Meet The Coaches

Meet The Coaches


Nigel Dennis

Nigel has coached or been a part of nearly every top coaches development since sea kayaking became so popular in the UK. he is without doubt one of the worlds top coaches and has years of experience in most forms of ocean transport.

Over 20 years ago, Nigel Dennis Kayaks (NDK) was formed with the design of the Romany, since then a large range of kayaks have been designed and made in Anglesey North Wales UK under the direction of BCU Coach and world level expeditioner, Nigel Dennis. His boats are synonymous with British sea kayak design. The company is now called Sea Kayaking UK, (SKUK) but the Romany, Explorer and now Pilgrim remain the tried, tested and true favourites of many paddlers worldwide.

These sea kayaks are renowned for their rough water handling, solid secondary stability, superb fit and durable construction.

Simon Osborne

Experience: Simon started kayaking when he was 7 years old. His introduction to the world of kayaking was through white water however after circumnavigating Great Britain in 2002 is now more well known for his sea kayaking expeditions. You may see Simon competing in kayak polo, surf kayaking in Cornwall, running white water rivers or circumnavigating some island in the world.

Achievements: In 2002 Simon became the youngest person to circumnavigate Great Britain which took 112 days of kayaking. In 2004 he completed a solo expedition circumnavigating Ireland in 6 weeks. In 2006-8 Simon spend 4 months attempting to become the first person to circumnavigate Madagascar. In 2011 Simon with Marin Medak became the first people to paddle the coastline of South Korea. His most recent expedition was to row across the Atlantic as part of a four man crew which took 45 days to complete.

Biggest Adventure: Simons biggest adventure to date was his circumnavigation of Great Britain as it was his first real big expedition and tested him both physically and mentally to his limit. The expedition was in memory of his brother Mark whom he lost to Leukaemia when he was just 9 years old. The expedition raised over £22,000 for the Leukaemia Research.

Why does Simon kayak?: It is the variety the sport offers that keeps me interested. From kayaking with alligators in Florida to rock hopping through Icelandic lava fields to surfing clean barreling waves in Cornwall you can never get board!

Paul Hurrell

Has been coaching sea kayaking along the Dorset coast for over 20 years. His passion for coaching and all things water related shines through when you spend time with him on the sea.

Paul started Kayaking at school and Oulton Broad Canoe Club. He progressed onto sea surf and white water during his time in Plymouth where he completed his sports teaching degree. After travelling, Paul settled in Weymouth where he has worked his way up through the British Canoeing awards. Paul holds Level 4 coach in sea and Surf and Level 3 white water. He has a passion for being on or in the water and sharing his love of the sea with others. His experience and enthusiasm has given him the opportunity to coach in Denmark, Ireland, Greece and Croatia. Locally he still plays off Portland Bill with all the excitement of that Oulton Broad canoe club rookie.

Rich Holt

Is based on the South Coast, but can often be found around Anglesey.

Advanced Sea Kayak Leader and aspirant Advanced Sea Coach. Rich has been sea kayaking for around 8yrs and still absolutely loves it!Rich is particularly keen on rough water and is usually found in a tide race somewhere or surfing a break.

Rick Cooper

 Owner of British Sea Kayaks – based in the wonderful port of Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City. I’m the Westcountry dealer and expedition centre for Sea Kayaking UK, a British Canoeing Advanced Sea Kayak Leader and accredited Personal Performance Awards Provider. In addition to delivering coaching in and around my home waters, I also specialise in paddling adventures to Brittany. With a wide variety of coastline, this mythical region of France offers something for everyone. Tranquil estuaries, sheltered bays, offshore uninhabited islands and fierce tidal races. It’s a truly spectacular place to paddle, whether you’re taking awards, taking it easy or wanting to challenge your skills – come and see for yourself!

Martin Lanzinger

Originally a stone carver & sculpture artist from the Bavarian mountains I adopted London as my base in the 90s and became a Cartoon Animator and later a 3D/computer animator for TV, film and games.

I started paddling 6 years ago, fell in love with the UK coastline, expeditioning and the sea kayaking scene. I hold the sea kayak leader award and work on my advanced award and the sea kayak coach at the moment.

Ultimately it’s all about the beauty of the sea though – about paddling with warm and like-minded people, about the interaction with nature and all the happiness, understanding and fun it brings.

Mirco Goldhausen

Has a passion for the sea, in particular the lumpy bits! He is an advanced sea kayak leader and sea coach with moderate water endorsement, Mirco has travelled far and wide with his 3 piece Explorer, around Ireland in 56 days, as well as solo Anglesey and many exotic locations including New Zealand and Canada where he has coached climbing and sea kayaking. Mirco Works at SKUK as a laminator (kayak builder) and repair specialist as well as being a first class chef, many of you will have been fed or lead by Mirco at many of the famous SKUK symposiums.

George Shaw

started sea kayaking in 2006, has been lucky to paddle in Norway, Loften Islands, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Brittany and most of the British Isles, George has completed many open crossings and a few circumnavigations. When not sea kayaking, enjoys surf kayaking, surfing, swimming, Crossfit and hanging with his family. At present George lives in the Isle of Man, enjoys coaching and guiding in any location, has integral part with training the Isle of Man Sea cadets and Hero’s on the water paddlers, George is BCU L3 performance coach, AWE coach, Advanced sea leader and ISKGA guide, George believes “Life is Better on the water”

Ronny Riise

From Bergen, the rainiest city in Norway, and feel at home in wet and windy environment.

Enjoy paddling for the outdoors experiences and to see people, have fun and develop in a friendly coaching environment.

BC/UKCC Level 2 coach and Moderate Water Leader and the new PPA provider. Coach regularly at and

Norwegian dealer of SKUK, Celtic, Kokatat, Werner, and work with the Norwegian Navy, Teachers Education, The Norwegian Trekking Association and own company.”

Allen Westerby

I have been sea kayaking, since starting on Wednesday afternoons at school over 40 years ago. I have taken part in nearly every type of paddlesport and currently enjoy sea kayaking along our own Jurassic coast and abroad. I am a level three sea kayak coach and have the coach award for other disciplines.
I enjoy coaching and coaching coaches! As a member of Poole Harbour Canoe club, I have run “Sea Thursday”  paddles for over 10 years and  give lectures on different aspects of Sea Kayaking during the colder winter months.
I have a passion for the history of sea kayaks and ran the “Greenland Olympics” event at Studland for 5 years.
I hope that you have a great weekend and I look forward to welcoming you to Dorset.

Natalie Maderova

Works as a teacher and kayaking is her main hobby, although at the moment she spends more time in a kayak than doing anything else. Natalie lives in London and considers The Tideway to be one of the most exciting paddling environments in Britain, she would know as she has circumnavigated the whole of Britain in 2012. Apart from multi day journeys and long crossings Natalie enjoys most coaching others. She is a UKCC L3 coach with Moderate Water Endorsement, and Advance Water Leader. Together with her husband (Michal) they set up Mad Coaching Project (Make a Difference), through which they raised £6000  for different charities.

Natalie is a founder and organiser of the Women Sea kayak Festival in South Devon.

Dorset is one of the closest paddling locations, Natalie can be seen here often coaching others, surfing in Kimmeridge or simply taking in the views of Old Harry. Natalie’s looking forward to come to the Jurassic Gathering to meet new people and share what South coast has to offer.

Martin Leonard

Martin has worked in the outdoor industry for nearly 30 years. He started his career on the mountains and rivers of North Wales and Scotland before falling in love with the Pembrokeshire coast during a surf kayaking trip with friends in the late 90’s. A few weeks later he had lined up a job in St Davids and has lived in the area ever since. Pembrokeshire life meant that mountains were traded for sea cliffs and rivers for the world class tideraces, rockhopping and surf of the West Wales coast. He does occasionally leave Pembrokeshire and has travelled, paddled and worked all around the world.

In 2009 Martin set up Sea Kayak Guides with fellow Pembrokeshire paddler Nige Robinson, 10 years on they have been joined by Ben Fothergill and still pride themselves on delivering quality bespoke coaching, guiding and British Canoeing courses. Martin also runs Coastal Adventures, specialising in multi activity courses for charities, youth groups and families as well as white water kayak and canoe coaching.

More coaches to follow shortly