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A Brief History of Delmarva

In 1988 Charlie and Cindy Cole started The Delmarva Paddlers Retreat as a small gathering of paddlers on the western shore of Rehoboth Bay in Lewes, DE. The retreat was a place to exchange paddling skills and knowledge, providing outstanding instruction and camaraderie to sea kayakers.

In 1998 the Retreat broke new ground by inviting Maligiaq Padilla, the champion of the Greenland Kayak competition, as an instructor. This visit fanned the flames of a growing passion for traditional paddling skills. In August 2000, Cindy joined Harvey Golden and Greg Stamer to compete in the first "open" Greenland National Championship, further cementing the relationship between the Retreat and the Greenland paddling community.

Since 2001, the Delmarva Paddlers Retreat has transformed to become the first all Greenland, traditional paddling event of its kind in the United States. It has increasingly moved towards an extended gathering of Greenland enthusiasts, sharing traditional skills, qajaq construction, and the implications of traditional origins on modern kayaking. The event began to include, apart from instructional elements, distinguished invited speakers, and world class demonstrations and workshops.


The Delmarva of Today

Today the Delmarva Paddler's Retreat continues the tradition the Cole's started over 30 years ago, bringing together traditional paddlers from around the US, and indeed the world.

The retreat remains focused on traditional paddling skill development, hosting classes, workshops, and other instructional events that allow attendees to build on all aspects of paddling.

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