C&K Hero Nigel Dennis

Nigel Dennis during the circumnavigation of South Georgia, 2005. Photo by Hadas Feldman

Nigel Dennis during the circumnavigation of South Georgia, 2005. Photo by Hadas Feldman

By Dave Shively

"If you're going to do something, you might as well set a goal," Nigel Dennis states plainly. Burned out on overland travel with the Welsh national squash team, the 23-year-old gave himself that goal, and a deadline–two years to teach himself to sea kayak in order to become the first to paddle around Great Britain. He did so with Paul Caffyn, in 1980. It's all very matter-of-fact, from the stint in a Moroccan prison after his first, 1985 Strait of Gibraltar crossing (he was detained for landing without documentation) to a groundbreaking 2005 circumnavigation of South Georgia Island at age 50. That even keel defines Dennis, who founded a North Wales kayak school in 1982. He continues to push his students' expedition limits, and as owner of Nigel Dennis Kayaks, he continues to push the design standards of sea kayaks built according to the volatile Irish Sea conditions in which he thrives.

This story first appeared in the March 2009 issue of Canoe & Kayak magazine.

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Richard Bangs // Greg Barton // Tao Berman // Paul Caffyn // Graham Charles // Serge Corbin // Nigel Dennis // Dubside // Steve Fisher // Bob Foote // Dan Gavere // Alan Hamilton // Freya Hoffmeister // Mick Hopkinson // Nikki Kelly // Payson Kennedy // Rob Lesser // Anna Levesque // Martin Litton // Brad Ludden // The LVM/T-Dub Connection // Sean Morely // Nappy Napoleon // Michael Peake // Scott Shipley // Jim Snyder // Rush Sturges //