Peter Sommerhalder of the Auckland Canoe Club, and former owner of the Auckland Canoe Centre, organised this mass paddle of SeaBear Kayaks and sea kayaking enthusiasts from many decades to pay homage to the Wonderful legacy that Ron Augustin has made with his designing and making of the Sea Bear.
This was one of the original Sea worthy Sea kayak for the masses and designed with local Gulf conditions in mind for everyone to be able to get out and learn and enjoy this wonderful sport.
These are so successful that they still hold their own for big expedition trips and the Stretch version Polar Bear was used by Mark Jones and co. of Adventure Philosophy in their epic trips around South Georgia who was there along with other legendary paddlers.
It was a great tribute to a great man and his supportive Family that shared his interests.
Ron geared up for a paddle with the fleet .
Karel Kuper present owner of Paddling Perfection was also there to present a special award to Ron & Nancy
Peter with Bouquet for Ron And Nancy
Karel and award
Some of the fleet of Sea Bears and other kayaks arriving in dribs and drabs-huge turnout
The yellow & grey striped Sea Bear built by Colin Quilter , as these were originally designed to be made from plans in Ply , for home builds .
It has clocked over 25 thousand Km's he estimates over Quarter of a Century of use with epic trips recently returned from another Fiordland trip.
The Yellow Polar Bear beside it with all the stickers is the one used around South Georgia by Mark Jones( was stolen subsequently off beach and cut into three pieces but eventually recovered and reinstated )
The Yellow single this side of Colins is my mate Trevs of 1989 vintage and exactly the same as mine , Kevlar composite.
My one restored after being wrecked and taking part in the 1990 Xerox length of NZ challenge, and specially laid up light (hence getting wrecked)but rebuilt to still perform well (at top far end of line up)
Really touching and humbling to see such good loyal camaraderie and support .
Oh and really interesting from fishing perspective was this -
Sailfish caught from a three piece bolt together Triple SeaBear kayak that Ron's son used in Fiji to catch this -
Yup they've been there done that
Someone mentioned conservative estimate of 10 Million$ value of this design used by major Tourism operators world wide so a worthy contribution and the Packhorse etc. doubles backbone of Hire fleets.
Once again a great experience and pleased I made the effort and shared it with all who attended , thanks Pete and Sue for organizing , and Ron, Nancy and family for the opportunity to meet and greet .
Discussion here that is specific to SiKs and catching/processing fish without (hopefully) joining them...
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