Our Mentors

 

Will Bigelow

Will Bigelow

Will is a founder of the Massachusetts’s Walden Qajaq Society and with them brought to Delmarva a unique instructional method to help to teach rolling. That style is now used by many mentors and in many traditional kayaking events. Will has been coming to Delmarva since it became an all traditional event and is one of our most sought out mentors. Will’s friendliness is infectious and he quickly puts his students at ease and makes rolling fun.

 

 

Christopher Crowhurst

Christopher Crowhurst

Christopher Crowhusrt, an ex-pat Brit living in Minnesota USA, is slightly obsessed with Greenland kayaking. In 2010 he founded Qajaq Rolls, a not-for-profit that promotes the traditional art of Greenland-style kayak (qajaq) rolling. Christopher has developed videos, diagrams and written instruction to help paddlers learn the traditional Greenland rolls, and promotes them through his blog http://QajaqRolls.com 

In 2015 Christopher partnered with his father Nick to form another not-for-profit venture and created the Shrike Kayak as a means to share their love of the Greenland style kayak designs. Their customizable designs are available for free at http://CNCKayaks.com   

 

 Renee DuFresne

Renee DuFresne:

is a Director on the board of Qajaq USA, holding positions of Membership coordinator, and also holding positions as an organizer, and the events committee representative for The Traditional Paddlers Gathering.

Renee loves playing Inuit Games, both on and off the ropes and water. Whether it is the artistry of the forward stroke, or the beauty of a well executed roll, passing on, preserving and sharing the traditional paddling and culture are her passion.

 

Not just passionate about Greenland paddling, Renee is an ACA Level 3 Instructor, with both Traditional Skills and Rolling Endorsements. She also holds a BCU 3 Star.


   Ben Fuller

Ben Fuller

Paddling kayaks since about 1972, whitewater, sea kayaking since 78, SOF for about ten years. Built in glass, wood, sof. Like to race. Professionally a museum curator / maritime historian. QUSA treasurer. And a bunch of certificates from ACA, BCU, State of Maine and Coast Guard. Still learning.

 

 Peter Gengler

Peter Gengler,

Peter was handed a Greenland paddle by a friend about 20 years ago and it altered his life path. Within months, he had made a few paddles and which in turn lead to a kayak kit building project. Building lead to attending the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat in 1997 which in turn really opened his eyes to both kayak design and the collaboration among that community but also to the depth of Greenland Kayaking skills. He just started designing his 13th kayak.

Peter took 3 years to learn to roll with a Euro-paddle! Once he got his roll he wanted to teach others and try to improve the methods of teaching to make this skill more accessible to others (easier and faster!). Delmarva proved to be the most positive environment not only to learn new skills but to learn how to teach. Peter has been teaching rolling skills at winter pool sessions in Rhode Island for 15 yrs, and Delmarva for over 10 years as well as more recently at the Hudson River Greenland Festival and SSTIKS.

Peter is a lives in Rehoboth Massachusetts and paddles south eastern New England waters. He also is a passionate saltwater fly flailer from his kayak and is an avid short film maker/gopro enthusiast. Don't ask him about his passion for mountain biking.

 

 Jack Gilman

Jack Gilman

Jack Gilman has been paddling for over 30 years. He got his first taste of Greenland style here at the 2000 Delmarva Paddler’s retreat and has been an avid convert ever since. He started building boats in 1999, with a Chesapeake West River 180 stitch & glue. Then it was a Greenland style SOF from Bob Boucher’s video, a Guillemot stripper, an Alaskan recovery boat, a baidarka from Wolfgang Brinck’s book, and two other Greenland style boats, one from Robert Morris’s book and one self-designed. Jack says, “It’s a wonderful addiction. Jack will be heading up our games this year.

 Lisa Kellogg

Lisa Kellogg, paddler & life coach, Rosendale, NY

Lisa, a career cartographer and life coach, loves helping people turn right side up in qajaqs, and in life. Hooked by the grace and elegance of both the Greenland paddle and the mentoring ways, she thinks helping people learn to roll and take their skills to a new level is one of life’s treats!


 

 Ed Lamon

Ed Lamon 

Ed likes nothing better than a day on the water. He was introduced to the elegant simplicity of the GP and the beauty of SOFs at the first Hudson River Greenland Festival. He is happiest while sharing his enthusiasm for qajaqing. Ed’s easy going style is much appreciated in easing new students anxiety when learning the roll.


 

 Ed Mann

Ed Mann

 

An ACA Level 4 Instructor with ACA Traditional Skills Endorsements and a Greenland kayaking devotee, Ed now lives in North Central Florida. Before relocating he was the President of the Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association, a principal Kayak Instructor for the Jersey Paddler and taught rolling at the inaugural Garden State Sea Kayak Symposium in 2013. He loves mentoring at various Qajaq USA events including the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat and the Hudson River Greenland Festival. When he's not teaching, he is usually upside down in his kayak trying to learn a new roll.

  Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy has no paddling credentials at all. (says no one! Dave’s caring approach to mentoring is much appreciated and has been for years.)

He is known to most as "Madi Murphy's Dad", and to some as "Not Your Unkel Dave."

He is a BCU zero-star, and a proponent of the "Team Zero" Approach. He has served on the mentoring team at the Hudson River Greenland Festival since it's inception. Over the years, he has learned from the best, and therefore seeks to "pay it forward" by passing along what he has learned.

Dave enjoys making skin-on-frame kayaks, paddles, and wood/epoxy kayaks.

Dave paddles Lake Ontario and the finger lakes region of New York State. He currently is involved in a weekend-by-weekend tour of the Erie Canal, with "Unkel Dave".

 

 Madi Murphy

Madi Murphy

We’ve watched Madi as young girl grow into a young woman. Always the apple of her Daddy’s eye they come to Delmarva as a team. Madi has become an excellent instructor both in the water and on the ropes. Madi’s enthusiasm is as infectious as her smile. She can frequently been seen in the pool passing the love of Greenland paddling on to younger paddlers, who adore her too.

 

 Terry O’Malley

Terry O’Malley From QUSA

Terry was formerly the Qajaq USA Public Relations Committee chairperson and is now the president of Qajaq USA. He has served as an Board Advisor since 2008 and was appointed to Board Member in October 2010.
Terry took up paddling in 1994 while on a vacation in Maine with his wife Kim and son Liam. His introduction to Greenland style kayaking began in 2006 after he stumbled upon the Qajaq USA website. His interest were piqued by the similarities between the qajaqs and the currachs that he had known about since childhood. After attending that year’s Delmarva Paddlers Retreat, and sampling the various offerings from Surveying Qajaqs to on-water instruction; the hook was set.
When not travelling around the world with his engineering work, Terry can be found plying the inland and offshore waters of New Jersey and New York.

 

 Milton Puryear

Milton Puryear

Milton has been paddling Greenland Style for almost a decade. He paddles a distinctive blue skin on frame he built in a workshop with Turner Wilson. He enjoys paddling and rolling for skill development and exercise.

 

 Dave Sides

Dave Sides

“Unkel Dave” Sides Greenland Ropes Gymnastics, Sea Kayaker, Rock Climber Former Gymnastics Coach, Teacher, Computer Systems Project Manager Motto: “Pay it Forward”, from the 2000 movie starring Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, and Helen Hunt. The goal is to help others by passing along what you know.


 

 Fran Symes

Fran Symes

My introduction to kayaking and my passion for traditional paddling occurred concurrently 8 years ago when Alison Sigethy took me to the shores of the Potomac River and asked, “This metal paddle or this wooden one? “. I selected the wooden one, which has proven to be one of my best decisions ever. Three years later I relocated to South Carolina where I helped give birth to the Traditional Inuit Paddlers of the Southeast (TIPS) event in 2014 and am its current organizer. Along the way I certified as an ACA L3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor, spent a week paddling fjords along the west coast of Greenland, have learned a few rolls and strokes, and have shared my enthusiasm with anyone who is interested.

 

 Bill Voss

Bill Voss

A dedicated paddler Bill is a long time supporter of Delmarva and other Qajaq USA events. A gentle giant of a man Bill’s easy nature makes him a favorite mentor.  Bill Voss caught the “Greenland” addiction at Delmarva in 2010.  He drove down from New Hampshire to build an F1 skin-on-frame kayak, with no real interest in Greenland paddles.  He left with a kayak he loved, a Greenland paddle he came to love, and the beginnings of a Greenland Chest Scull Roll.  Since then he thinks he has attended more rolling practices than paddles, and proves that even a big inflexible guy can roll with enough practice and mentoring.

 
 

The Crew

 

 Sue Byerly

Sue Byerly
is a relative newcomer to Greenland paddling. In 2012, a dear friend put a Greenland paddle in her hands and said, “Try this!” It wasn’t long before she was hooked.

A lifelong resident of Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Sue spent many of her childhood summers in a rowboat on the Chester River. After a few years where life kept her away from being on the water, she picked up a used recreational kayak and soon began taking formal sea kayak training. Her enthusiasm and love for kayaking has taken her to such far away places as Georgian Bay, Canada, the Florida Keys, a Manhattan circumnavigation, as well as paddling the endlessly diverse waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva peninsula. Sue is always up for a challenge, whether working towards and achieving the BCU 3* Sea award, exploring the exhilarating world of whitewater kayaking, or pushing her limits on long distance paddling.

 

Sue began helping out behind the scenes at Delmarva Paddlers Retreat in 2013 and happily pitches in wherever needed. Managing the Qajaq USA online store is a perfect fit for her varied work experience as a bookkeeper, receiving manager, and marketing assistant.


  Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton -is an ACA L3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor with the Traditional Kayaking and Rolling Endorsements. In addition to paddling and teaching, Mike is active with QajaqUSA, building traditional skin on frame Greenland kayaks and carving paddles. A native Marylander, Mike has paddled many areas of the Chesapeake Bay, as well as the southern coastal states from Delaware to Florida. Last year he led the Coastbusters: Length of the Bay trip, paddling several hundred miles from Havre de Grace, Maryland at the top of the Chesapeake Bay to Kiptopeke, Virginia at the southern end of the Bay.


 

 Laura Ventura

Laura Ventura

Laura Ventura- I fell in love with the "skinny stick", traditional paddling style and it's extended community of paddlers over a decade ago. My first Delmarva Paddler's Retreat experience was in 2003 and in 2007 I was fortunate to attend DPR's first qajaq building class with Brian Schulz. Years later, the second build was a skin on frame baidarka. Expedition kayaking has been a passion with trips to Rhode Island, the Oregon coast, San Juan Islands, Georgian Bay, Ontario and the Saguenay Fjord, Quebec. The beautiful Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay are my "home" waters. Admittedly, whitewater kayaking has become a recent passion, but only builds on the traditional skills which will always remain as the foundation and a part of my paddling enjoyment.

 

 Chris Beckman

Chris Beckman

Chris, a resident of the Delaware coast, is often seen paddling off Cape Henlopen. Frequently acting as tour guide for visiting seakayakers. He’s been paddling Greenland style kayaks since the late 90’s and canoes and row boats for much longer. Chris enjoys being on the water. He has learned from and paddled with many excellent kayakers over the years and in the spirit of Traditional Paddling is always glad to pass that knowledge on. He is lead coordinator for the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat.