I measure the success of GGSKS by the amount of fun I have and I had a ton of fun this year. So I guess that makes the 2014 event very successful. At least by my standards.
GGSKS is a subset of the sea paddling community and a damn fine one. Sean Morley and I receive lots of feedback (positive and negative) and probably way too much praise. But, here's the reality. If you enjoy the event, you can't blame us. Blame the community. All we do is lay the foundation for GGSKS and everyone else adds to it until something beautiful has been formed. We're just facilitators.
The value of this event goes well beyond any hard skills you'll learn. It's also about connecting with other people that paddle. It's about having a good time, laughing, smiling, cheering each other on. There's a positive energy in the air and all you need to do is embrace it to become a better paddler. I think that great paddlers must first be great people and I met lots of great people this year. I made some lasting connections and I can't wait to see how it will impact my life.
This year we had 190 people attend the event as students, coaches, staff, media & volunteers. We came from California, Florida, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, New York, Montana, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, South Carolina, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia, mainland Mexico, Baja California, Scotland, Quebec, Ontario and Nova Scotia. 14 states and 4 countries. That's pretty rad.
Don't listen to me describe what it was like, just watch the film by Marty Perry.