September 4th, 2012

version française :)

toute une semaine!

Après le Championnat Canadien de slalom, nous voilà sur la route vers Minden Ontario

Le Championnat Canadien se terminait Dimanche. Emily s’est placée 3ie dans sa cat´´gorie, Zachary s’est placé 2 ie en C-1 et 3ie en K-1, il s’est aussi placé 1 er dans la course de descente et 1er en slalom parallele. Tres bon Championnat dans tout les senses, competitions, competiteurs, organisation, benevole. Bravo à tous!

Donc le grand départ Lundi matin, nous sommes tous fatigués mais bien heureux :)

Arrivée à Minden, l’entrainement sur le site de freestyle commence. Nous y étions venu quel;ques fois mais maintenant, le niveau est le même que ce qu’il va être à la compétition donc c’est parfait.

Il y a qulques juniors qui sont l;à avec nous donc les entraînements sont plus plaisants, Zachary et Emily on passé la semaine avec les autres jeunes.

J’ai paguayé un peu aussi, juste des descente de la rivière mais je me suis bien amusée :)

Jour de la compétition, pour les juniors, tout se passe la première journée. Emily se place 2ie, seulement 20 points derrière la première. Zachary se place 1er! Nous sommes tous très fiers et heureux de ces résultats et en plus il faut attendre au lendemain pour savoir si Cheryl a une place sur l’équipe, elle termine 4ie et sera donc en semi-final le lendemain.

Samedi, beaucoup de spectateurs sur les lieux, il fait beau et le rouleau est facilement accessible, parfait pour les passants un peu curieux. Et Cheryl passe en finale!!!

Et elle se place 2ie!!!! Donc trois membre de CReW sur l’équipe Canadienne!

On célebre un peu avant de repartir pour un plus long voyage.

Dimanche matin, on plis baggages et on part pour le Tenessee. Un petit arrêt à Toronto, où Robert s’arrête, il nous rejoindra Jeudi. Puis au Chutes Niagara, Zachjary et Emily ne les avaient jamais vu.

Nous arrivons donc à Rock Island Tenessee le Lundi soir. Mardi, il y a de l’eau de 1pm à 9pm donc lon va tous paguayer un peu. Trois autre compétiteurs Canadien arrivent vers 6 et Zachary retourne paguayer :) Un peu moins de monde dans le contre courant en attente le soir!

Mercredi, il n’y a que 3 heures d’eau, c’est le chaos dans le contre courant, 65 paguayeurs en attente pour le même rouleau!!

Jeudi, c;’est un peu plus organiser mais seulement 3 heures d’eau :(

C’est très beau comme endroit, les chutes comme fond de paysage!

Les préliminaires pour les hommes et femmes on eu lieu aujourd’hui ( Vendredi), nous avons du Canada, Nick Troutman, Adam Chappell et Ruth Gordon-Ebens qui se rendent en quart de final. Demain, on regarde les jeunes et les C-istes.

Je vous tiens au courant!

August 23rd, 2012

What a week!

After the Slalom Canadian Championship (great event) held in Valleyfield, we left for the Gull River in Minden Ontario.

The championship ended on Sunday with Emily finishing 3rd in her class, Zachary 2nd in C-1 and 3rd in K-1, he also finished 1st in the downriver race and in the parallel slalom. This last one was pretty entertaining for spectators as well :)

So we packed and left on Monday morning, a bunch of tired but happy people!

Arrived in Minden and set up camp. Training for the Freestyle Canadian team trials started, well not really started because it never stopped but started on site. Nice feature, it was hard to get the kids to take breaks and not be on the water all day. We want them to train and not burn out before the competition but they were all having fun, there was already another junior girl on site and Cheryl which they enjoy training with but having a few other juniors show up was definitely a plus for them. They spent the next couple days paddling together and hanging out.

I paddled a bit too, I do enjoy running that river and found other people to run it with.

Competition day, not enough juniors to have prelims, semi-finals and finals so everything happened for them on the Friday. Emily finished 2nd, 20 points only behind her competitor. Zachary finished 1st. We were all very excited but now have to wait until the next day to watch Cheryl in semi-finals :)

Saturday saw lots of spectators on site, it is a good place for that as you can easily access the feature just by parking on the side of the road and walking to the river and it was also a very nice day weather wise. Men’s and women’s semi-finals were very good to watch and now we get to see Cheryl in the finals!!!

Lots of cheering going on as we know every competitors on the water and although we have our favorites, we all want them to do well! So we know Cheryl did well, she had a very good ride but they do not tell us the score for the last ride of each competitor so we have to wait :( A bit over an hour does not seem long but when you are waiting to see if you made the team or not, it is very long I am sure!! After all this waiting, we get the results and Cheryl finished in 2nd place!!!

So CReW has 3 of it’s members on the Canadian team!!! Time to celebrate a bit before hitting the road.

Sunday morning is packing time then a drive to Toronto with a short stop at Robert’s work place where he will stay until Thursday. Then the kids and I are off to Tennessee. A short stop at Niagara falls, the kids had never seen them. Lots of people and we are not used to touristy place with so many people walking and driving and all the noise from stores, restaurants and attractions. We found a parking spot and walked along the river, more our style :)

We drove to a small town between Buffalo and Columbus and stopped there for the night, then a lot more driving took us to Rock Island State park where we settled for the week.

Water was kind of on on Tuesday so the kids paddled a bit, I got in too as there was not too many paddlers yet but today (Wednesday) is looking pretty busy. Water is suppose to be on from 3:00 to 6:00 but the boys wanted to be here early just in case the schedule was wrong so we were here at 1:30. I think Zachary has been on the water since 2:00 and water is just coming up now right on time.

So I will go watch the training and take pictures, it is a beautiful site with the waterfalls in the background! I just have to watch for snakes!!!

June 18th, 2012

2012 World kayak events series starts in Valleyfield

Robert is working crazy hours and doesn’t really have time for anything but work so I am taking over the blog writing about the event if we want something posted :) I am not as good as he is for lengthy blogs but at least we’ll all know what is going on in the Seaway Valley!

On June 2, CReW held the first World Kayak event of the season with a down river race.

We had 14 participants from 11 to 53 and of all skill levels.

We started the more advanced paddlers from the pipes at the top of the river 2 by 2. We had a total of 6 so we then took the 3 winners and started them at the top of the river for the final run.

For all the other paddlers, we made 2 groups and started them off a bit lower but they still had a very challenging race to do with a few tricky eddies to catch before making it to the bottom.

All in all, a great morning on the river! A lot of the participants were slalom paddlers coming from Ottawa about 2 hours away, it was great to have them participate in the race.


September 21st, 2011

2011 Throwdown season ends with a full day of paddling and an awesome after party :)

When – Saturday September 17th.
Where – The Riviere St-Charles in Valleyfield, Quebec.

Saturday started with a sunny but brisk morning. Paddlers started showing up at 9:30 am to get registered and get ready for another fun boater cross. At 10:30 we had 3 categories of racers: The first was our women’s category.  Cheryl McGregor, Sylvie Lebel, Emily Zwanenburg, Sabina Finnie and Shaunna Neil-Martin. The race was excellent. The course was intentionally made tough with a couple must make moves to ensure the challenge and add some excitement to the event. The first upstream gate was in an eddy set just above a retentive hole. This assures us a good show. It also reminded everyone of the importance of never quitting. Cheryl held the lead throughout but at the tough gate, Emily and Sylvie collided pushing both into the hole and missing the gate. Shaunna is a new paddler who came to us from Petawawa, worked super hard to keep up with the pack. She did great. The second upstream gate proved challenging but with some encouragement form her friend Graham she never quit and completed every gate assuring her a second place in the race. We were all proud.
The next 3 heats consisted of our men’s category combined with the Junior men. What a great show. The 1st upstream gate gave us the intended results. A big challenge and some good beatdowns. Our regular racers Zachary Zwanenburg, Sean Hakvoort, Zachary Hakvoort, Francois Bergeron-Proulx, Aimé-Jean Lavigne, Louis-Phillipe Legare and the rest of the kids from the Valleyfield slalom club ( 3 Sams, Max, Marc-Antoine, Charles, and Aaron) were joined by Simon LaChance, Graham Kent from Pembrooke, Frederick and Eric and Charles Davidson who   gave us a great show pushing themselves and each other really hard :) The highlights were our new paddlers: Graham rocked his first race. Graham is a very new paddler (been a month!) and he got worked in the hole and hung on tight and finished the race. Eric Davidson and his brother Charles ran their first race too. Both these young men come from the CReW Youth Challenge Kayak Program and showed us that they were listening throughout the summer. Well done boys!

After the race and the race awards, Aime-Jean and Louis-Phillipe organized an impromptu mass start race without rules! I could not resist and jumped in the race. What a hoot. 11 paddlers start together in a tough mix of slalom and no rules boatercross. Manic is a hole that does not treat you well if there is more than one paddler in it. There were many. hehehehe. No one completed all the gates but everyone had fun.

Next up is the main event – Seaway Valley WK Hometown Throwdown. It seems that the last event of every year brings us the best crowd. This year was no exception. The morning race crew competed and we added Dany Trottier to the men’s group. The competition was solid. 7  paddlers did their rides on mini wave while the advanced group watched and cheered. The kids and new paddlers gave us surfs, spins and back surfs mixed in with some great old school shows (paddle twirls, air guitar and a tomahawk) So very cool to see these new paddlers take on the sport.
The advanced boaters gave us a good show as well. 4 women( junior and adults) and 12 men (Juniors and adults) stood up to manic and did their best. Loops, a few huge entry moves, massive air loops and aerial space gods, splitwheels, cartwheels and a felix were on the table. Was very cool. In the end the results were as follows:

Down River race:


1st Louis-Philippe Légaré

2nd Zachary Zwanenburg

3rd François Bergeron-Proulx


1st Cheryl McGregor

2nd Shaunna Neil-Martin

3rd Emily Zwanenburg


Men A

1st François Bergeron-Proulx  175 points

2nd Frederick 167 points

3rd Aimé-Jean 118 points

Junior men A

1st Zachary Zwanenburg  342 points  He was also the 1st overall.

2nd Maxime Leboeuf 62 points

3rd Samuel Primeau 48 points

Women A ( junior and adults)

1st Cheryl McGregor 139 points

2nd Sylvie Lebel 17 points

3rd Emily Zwanenburg 15 points

Men and Women B ( junior and adults )

1st Charles Demeule

2nd Samuel Pharand

3rd Zachary Hakvoort

The only C-1 of the day was Zachary Zwanenburg, 23 points, no swimming!

At the end of the day, everyone had fun and walked away with a sweet reward from our sponsors too :)

The day ended with a BBQ for those who could make it. Food drinks, cake, coffee and fireworks were provided by the Zwanenburg family at our home. It was a great time and a wonderful way to end the freestyle season in our region.

Thanks to all our participants, family, volunteers and sponsors. Without you all my life would be a lot less fun :)

See y’all on the river soon,

Robert Zwanenburg

NB: Pictures coming soon

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