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Sea Kayak Institute celebrates 10th anniversary

PLATTSBURGH The State University of New York at Plattsburghs Lake Champlain Kayak Institute is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The institute will mark the occasion with an additional demo day and a new, advanced, instructional program, where attendees will stay at Twin Valleys Outdoor Educational Center, take part in evening sessions and network with other paddlers. Demo days will start with the annual Round the Island Race next Saturday, July 19. The seven-mile citizens race is for kayakers of all skill levels and is an opportunity to enjoy the recreational company of others while paddling around Valcour Island and taking in the mountain views of New York and Vermont. Registration for the race is $10 and begins at 8 a.m. at the Valcour Kayak Center, located in the Valcour Educational Conference Center on State Route 9, south of Plattsburgh. The race starts at 9 a.m. Underwritten by Necky and MTI Adventurewear with additional support from local and national corporations, the demo days events are free and open to the public. They will run from noon to 4 p.m. July 19 and Sunday, July 20, at the Valcour Kayak Center. The days will feature local and national vendors who will make a wide variety of boats and other equipment available for use. Sea Kayak Institute faculty will be in the water to serve as safety boats and to offer professional advice. This event is unusual because it is not a retail event, said Dr. Larry Soroka, director of the Adirondack Experience at SUNY Plattsburgh and organizer of the Sea Kayak Institute. Its an excellent opportunity to talk to company representatives and paddling instructors without the pressure of sales. I encourage anyone interested in testing out a sea kayak to stop by for our demo days. Two tracks are now being offered through the institute for those wishing to improve their kayaking skills. Beginners can take part in the institutes traditional Level I program. Designed for those with less technical knowledge, this program will run from Tuesday, July 22, to Friday, July 25. It will feature daily trips to Lake Champlains beaches, islands and bays. Topics to be covered include wet and dry entries and exits; self and assisted rescues, sweeps, draws and rudder strokes; and rolling. By the end of the four days, participants will have paddled more hours than some recreational paddlers might in a summer, all the while learning strokes, rescues and even getting an introduction into rolling, said Soroka. Institute alumni or those with considerable technical knowledge or experience may take part in the new Level II residency program, Monday, July 14, through Friday, July 18. The program will help those who already kayak learn to do it better and will feature daily paddles and instruction on Lake Champlain, as well as evening training and events at the programs Twin Valleys base camp. Building camaraderie is a part of growing in any activity, said Soroka, and the evenings spent at Twin Valleys will help attendees do just that. The cost for either instructional program is $550 for the non-credit option. The classes may also be taken for two college credits at a cost of $595.10 for in-state residents. Out-of-state residents wishing to take the course for credits are encouraged to call for more information. Space is limited. For additional information or directions, call Soroka at 564-5292 or visit www.plattsburgh.edu/academics/adx/lcskischedule.php.

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