The 2010 ACA National Paddlesports Conference has just released the educational sessions. Expert presenters from across the U.S. (and Canada) are committed to giving you the most bang for your buck of any paddlesports related conference.
Spaces are limited, so register soon, it'll be here before you know it!
As you know, the ACA relocated our national office to Fredericksburg, VA about 3 years ago. Prior to that, the ACA Stewardship Department had worked with the local group, Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) on the demolition of the Embrey Dam, along with the help of former U.S. Senator Warner.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of FOR. They have done an exemplary job of protecting the Rappahannock River which runs from the mountains to the bay and through Fredericksburg.
Our friends at FoxWorx Paddles handcrafted a one of a kind canoe paddle commemorating FOR's 25 years of service!
For more information about the ACA's Stewarship work in your local water way, click here.
Cireena assumes this dual role for the ACA starting on September 23rd. She will be the point of contact for all ACA insurance related questions (clubs, events, instructors, and hull). In addition, she will assist Anne Vetterlein in the Membership Department.
She has an extensive background in property management as well as administrative experience with a range of different companies. We are glad to welcome Cireena to the ACA staff.
Travis Festa - Education Outreach & Club Coordinator
A native of Wytheville, VA, Travis graduated from Brevard College with a degree in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education. Prior to joining the ACA staff, he worked for Green River Adventures in Saluda, NC. In addition, Travis is a Level 4: Whitewater Kayaking Instructor, a Leave No Trace Trainer, a Wilderness First Responder and has taken the ACA Swiftwater Rescue course. He joined the SEI Department full time in September 2010 to assist with the administration of the national instructor program, and event outreach for paddling clubs.
Auction Item: Guided rafting trip for up to 7 people on the Nantahala River in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with legendary paddler and International Whitewater Hall of Fame inductee Payson Kennedy. Payson Kennedy co- founded the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser, NC in 1972 with Horace Holden, at which time it was a combination motel, restaurant, store and outfitting business. Kennedy played a stunt double in Deliverance, in 1972, and soon thereafter started racing, eventually winning six national championships in C2 between 1974 and 1984. He helped start the nation’s oldest triathlon, the Outdoorsman Triathlon, in which he still competes. NOC is now a $15 million a year operation with 600 summertime employees who serve 200,000 outdoor enthusiasts annually. NOC now is recognized as the largest Outdoor education/recreation center in the world and was recently rated as “one of the best outfitters on Earth” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
A recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington, Rachel has been a summer intern with the ACA for several years. She joined the full time staff in August of 2010 as the administrative assistant for the office and divides her time between the ACA's three main departments: Membership, SEI and Stewardship.
CLEVELAND – The Ninth District Coast Guard District is launching “Paddles Up Great Lakes,” an educational outreach campaign aimed at raising safe boating awareness among the region’s paddlesports community.
The campaign begins Labor Day weekend and runs through Sept. 10.
“Paddlesports is the fastest growing segment of recreational boating,” said Frank Jennings, Jr., the Ninth District’s recreational boating safety program manager. “Current economic conditions coupled with the modest entry-level cost of paddlecraft have contributed to a surge in the popularity of this sport.”
With the growth of this user group, the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary are engaging paddlers and paddling groups in the interest of on-water safety. Coast Guard boating safety statistics from 2009 indicate 255 paddlers either died or were injured while paddling on our Nation’s waters. Of those, 120 drowned.
“Paddlers are boaters," Jennings said. "But, there’s generally no mandatory boater education requirement unless required by state law when renting from an outfitter or livery. Many new paddlers are potentially taking to the water with little or no awareness of required safety equipment or safe paddling practices. Our goal is to raise that awareness.”
During "Paddles Up Great Lakes," Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel, along with participating federal, state and local partners will be passing out safety and education information, as well as self-adhesive ID stickers to canoe and kayak owners. The self-adhesive ID stickers aid marine patrol and rescue personnel in quickly locating owners of paddlecraft found empty and adrift on the water, potentially shortening the duration of search efforts.
If not available locally, paddlecraft ID stickers can also be obtained from the Coast Guard’s Ninth District Auxiliary and Boating Safety Branch, by e-mailing a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the campaign and throughout the year the Coast Guard recommends the following for a safer paddling experience:
Paddlesports are the fastest growing segment of recreational boating, with more than 300,000 paddlecraft (primarily kayaks) now being sold annually. Paddlecraft are an extremely affordable entry point to recreational boating, which is attractive to new boaters, boaters downsizing from larger boats and those interested in getting closer to the environment.
New and inexperienced paddlers should seek out paddler education before heading out on the water. The Coast Guard Auxiliary now offers the “Paddlesports America Course,” a four-hour, classroom-based introduction to paddling safety, techniques and safety strategies.
Courses may also be offered by the U.S. Power Squadrons, state departments of natural resources, community park districts and local commercial outfitters.
Several months ago we let our readers know that Valerie Fons had developed a rare form of leukemia and was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant. Valerie set a Guinness record for paddling the length of the Mississippi and in 2009 she was a keynote speaker at the ACA National Paddlesports Conference in Fredericksburg.
We’re writing now to report that the transplant was successful and Valerie will soon be returning to Washington Island, Wisconsin, after three months of medical supervision in Seattle. That’s no small feat. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia is lethal for many adults, and Valerie has come through the transplant and initial recovery with flying colors.
That’s the good news. The challenge is that bills are mounting, Valerie’s husband has also been ill, and they have six adopted children. Her three months of post-op care in Seattle have left her with about $23,000 in unpaid bills—and that’s before the medicine and homecare that will be required over the next twelve months.