Shoreham Outrigger Canoe Club members selected by GB Outrigger!

We’re thrilled to share some exciting news with you. Four outstanding members of our community have been selected by GB outrigger to represent Great Britain in the upcoming 2024 Outrigger World Sprint Championship in Hawaii this August.

It is an incredible honour to be selected to Team GB Va’a, the elite high-performance arm of Great Britain Outrigger.

As the sport’s UK governing body, GB Outrigger founded GB Va’a to stand as a symbol of dedication towards the advancement and celebration of elite-level competition and the advancement of Outrigger in competitive arenas, while never losing sight of the importance of making an unwavering commitment to preserving the cultural legacy that defines Outrigger.

GB Va’a is steeped in a rich cultural heritage. Across the Pacific it is recognised that va’a is not just a sport but a way of life. And, it is by committing to this ethos, that Team GB Va’a athletes have maintained a long history of medalling at consecutive World Championships.

Originating from our own Shoreham shores, these talented athletes are gearing up to compete on the global stage. However, they can’t do it alone. Your support is crucial in helping them achieve their dreams.

As a community-based team located at the Sussex Yacht Club, our athletes have been dedicating countless hours to training and preparation. Their commitment and passion have earned them the privilege of representing our country.

But to compete at the highest level, they need more than just skill and determination – they need your help. Travel expenses, training costs and equipment upgrades all add up quickly, and as a community-based team, every penny counts.

By supporting our GoFundMe campaign, you’re not just contributing financially. You’re becoming a part of our team’s journey, providing the encouragement and motivation they need to succeed.

Click here to donate.

Official Event website here

Jon Ellman-Brown

Jon is a devoted father to Acer, Ruby, and Jacob. Just like their dad, all of Jon’s kids share a love for surfing and have eagerly followed in his footsteps. With his hands full running after them, Jon also juggles the title of “gymnastics mum,” adding an extra layer of excitement to his busy life.

Jon’s love for water sports led him straight to outrigging, where he found the perfect blend of exercise and adrenaline. Introduced to the sport in 2015 at the Paddle Around The Pier Festival by a friend, Jon was instantly hooked and soon made outrigging a part of his daily routine.

In 2019, Jon took his passion to the next level by co-founding the Shoreham Outrigger Canoe Club, not just deepening his own involvement but also creating a tight-knit community of fellow enthusiasts. Since then, outrigging has become a cornerstone of Jon’s life.

One standout moment for Jon was navigating the challenging waters of the Great Glen, battling 45-knot winds in a single-outrigger canoe race across Scotland. This thrilling adventure cemented Jon’s dedication to the sport and his ability to overcome obstacles with grit and determination.

Beyond just a pastime, outrigging has become a way of life for Jon, fostering fitness, friendship, and personal development. In preparation for major competitions like the World Championships in Hawaii, Jon commits wholeheartedly to a rigorous training regime.

Throughout his outrigging journey, Jon has drawn strength and inspiration from his teammates and mentors at the Shoreham Outrigger Canoe Club. Together, they embody the true spirit of camaraderie and teamwork as they proudly represent Team Shoreham and Team GB Va’a on the global stage.

Wes Horscroft

Wes lives in Shoreham with his wife of 14 years, Lou, and their four children: Bayley, Zach, Sam, and Amira.

For the past two decades, Wes has dedicated himself to the field of education, serving as a teacher and the esteemed Director of Rugby at Cardinal Newman Catholic School.

Wes’s commitment to making a difference extends far beyond the rugby field. He is deeply involved in various community initiatives, using his leadership, compassion, and unwavering values to effect positive change. As the chairman of Sussex Schools Rugby, a devoted foster parent, and a trusted mentor to countless young individuals, rugby players, and members of the community.

In 2022, while training on Shoreham Beach with a mace as his unconventional workout tool, Wes caught the eye of Jon. Their chance encounter sparked a conversation that led to an invitation for Wes to try outrigging. Intrigued, Wes decided to give it a shot—and from that moment on, he was hooked. Since then, he hasn’t looked back, diving headfirst into the world of outrigging with passion and enthusiasm.

Wes’s outrigging journey has been full of memorable moments, but one that truly stands out is when he took his 11-year-old son out on an OC2. Seeing his son’s face light up with excitement as they paddled together was a heartwarming experience, sparking a shared love for the sport.

For Wes, outrigging isn’t just about paddling; it’s about soaking in the beauty of the water, feeling the vastness of nature, and building connections within the community. Drawing on his rugby background, he brings a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship to the outrigging world.

Throughout his journey, Wes has found unwavering support from mentors like Richard Harman. Richard’s guidance and coaching have been invaluable, especially building towards the Great Britain trials. His encouragement and belief in Wes’s abilities helped him push through challenges and strive for excellence. Pete’s genuine support has kept Wes motivated to push himself and strive for greatness.

Darren Cartlidge

Darren, or as his friends call him, Dazza, is a Hove local, sharing life’s adventures with his partner Stacey for over 28 years, along with their two amazing kids, Autumn and Jago. When he’s not busy with work or family, you’ll likely find him indulging in his favourite pastimes—outrigging, hitting the gym, or throwing some punches in a boxing session.

With over 20 years of experience in construction, Darren’s seen it all—from civil projects to care homes and everything in between. But before he was in construction, he spent 12 years as a chef, exploring the culinary landscapes of Australia and New Zealand. Now, he’s the go-to guy for all things commercial at Star Property’s construction arm.

Darren’s outrigging journey began when his mates Jon and Chris convinced him to give it a shot, and he hasn’t looked back since. Since day one, he’s been hooked, diving into the sport headfirst.

One of the most rewarding parts of Darren’s outrigging experience has been his involvement with the Outriggers for Life Crew, a group of cancer survivors finding strength and joy on the water. The Outriggers for Life crew are supported by Great Britain Outrigger’s wider Outriggers for Life programme who have provided the team support through their paddle grant.

For Darren, outrigging isn’t just a hobby—it’s a chance to push himself physically and technically, all while enjoying the camaraderie of the outrigging community. It’s a journey that’s brought him renewed purpose and plenty of unforgettable moments along the way.

Joel Evans

Joel is a father of three children: James, Mia, and Ella. He is the founder of the successful school holiday club -The Outdoor Project. Driven by his concern about his children spending too much time on their screens, Joel sought to offset this by championing outdoor pursuits that encourage pleasure and interaction with the natural environment.

In 2009, he initiated this endeavour, starting with sessions held in Hove Park alongside his children, their friends, and basic equipment like a tarpaulin and Nerf kit. Through word of mouth, the concept gained traction, evolving into a widespread phenomenon. Presently, The Outdoor Project encompasses various offerings citywide, catering to primary school children through birthday parties, after-school clubs, parent and toddler groups, school workshops, and highly sought-after holiday clubs.

Outrigging piqued Joel’s interest during a casual pub discussion with Simo, leading to a newfound passion for the sport. Introduced by Jon and Simo, Joel has been involved in outrigging for three years, finding fulfilment and excitement in competitions.

A highlight of Joel’s outrigging journey was competing in the UK club team’s world championships after just eight months of paddling. This experience ignited his passion for outrigging and showcased the sport’s transformative power.

Outrigging has not only improved Joel’s health but also introduced him to inspiring individuals and places. It serves as a positive focus amidst life’s challenges and inspires his children.

Influential mentors like Simo, Jon, Richard Harman (Dickie), and Stevee P have supported Joel’s outrigging journey, providing guidance and sharing their expertise.