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News - upcoming events and more

From: Saul_K
Sent on: Thursday, April 15, 2010 5:28 AM
Seattle Sea Kayaking Group news

You may be noticing that I am putting more of an emphasis on skills training over trips this year, I made a decision to try and get my 2009 flabby body back in shape this year which means that I need to spend more time biking and running which means that the time I can commit to paddling events is reduced a bit. Looking at the member survey results (the most requested item was training) as well as the challenging multi day trips for this summer that I have already posted, I figured skills training was a needed focus.

A few changes:
Waivers, one of our members shared with me a summary of lawsuits that have been filed against local kayaking instructors and strongly urged me to get insurance or use waivers to protect myself better. With the insurance being near 1k per year (I will probably buy it next fall), I?ve decided to use waivers for our classes and trips for the interim. We all understand that kayaking has inherent dangers, primarily exposure, drowning and being run over by power craft, we minimize each through use of safety gear such as wetsuits, drysuits, pfd?s, avoiding heavy boat traffic areas etc. I will start bringing waiver/sign in sheets to events, if you aren?t comfortable signing them then I won?t be able to let you join us. One of the most vivid examples of recent lawsuits was a gentleman that capsized, choked on some water, appeared to have recovered, continued with a class and had a heart attack later in the day. Because the stress of the water had overloaded his heart his deathe waas classified as a drowning by the coroner and the instructor had a life changing financial and stress experience from the lawsuit. Since we do our training sessions as volunteers and don?t take $$ I originally thought that we were safe, but it appears that we are not really protected.

New Events:
I am trying to post at least one paddle per week to give everyone time on the water.
I will post a second session for several of our training session dates, and want to thank in advance the people that are helping me with the sessions.
We have a large number of volunteer opportunities this spring and summer with various triathlons and swims, I understand that many of you have full schedules, but I do appreciate the help where we can get it, a few of the events pay us a nominal fee and I use the money for equipment and going forward probably for insurance, others don?t and I do it out of respect for the underlying cause or because I personally know someone involved with the event. This year we are supporting Danskin, Trak and Cottage Lake Triathlons and we will probably support the cancer societies Swim Across America (it schedule conflicts with one of the Woodinville Triathlons so I will ask one of our assistant organizers (EQ) to lead that event, and I will ask those of you that can, to support her and make the event a fun experience.

Another one of our assistants (Eric Sarchet ? the poi boy (balls of fire) ;-) will post a series of island circumnavigations this year.

Sea Kayaker Magazine is running a series of articles that reference our group and I expect that that will drive more members and a bit more work organizing events. Congratulations Melissa on being their major focus on newbie paddlers.

We need to continue to manage no shows better as it presents a huge exposure to stolen gear.

Overall I am looking forward to the upcoming season of fun events, and seeing each of you on the water - Saul

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