Special Friends & Supporters
TRAQS is very grateful to the following people and places for their generous contributions to help make it a successful and sustainable event for 2016:
Helen Wilson and husband Mark Tozer specialize offering instruction of traditional paddling skills using traditional equipment. In 2008, she competed in the Greenland National Kayaking Championship in Qaqortoq and again in 2010 in Nuuk, receiving five medals in four disciplines. Helen and Mark have hosted expeditions on both the east and south coast with their next trip scheduled for west Greenland in July 2016.
Helen is an international instructor and presenter, including the Charleston Outdoor Festival in April the past two years. She has written for national publications, and is the editor for Qajaq USA.
Helen released an instructional DVD Simplifying the and followed it up with a second DVD entitled Yoga for Outdoor People. She serves on the Board of Directors for Qajaq USA and Explore North Coast. She and Mark are the organizers of the UK and US Storm Gathering Symposiums. Helen is an ISKGA Coastal guide and an ACA Instructor with and ACA rolling Endorsement. She holds the DGI Certification (Denmark Coach Certification) and is a registered yoga teacher.
Anna Levesque is the leading expert on kayak instruction for women and yoga for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor and instructor has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF magazine.
She is the founder/director of Girls at Play and Mind Body Paddle and has taught thousands of paddlers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica. Anna has produced 4 instructional kayaking DVDs for women, a Yoga for Kayaking DVD and short downloadable yoga for kayaking segments on Vimeo that have sold over 6500 copies combined.
Benjamin Fontenot, Greenland Qajaq Paddle Designer/Maker & Instructor
You can read more about Ben in the Special Guests section. He owns and runs a small business specializing in Traditional paddle making, and also the most beautiful accessories.
Ben works at Savannah Canoe and Kayak and is a SKUK/NDK Pro Team paddler. He is an ACA Level 3 Sea Kayak Instructor and an ACA Day Trip Leader.
Bishop Boards SUPs + Gear
Todd Bishop has 26 years combined paddling (Paddleboard/Surf/Kayak/Canoe) experience in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, BVI, Bahamas, Mexico, The Boundary Waters, SE US Ocean/Coastal/Insland/Colorado River, Tellico River, Ocoee River, Nantahal River & other US Waterways.
- ACA Level 1, 2 & 3 SUP Instructor & Instructor Trainer
- Special Olympics Florida SUP Coach
- Team River Runner Chapter Coordinator
- Red Cross First Aid/CPR Certifications
- BCU 3 Star Kayak certification
He donates part of his profits to Alliance for International Reforestation and is the manufacturer of quality performance SUP boards for all paddlers.
James Manke, Greenland Artist & Coach
All Things Qajaq is the visionary of James Manke, a professional sea kayak instructor based out of Victoria British Columbia. James’ mission is to share his passion with as many people as possible to help spread the tradition of Greenland kayaking. The foundations of the tradition of kayaking are very valuable to modern day kayakers. James has a unique style to teaching that draws you in and allows you to explore the possibilities of his teachings.
He has generously contributed to the TRAQS auction to help make it sustainable. We know you will be very excited about all the swag and open your hearts and checkbooks!
Judy Hintz Cox: Contemporary Abstract Art
To say that Judy Hintz Cox is passionate about what she does is an understatement. As we create and explore the juxtaposition of body, blade and qajaq, so she does with her expressive abstract wall art of mixed media on canvas. Judy has graciously donated one of her amazing original paintings to the auction – the only catch…you have to attend TRAQS to be eligible to have the winning bid! Visit her website to explore all her inspirational and meditative artwork.
Greenland Champion Alison Sigethy
After a few years of “the other kayaking”, Alison was introduced to Greenland kayaking in 2005 and fell in love with it. Only nine months later, after intensive and highly focused training, she landed in Sisimiut, Greenland to compete in the Greenland National Kayaking Championships. Not only was she the first international woman to compete in all 9 events of the Championship, she brought home medals from 8 of those events.
Alison has a graceful, easy, but powerful stroke and rolls graceful as ballet movements. As if this isn’t enough for one person to achieve, Alison is an amazing artist. She strives to create art that looks as though it could have lived or grown somewhere using reclaimed structural glass, a common building material that is not recycled but buried in landfills. Reusing these materials to create environmentally friendly artwork is part of her mission.
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