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We were fortunate enough in 2009 to have Jeff Allen visit the Midwest for the WMCKA symposium near muskegon. Jeff did a coaches update with a lot of the midwest coaching crowd that still sticks with me as one of the big eye openers. I remember trying to do a scoop rescue on a completely incapacitated paddler (poor victim floating face down) in icy Lake Michigan water and then towing a raft until I thought my head would literally rupture.

Jeff spent a ton of time with us on rescues and sea survival incidents giving a subtle twist of the knife to a lot of age old thinking on sea kayaking paradigms based on his own work in Cornwall and abroad in the far flung oceans of the world. Jeff is one of those guys you hope to run into at an airport bar who gives you his lifestory, because he is way more interesting than you. Words like Royal Marine, kickboxer, commando, bouncer ping and whiz around the conversation before you realize you have met the inspiration for the Dos Equis guy, “the most interesting man in the world.” While this may seem hyperbole, it truly isn’t. And to boot he is a heck of a nice guy. All of this is to quickly say that one of the biggest joys I get in running this event is getting to spend time with paddlers like Jeff.

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Jeff has done a ton of very thoughtful writing for Ocean Paddler magazine, traveled Scandinavia, Japan, Ireland, South Georgia Island, Israel, and many other amazing places. He operates Sea Kayaking Cornwall with Simon Osbourne.

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