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Meet the staff


I was introduced to kayaking as a thirteen-year-old at a school camping holiday at Coniston Hall in the lakes, I can still remember being petrified sitting in fibreglass kayak which seemed to me have the smallest cockpit of all the boats and it was wobblier than everybody else’s as well.

After a few more sessions I got over my initial fears and was hooked. After having leaky old second-hand boats, I saved every penny I had and bought a brand new Gaybo Olymp 6, for the grand sum of £96 in 1975. (Gaybo later became Perception).

I had a little go at Slalom in my Olymp, everyone did in those days, then after being introduced to Wild Water Racing(WWR) the distance stuff suited me better and I also got to paddle the Dee at Llangollen. WWR became my passion and after 10 years of trying I was eventually selected to represent Great Britain in the C1 class.

Along the way I have had a go at most aspects of our sport, polo (many years ago) kayak surfing, sea kayaking, open canoe touring, long distance racing, descent racing, I also got involved in coaching in the early days, I keep my coaching qualifications up to date as I still get great satisfaction sharing my passion with others.

I have had some success as a competitor, winning Liffey Descents in C1 and C2, winning the Masters C2 class at 3 WWR World Championships partnered by my old mate Brian McNulty. I guess my proudest moment was carrying the Union Jack and leading the British team at the opening ceremony parade at the 2008 WWR World Champs in Ivrea, Italy.

I now get out on the water at least 3 times a week and still look forward to every session. Whether it be training in a racing boat, trying to stay the right way up while paddling down Llangollen Town falls with Jim or just running a Sit on Top Taster Session on the Dee at Chester, it all floats my boat. And lastly, I get the chance to work in the shop and share my enthusiasm with you, the customers.

Cheers Colin.

Colin of Manchester Canoes

Manchester Canoes Colin sea kayaking Colin paddling