May 26, 2014
Press Release from Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan
Several Saskatchewan paddlers contributed to top place team finishes at the annual Ski to Sea race held May 25th in Bellingham, Washington. The race combines cross country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking and sea kayaking. 421 teams competed in the event.
Ivan English, Edith MacHattie, Trevor Robinson, Graham Smith and Catherine Trask of Saskatoon and Mike Vincent of Regina all competed in the canoe leg of the 7 leg race. English, Robinson, Smith and Vincent represented teams which posted 3 of the 4 fastest canoe times of the 421 teams competing in the event. As well, MacHattie and Trask were the top female canoe team.
English and Vincent represented Team Aeromech which finished 2nd of 52 teams in the Competitive Open Division and 2nd overall out of all divisions. The duo posted the fastest time of all teams in the canoe leg of the race.
Trevor Robinson was a member of the GetSimpleBox.com team which finished in 5th place overall in all divisions and in 1st place out of 7 teams racing in the Masters Division. Robinson and canoe partner Joseph Manns posted the 3rd fastest time in the canoe leg of the race.
Smith was a member of the Boomer’s Drive-in Team, which finished the race in 4th place in the Competitive Open Division and in 8th place in all divisions. Smith and canoe partner Ron Williams finished in 4th place in the canoe leg of the race which is especially noteworthy as Williams is a 74 year old paddler.
MacHattie and Trask paddled for the Cascadian food.net which finished in 2nd place out of 12 teams in the competitive mixed division and 26th overall. The pair finished the canoe leg of the race in 22nd
place and was the fastest women’s canoe team.
The Ski to Sea race has been running since 1973. It is based on an historic race called the Mt. Baker Marathon which was held from 1911 to 1913. It attracts participants from around the world and includes several divisions in the competitive and recreational categories.
For event information please visit the official website at the following link: http://www.skitosea.com/
For results visit the following link: http://results.skitosea.com/
The Water Security Agency of Saskatchewan has increased the water flow out of Gardiner Dam so the flow in Saskatoon has reach 1000 cubic metres per second(to see graph of flow - https://www.wsask.ca/Lakes-and-Rivers/Stream-Flows-and-Lake-Levels/South-Saskatchewan-River-Watershed-/05HG001/)
As a result the City of Saskatoon has issued an advisory regarding river usage in Saskatoon and the Fire Department has closed the public boat launch (http://globalnews.ca/news/1350017/increased-flow-on-south-saskatchewan-river-closes-boat-launch/)
Due to this, the Canoe Kayak Sport Organization is refusing to sanction any river activity until the advisories have been lifted (http://www.saskcanoe.ca/)
CKS quote "Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan supports the City of Saskatoon advisory regarding dangers of water usage on and around the South Saskatchewan River. Based on this, Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan will not sanction any activity on the South Saskatchewan River at this time. Further, Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan will not sanction activities on any bodies of water where there are safety advisories issued by any city, town or municipality."
As a result all Saskatoon Canoe Club programs and activities are suspended until further notice.
The Ski to Sea multi-sport race in Bellingham, WA is a big local event for the Whatcom County community with 500 8-person teams participating each year. The May 25th edition of the race will start out with a XC ski, downhill ski, running, road cycling, canoeing, mountain biking, and then the kayak leg to finish. The canoe leg is one of the longer ones, so it has an impact on the outcome of the race. The local competition is fierce and the whole community comes out to cheer.
SCC members Trevor Robinson, Ivan English, and Graham Smith have all raced in previous years, and will be back this year. In 2014 Edith MacHattie and Catherine Trask will be racing for the first time. You can check real-time result updates here: Ski To Sea Results
The canoeing portion is paddled along The Nooksack river, which is fast and cold and can be push with water levels that vary widely. USGS Water Data - 3000 is considered low, 5000-7000 is just about perfect and at 10,000 they will consider cancelling the race. It changes so quickly due to weather (rain primarily) though that you won't know what to expect until a day or two before the race. The videos below show you what the race is like, including waiting in the transition zones.
First Wednesday night-May 7th
Edith orchestrated an excellent first marathon training session. We had 8 boats, and plenty of strong paddlers to stern our 4 newcomers (one had paddled some last year). Edith first explained some basics, then Kevin took us all down to the pier to demonstrate the catch and to give direction on strokes.
After this we headed for the mailboxes, staying together in a most disciplined fashion. The water was clear silver blue and the wind fairly calm, so four bows cutting through the water parallel to one another presented a good example of working together. And we didn’t dump any newcomers.
All in all, a really good start. Thanks to all the experienced paddlers who helped make this possible.
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