the Paddlesports Racing Canoe Club and to the 15 delegates whose enthusiastic participation (and diverse takes) took us down so many different paths. A great day :)

  9. From OC1 boats for steep creeking and river running to decked and open boats for coastal adventure sailing... and from touring solos to Va'a and a 3-up Outrigger Canoe for high speed ocean cruising... and from wild water C1 to slalom C1 and C2... we introduced folk to a lot of craft on Sunday at the British Canoeing Coach Conference!

    At the steep creek end of things, Matt Blackwell had folk carving, varying cadence and playing with heel and pitch - including in the new Silverbirch Covert. That was all whilst introducing insights from his preferred world of flares, boofs and ear-dips on advanced WW. At the other extreme, we also had Matt showing his versatility with a short session introducing the high-kneeling stance - as used for racing, but also (by some, at least for variation) in touring. 

    Everyone worked hard on sit-and-switch (aka North American Touring Technique) in a solo J-203 for "optimum wake riding in packs" and in Pro Boats designed to "maintain and keep a 'pop' in shallow water." At the other extreme, we were "drilling holes in the water" with Freestyle moves in touring solos fromBill Swift / Sebastian Stetter.

    Paul Lister brought along his exceptional "Pride of Manchester": perhaps the most beautiful and yet functional sailing canoe ever produced by David Stubbs at Solway Dory.Andrew Oughton also deployed a big stick to ensure sailing wasn't the only way in which we got "beyond the paddle" - and he managed to fit in a great introduction to the new Touring Awards.

    Special thanks go to Richard Parrot and Stefanie Mullins of the Paddlesports Racing Canoe Club and to the 15 delegates whose enthusiastic participation (and diverse takes) took us down so many different paths. A great day :)

  10. From the River Mersey and the Irish Sea to the River Humber and the North Sea via the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation to the Humber Port of Goole - a Trans-Pennine adventure by David Truzzi-Franconi and Steve Seinet-Martin.

  11. From the River Mersey and the Irish Sea to the River Humber and the North Sea via the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation to the Humber Port of Goole - a Trans-Pennine adventure by David Truzzi-Franconi and Steve Seinet-Martin.

  12. A Findhorn descent (see Ray Goodwin's photos) was one of many successful trips OCA members participated in at the Scottish Canoe Symposium. The event opened on Friday evening with inspirational talks from Jules Burnard and Ray Goodwin. Several of us opted for trips on the Middle Findhorn on Saturday, levels were low but it was good to do another a new river.

    Sunday I stayed local and played around with poling followed my Lennart's freestyle session in the afternoon, the Swift Raven proved an ideal boat for this but not so good for poling. Glenmore Lodge proved to be an excellent base with luxurious accommodation and superb food, thanks to Dave and his team for hosting.

    The long drive was made worthwhile with OCA trips pre and post symposium including the Tay with Jules and the Spey with Pancho, plus several OCA members participated in Wilderness Canoes classic Assynt adventure. It would be good to some pictures and stories from these journeys here.

    After the symposium I headed west to Fort William to participate in the first of two OCA 5 star training courses being run by Jules. For once the weather in Scotland was too nice and we unfortunately had no wind for the sailing and open water sessions. For the river days we used the Awe and the Garry. Lots of learning and new skills.

    Highlight for me was the night time navigation exercise on Loch Levin. All in all a fantastic couple of weeks canoeing for lots of OCA members.

     

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