Monday, May 18th, 2015...6:42 pm

Seaway Valley WK and CReW HTTD #1

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Sunday, 17 May 2015 Riviere St-Charles, Valleyfield, Quebec. Twas a warm Sunday morn. and all through the house not creature was stirring not even a …. why ? cause everyone was heading down to the river banks on the Riviere St-Charles with the gang from CReW and the CEEVV. :) That’s right CReW, The CEEVV and World Kayak are at it again for the fist of 5 throwdown events in Valleyfield, Quebec. Mixing it up on a long weekend, while there are other regional whitewater events drawing the high performance athletes (Neilson River Creek Race in Quebec and the Ottawa XL on the Ottawa River) is always a challenge but we had an awesome turnout of new (to freestyle) paddlers for our first event of the season. We opened registration at 12:00 and by 1:30 we had a group of 9 enthusiastic paddlers ready to take their shot at freestyle and boatercross comp. At the event yours truly offered a 30 minute kayak surf control clinic for the newer paddlers looking to clean up their boat control and situational awareness. Joining were Felix Tourigny, Colin Robineaud, Marc-Antoine Dubois, George Abou-Atme, Mathiew Lapierre,  Emily Z, William Plourde, and Marc-Antoine D’Avignon and Mathiew Pockes. A lot of the fun in our throwdowns comes from encouraging the young and new paddlers to ham it up. If you are you’re not having fun you will not stick with it so let out your inner monkey. Points are awarded during the freestyle part for traditional moves from the basic front surf to the more advanced moves (loops, McNasty, pistol flips etc) but of equal importance we award points for best effort, biggest smiles, old school paddle twirls, flirting with the judges (yes Sylvie got blown a lot of kisses with big smiles from some of the kids and even a flirty adult (perhaps I should be jealous….)), best beat down, best swim, etc etc.the end result was some good skill improvements, and a crap load of fun for everyone. We were lucky to have a lot of parents of the young group come out to encourage their kids and ask a lot of questions. Who knows, maybe we will see them out there this year too! No pressure mom and dads…. (well maybe just a little….) The boatercross followed right after the freestyle and we had enough paddlers for 2 heats followed by a final of 1 heat (4 boaters.) Gotta say, I really love seeing the stress on new paddlers faces as they sit in the start “gate” waiting to go… Puts life in perspective a bit. No matter how friendly the event, experienced the paddler (or not) or complex the course, racers all have the same look of anxiety and anticipation on their faces. :) The final results were as follows: Remember these are for fun but ar ea great way for the new paddlers to measure their improvement through the season. They asked for the scores so here they are: Freestyle: Marc-Antoine Dubois (13 points) George Abou-Atme (11  points) Felix Tourigny and Colin Robineaud (tied with 7 points each) William Plourde, and Marc-Antoine D’Avignon (Tied with 5 points) Mathiew Lapierre (4 points) Mathiew Pockes (3 points) Emily Zwanenburg For the boatercross we ended as follows: George (1st) Felix ( 2nd) Colin (3rd) As always everyone had fun and the fun will just continue through the rest of our season. Thanks to our awesome sponsors from World Kayak for helping us to ensure that everyone one who participated was able to walk away with cool prizes from one of our great supports, Jackson Kayak, Mountain Khaki, Smith Optics, Stoney Boater, Kokatat, Chaco. Our next throwdown is on Sunday June 14th and we are looking forward to seeing everyone there. :) Peace. Robert Z.  

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