Penticton canoe crew paddle way to national podium
Penticton Racing Canoe Club topped the podium at the Canadian National Outrigger Races in Gibsons Aug.8-10.
In their opening race, the junior crew of Walker Singleton, Reece Haberstock, Noah Beglaw, Matthew Koster, Jessica Broder and Liam Mulhall led a field of 12 boats in the 14 kilometre novice/junior race. The crew led from the start. In a release, Mulhall said having a good start was important.
"Our team was fastest from the start. It made it a great race to steer," he said.
In the men's/mixed race, Tyson Bull, Launa Maundrell, Lynn Redmond, Don Mulhall, Kim Doleszar and Cheryl Skribe capped a strong season with a win in the 26-km event. They crossed the finish line in two hours, four minutes, good four fourth amongst the men's crews - almost eight minutes ahead of the second place mixed crew from Victoria in a field of 13.
Two years ago in nationals, they took on another crew for three quarters of the race and narrowly won.
"We had hoped for as exciting a finish again this year and we weren't disappointed when we managed to chase down a men's crew and catch them with less than 500-m to go," said Redmond. "To finish as strong as we did, not only against other mixed teams, but against all the men's teams as well, certainly speaks to our level of fitness."
The women's crew of Clara Schirrmeister, Ginette Schirrmeister, Lisa Singleton, Tina Hoeben and Julia Veidt posted a time of 2:31. All crews battled strong winds and some of the year's strongest tide changes in a race that went out of Gibsons harbour northwest along the coast and turned back to go around Keats Island and returned to Gibsons.
Don Mulhall won the surf ski event and was the first solo boat overall with a time of 57:32.
"The conditions out there were everything you could imagine - ocean swell going one way, then wind-driven swell, and swells from large ocean-going vessels all going in every direction, rebounded waves coming off cliffs, then huge tide changes around rocks and islands," said Don. "It seems like almost everybody got knocked out of their canoe at some point. Some of the top people I talked to had capsized more than once."