Post by Tim Quarles:
April 2 – Grey Rocks Return
Our first race of the TNR season did not disappoint. The race crew had ordered up some decently warm weather and laid out the welcome vibe! You could feel the excitement in the air and see it on the faces of race newbies and veterans alike.
The 4.2 km course took us out to Grey Rocks and back, which is usually a nice way to ease back into racing. Although, with hard fought battles and intense efforts all around, it was anything but nice and easy.
What a turnout! A total of 92 craft were on the start line, with 58 surfskis and kayaks, 27 SUPs, 2 OCs, 1 rowing shell plus a couple of prone paddlers. It was great to see racers showing up from a little farther afield; notably Mike Moorhead (Ladner) and Alan Norton (White Rock). Not to mention the turnout from Vancouver’s westside…here’s hoping we can keep growing the fleet!
The surfskis cover these shorter courses in quick time which usually makes for exciting finishes: Connor Curson crossed the line a few tenths before Katja and Jeff in a double. Next was Eric Verster only 7 seconds back with the other “double” of Shane/Linda/Alex right on his tail. Amazingly, the next five boats all were within 28 seconds of 1st place!
It’s always fun to have a couple of outrigger canoes show up and they appeared to have a good battle going, with Stuart Higginson taking the win over Chris Fibich. It’s great to see OC1 and OC2 craft out racing with us so please spread the word.
The prone class numbers suffered from a few locals being away, but James and Brad raced hard and will be sure to have company in coming weeks. As with many TNR regulars, James and Brad are putting in some long training sessions to prepare for the Monster and Sea 24hr fundraiser later this month. Remember: next weeks race proceeds go towards this great cause.
For the 14’ SUPs, Mike D has been training hard for the upcoming Pan Am Games and he managed to hold off challenges from Jason B and Adam G. Shannon Bell had a great race too, along with training buddy Shauna Magowan. Incidentally, Shauna is training hard for the epic Yukon River Quest “Race to the Midnight Sun” in June.
In the 12’6 SUP class, Cynthia Wonham showed her versatility by leaving the comfort of her surfski and standing up for a change to finish 1st. Also, it was awesome to see young Erin Husken out representing the youth paddlers…I’m sure she’ll have plenty of company once the weather warms up a bit more.
And just to make things interesting for some of you regular racers, there is a “TNR Fantasy” pool operated by 5 ex-staff of DCK. Check out @tnrfantasy on Instagram. Now in its 2nd year, team captains drafted 5 Paddlers for their team based on previous results and “secret” scouting reports on winter training (or lack thereof). Seems like good clean fun.
But keep in mind that if you have been drafted, you’re now racing for a higher purpose. Also, know that the points system rewards top results but penalizes your team if you’re a no-show…so participation counts!