Monday, June 20th, 2011...6:24 am

Seaway Valley Double Header – Boatercross Survivor and a Throwdown in the same day :)

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Saturday June 20, 2011
Riviere-St-Charles, Valleyfield, Quebec.


The check list goes something like this: Sun? check – water levels good? check – gear ready? check – food and drinks available? – check.

Almost forgot: Kayaks, people, spectators and world kayak? check – check – check and check!

Saturday morning started the arrival of CReW on site in Valleyfield. We set up the trailer and the registration table and slowly but surely everyone started to flow in.

At 10:30 when the race started we had 11 people competing. :) The race starts at the top of the river where 2 strong men (hehe, I have to give myself a little credit ;) ) pick up 2 boats at a time and release them down the “tubes”. For new paddlers this is the moment that stresses them the most but, as we have seen time and time again, they get the hang of it and come back for more.
The race ran down through manic, the across through a couple gates and finishes with a sprint across the finish line by the take out dock where Sylvie got heir finish time:)
We had a few moments of amusement. Zachary Zwanenburg put together a new paddle from a collection of old shafts and blades he had lying around the garage. Lesson 1, always test your new gear before racing. The first blade snapped off as he cleared the hole below the tubes, and the second failed on his very next stroke. Kudos to Zach as he did finish the race using only the blades in his hands :)
Sebastien gave us another moment of giggles when the hole below the tubes at him up and spat him in to the less than sociable eddy on the left. He tried and tried punch the eddy wall but no luck. Francky got him out of the boat and onto shore. Sebastien has a lot of promise and with more experience will learn about the features and how to handle them all. In the mean time we allowed both the boys to start the race again. (Their second crack at it gave them the best times of the day ! )
There were a few excellent races that kept us watching. Marie-Pier Cote and Cheryl went head to head. Cheryl had a faster start out of the gate but Marie-Pier showed us why she is a skilled slalom boater. At Manic her line was spot on and squeezed past Cheryl to hold on to the end. Cheryl, a freestyle boater, was close behind and gave Marie-Pier a solid run. Well done girls.
Emily and Charles, our 2 youngest boaters running from the tubes did well and showed us something about confidence. Francois-Bergeron Proulx (one of our favorite pro boaters) put in a good time and made it look too easy. Erin and Wade both ran the tubes for the first time. They both had fun and it showed on their faces.
We can not forget our second group. Sam and Francois. Son (12 years old) in a kayak and Dad (an awesome C1 boater) ran below the tubes and raced together. Go figure: Sam beat his dad and had a lot of fun doing it. Well done and there is nothing I enjoy more that watching families that paddle together.

When the race was done Sylvie and I tallied the times, posted them and set up for the freestyle event.

1:00PM came along quickly and we had 10 boaters enter the competition.
The ladder bridge was set up so the judges could see the 2 competition features: Manic and Bob. Both are holes and both offer some challenges for the paddlers who used them.
Judges ready? check – Timer ready? – check, paddlers and spectators? – check -check :)
What an event.
Everyone stood up to manic and did their best to give us some good moves and a couple good beatings as well. :)
Loops, Airloops, Spacegodzillas, Spins, cartwheels, a donkey flip form  C1, front and back surfs, enders, pirroutes and huge smiles Even a fun old school paddle twirl from Erin :)
In the end, we had a few dominant paddlers in the advance category: Zachary cleaned up with Franckie on his tail.
The junior kicked it and we saw a lot of enthusiasm and positive attitudes from Sebastien, Charles, Sam and Emily. Cheryl and Marie-Pier once again went head to head and both girls rocked :) . Erin stepped up to Bob and gave it her best. The paddle twirl was sweet and she did great.
In the C1 we had Francois who put on a good show and Zachary tried to step up to the C1 challenge.

When it was all over we got all the scores settled in and here is how it went:

Boatercross times:
Zachary Z.: 1:15 seconds.
Sebastien R. : 1:19 seconds
Wade: 1:21 seconds
Marie-Pier C.: 1:23 seconds
Cheryl M., Charles D. and Emily Z. : 1:27 seconds
Francky B-P. and Erin B.: 1:28 seconds.
Father and Son: Sam L.: 1:18 seconds and Francois L.: 1:29 seconds.

The freestyle event looked like this:
Zachary Z: 236 (Junior Men K1)
Francky B-P: 190 (Senior Men K1)
Francois L: 130 (C1)
Cheryl M.: 64 (Senior Women K1)
Sam L.: 41 (Junior Men K1)
Sebastien R.: 33 (Junior Men K1)
Marie-Pier C.: 27  (Senior Women K1)
Emily Z.: 22 (Junior Women K1)
Charles D.: 20 (Junior Men K1)
Erin B.: 14 (Senior Women K1)
Zachary Z.: 12 (C1)

A great day for everyone and loads of fun and everyone walked away with a sweet prize from our sponsors at World Kayak.
Thanks to everyone for showing up, getting involved and having a good time.

Until next time: Paddle hard and play safe.

Robert Zwanenburg

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