This spring/summer VYPC saw one of the busiest paddling seasons to date with sprint kayak, dragon boat/outrigger training and competitions. We attended the one day school Dragon Boat Championship at May-end through travel assistance from CKBC. Our team also competed at Nanaimo and Gorge DB Festivals and, due to conflicting schedules, split up to attend the Victoria DB Festival and BC Champs. Given schedule conflicts and Western Canada Games, there were some changes and fewer sprint kayak competitions, than hoped for, that the Racing programs’ paddlers were able to attend.
In July and August we also held our first week-long Mixed Paddling Camps at Elk Lake in conjunction with Victoria City Rowing Club (VCRC). Our own paddlers had practices on the lake and camp attendees had an opportunity to try the different disciplines of paddling and rowing. We acquired several PadTrac names, but no additional paddlers, from the endeavour.
Towards the end of August, as we slipped into our two week holiday break and our Nationals athletes headed out on us, the annual VYPC whitewater camping trip took place with a few of our families. There were some last minute scheduling conflicts but the youth and families able to attend the camp expressed tremendous satisfaction with the fun had and whitewater paddling opportunities they enjoyed, courtesy of their facilitators. Everyone returned having thoroughly enjoyed the outing and looking forward to next year’s event. Thank you to Joe Boyd for all his efforts and energy towards creating this option for those interested families.
This summer also saw the creation of a K4 team for Nationals, through invitation to two athletes at two different mainland clubs. The K4 was put together to give those youth and our own two Midget Men Nationals registrants other opportunities to medal at Nationals. We held two 4-5 day long intensive training camps here in Victoria for the K4, and the individual athletes trained for their other races.
For the first time, VYPC attended Nationals under our own banner. Our four athletes went up against the best provincial athletes from 42 other clubs and came home in fourth place overall for their Burgee and with seven medals between them. Silvers for the K4 Midget Mens 1000m, Silvers for the K2 Midget Mens 1000m, and a Bronze for the K1 Midget Mens K1 6000m. Our two original athletes have been acquired High Performance A status and must now continue training on their own in a high performance program.
Our club and our paddlers gained instant attention and recognition in a very big pond, earning kudos and congratulations from National Team athletes, CKC administration and from their competitors. BC came to Nationals with a handful of ‘young’ clubs and tremendous talent, none too quietly.
As we moved into the return to school, an interim schedule, and eyed the approaching end of the season, several of our athletes competed at Bantam Champs, in Nanaimo. We also had a generous handful of parents come forward to volunteer for officiating at this, and a couple other regattas, this year. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those parents who, despite apprehension, have recognized the need CKBC has for assistance in this regard. Without officials (usually volunteering parents) we simply can’t run the regattas. I know it seems like someone’s made a terrible, terrible, mistake when first approached — but, in fact, quite the contrary. Also, thanks to a couple of our siblings and paddlers for assisting in the officials tents this year, too!
We’re heading towards the last BIG sprint kayak regatta of the season, Pacific Cup. One weekend from now several athletes will compete against BC, Washington state and perhaps a club or two from the prairies. This regatta will be followed two weeks later by ORPC’s "Bridges and Inny/Outty" Races where we have our, much appreciated, annual fundraising food booth. Bridges is the busier of the two days as teams are in the big boats for about 6km races. Inny/Outty has small boats following about the same course, although there’ll be a smaller Junior course, too, and a big water course that only a few of our more experienced paddlers may compete in. But, here’s something else to look for — VYPC SENIORS! (is that fair nomenclature?!) Yes, indeed, several paddlers’ family members are currently taking the Learn to Outrigger (L2O) course through ORPC. Keep your eyes peeled, as it just may be possible that one or two of them will show up to compete at these races. I know some "Juniors" are hoping so.
The winter season runs October to March-end and Lisa will be sending out our invoices for the season, soon. Due to the successfulness of our weights cross-training during the winter program last year, we’ve once again arranged to offer this through Alan Poole out at Interrurban. That cross-training is a separate cost. As mentioned, our HP Racers will be mostly self-directed and will have extensive training hours. Racers/Jr Racers will maintain their similiar hours, with an included offering of High-Kneel Canoe (C-Boat) during Friday practices, courtesy of our C-Boat Coach. Please also note changes to the scheduling of Nuvo Racers program. These are adjustments that are required in order to keep the same paddling hours, but being mindful of the sunset times given daylight savings beginning November 6th. Generally, we will do our best to get paddlers off the water before dark. Explorers will remain a spring/summer program, only. Competitive Outrigger will see the addition of another session during the week, on Saturday. As some members are considering paddling at Worlds 2012 it was suggested the program could benefit from additional paddling hours.
One last word about the past events of this summer. A month or two ago, Patti Linden and Jody Trautman had a brainwave of an idea that they put their organizational powers, and considerable volunteer hours, into: A 100km ‘collective Paddle-a-thon’. Our paddlers secured sponsorship for the 100 kilometers of paddling they would do while Patti and Jody collected sponsors for draw prizes towards the youths’ efforts. The weather held out beautifully, as did the paddlers, while parents and paddlers also took the golden opportunity to ‘fall clean our clubhouse’ during breaks off the water. By the time we’d reached 100km (120, actually) the clubhouse was clean and everyone was ready to collect at the Lucato’s for a BBQ potluck, and the ensuing draw. This fundraising idea has topped our Bridges fundraiser by a significant amount. It was a tremendous success, the youth had fun, and they collected enough money for our non-profit to look towards the purchase of a new boat for the fleet! Thank you to all our sponsors who gave so generously to this worthy goal and who supported this creative undertaking. This is one keeper of an annual event and we’re hoping to do just that!
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