BISKS Coaches for 2017

Our coaches for 2017 are now confirmed and this will be one of the best line ups yet….

The coaches list, is provided below and if you would like to find out more about each of the coaches, the pen pictures and biographies below will provide you with background.

The Coaches…..


Gordon Brown

We are delighted to welcome Gordon Brown to the 2017 Symposium.

Gordon has set up, co-owns and works at Skyak Adventures on the Isle of Skye.  His focus for paddlesports coaching is sea kayaking although he holds awards in other disciplines.  He believes that everyone has the potential to achieve more and that a creative and supportive environment can lay the foundations for the greatest advances in personal development.  Gordon also values the importance of taking time to reflect and learn from the experience and his most rewarding experiences are when helping others achieve their potential.

He is a published author and has made a series of instructional DVDs.  He is currently writing a new book about sea kayak safety and rescue.

Find out more at: www.skyakadventures.com

gordon-brown

Gordon Brown

Above photograph courtesy of Tom Gomes.


Doug Cooper

Doug is a BCU Level 5 sea and white water coach who works at Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore in Scotland’s National Outdoor Centre. Much of his time is spent delivering and developing the coaching and leadership awards for the BCU. Over the years he has helped lots of people progress in their learning and skill development. As an accomplished writer, Doug has produced many articles and had a number of books published about sea kayaking. As someone who is always keen to help support and inspire people with their paddling, he has agreed to help out this weekend!

Doug 1

Doug Cooper


Rowland Woollven

With more than 50 years of paddling under his spraydeck, Rowland now concentrates mainly on the sea, having in the past experienced the varied delights of sprint, long distance and marathon paddling, whitewater racing, down river touring, slalom, surf and canoe polo! He has expedition experience in Canada, Alaska, Norway and France. In 2012 Rowland completed the circumnavigation of Great Britain, becoming the 19th person to do so, the oldest paddler so far and the first to do it with a Greenland-style paddle.

As well as being a BCU Level 5 Sea Coach and Level 3 Surf Coach, he is a member of the WEMSI-International teaching faculty presenting Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician courses across Europe. Based in Oban, Rowland is the author of ‘Sticking With It – A Sea Kayak Odyssey Around Britain’.

Find out more at: www.rwoollven.co.uk

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Rowland Woollven


Kate Duffus

Kate is a BCU level 5 sea kayak coach. She works freelance at a number of centres and has her own business, offering bespoke coaching and guided trips. Kate spends most of her spare time paddling Scottish coastlines, so much so that she has recently moved up to Skye. Shetland is another favourite destination. Failing that she’ll be grovelling somewhere in a cave underneath Yorkshire.

Find out more at www.katespaddling.com.

Kate_Duffus

Kate Duffus


Calum McNicol

A new coach for this year’s Symposium, Calum is an optimistic, energetic and dedicated father of 4, (as well as an accomplished Kayaker, Sailor & Ocean Rower!). He has been a full time paddlesports and sailing coach for 25 years around the west coast of Scotland and now coaches at Sportscotlands National Centre on Cumbrae. Calum developed a recent interest in sea kayak sailing, which allows him to share his expertise of sailing and kayaking, offering interesting practical sessions in tides, meteorology and navigation.

He also enjoys expeditions and has taken part in numerous paddling trips to far flung corners of the globe. In 2013 he was part of a team, which successfully rowed across The Atlantic Ocean and in 2014, he fulfilled a life times ambition by kayaking the mighty Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. With a passion for the nautical environment Calum uses the sea to pass on the message that everyone has the ability within them to fulfill their dreams, regardless of how wild these may be! 

Find out more at www.calummcnicol.com.

 

Calum McNicol


Bonnie A. Perry

Nothing makes Bonnie happier than coaching and paddling with people in ALL sorts of conditions. She has paddled and coached throughout the US, Baja, Canada, New Zealand, and Great Britain.  She’s most recently back from co-leading a trip around the Great Barrier Island in New Zealand.

Bonnie is a UKCC Level 3 Sea Coach, 5 star sea paddler and in the American Canoe Association, Bonnie is a Level 4 Open Water Instructor Trainer. By day Bonnie is the Senior Pastor/Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois. 

Find out more at: www.allsaintschicago.org

Bonnie A. Perrie


 Ian Bowler

Ian is a BCU Level 4 sea, Level 4 open canoe and Level 4 white water coach.  Ian has kayaked in remote places from Papa Stour in Shetland, to Patagonia, and quite a few places in between including Canada, New Zealand and Japan. His favourite local spots are the Western Isles and Ireland’s south and west coast.  He’s a qualified teacher of the deaf and works freelance as a teacher of children with additional support needs. He was previously a director of Adventures Unlimited Scotland (CIC) and was the co-organiser of the first Black Isle Sea Kayak Symposium in 2015.

Ian Bowler


Steve Mackinnon

Steve Mackinnon’s a local lad who took up kayaking later in life after leaving the military, became engrossed in it and currently spends three seasons of the year in various boats as a Level 3 sea kayak, surf kayak and open canoe coach, alongside a Level 5 inland ticket and skis Nordic, Telemark and Alpine in the Winter. He’s currently having fun progressing as a sprint coach and enjoying the Scottish sea kayak racing circuit. He has enjoyed various club and SCA volunteer roles over the past twenty years.

Steve Mackinnon


Mags Duncan

Mags is better known as a white water paddler but few know she started her paddling career in sea kayaks in the Firth of Clyde. Now a Level 5 WW coach, Level 3 Sea in addition to Open Canoe. Mags is a coach in a number of other sports and is a professional in the world of sport. Coaching and developing paddlers is her passion and she makes the learning environment supportive yet providing personal challenges. Mags has paddled across most of Europe in whichever craft is most suitable for the water and most of all enjoys just being afloat!

Mags Duncan


John Crowsley

John is a BCU Level 3 sea kayak coach, holds the BCU level 3 WW kayak qualification and is also a UKCC level 3 Canoe Coach as well as holding his 4 star leader qualification. John is a provider for UKCC level 1 as a tutor and Course director. He is also a level 2 provider. John also provides 1 & 2 star, 3 star sea, ww kayak and canoeing awards. John’s recent sea trips include the Scottish west coast and a 10 day expedition in Turkey. John’s other activities include rock climbing, mountaineering and caving and he is based in Scourie in the kingdom of Sutherland. Find Handa Island and come south a bit! I know we’re all dead jealous!

John Crowsley