Leading up to Kalamalka Classic and Canadian Champs I was feeling nervous. I was scared that with the extra stress of work I wouldn't perform as well. I was nervous as I wanted to reclaim my title which I lost while I was in China. I was nervous because it was the first Canadian Championships... I am feeling strong out on the water and a summer of racing has definitely helped me be in race mode.,... but I am human and as I continue to find success in the sport the pressure slowly builds (mostly pressure that I devise...). I love it but it can be a handful at times....
Andrew and I arrived in Vernon at about 1am Sat morning.... We set up camp at Dutch's Campground and tried to get in some decent sleep. The next day was pretty awesome. Kalavida Surf Shop did an amazing job running the event. There was always something exciting going on, things were on time and people were involved. The opening prayer and circle set the ton and boy was it a positive one. It also always helps when the sun is shinning and its warm out:)
|The clan photo: Nikki R|
Wikiholo Short Course:
The short course had two rounds for the women. Both rounds counted for points and the second had a larger weight value. The start we did is my favorite way to start a beach start (even though it was where I made a big mistake in Tahoe earlier this summer...). We get our boards ready on their sides and our paddles in the sand. At the start gun you run to your paddle and then pick up your board and run it into the water and jump on. The first round I wasn't sure what to expect. I had an awesome start and just hammered out to the first bouy. Thank you Dave Billeness for the board lend (2013 Starboard 12'6 Sprint). I got to the bouy first and just kept hammering until the run. Once I could kind of figure out how much of a lead I had I was able to take it slower on the second loop. I cruised into the beach in 1st place. I was happy with my paddle and result but it wasn't over. We had to wait slightly longer than I anticipated and decided to forgo eating a lunch even though it was about that time. These shorter races are the pukey ones and having food in the stomach does not feel good.... I just kept hydrated and snacked a little. The mens race was really fun to watch... some really good competition where it could have been numerous people taking the podium.... Our second and final round was the one that really counted so I wasn't feeling relaxed until we could get that over with. I was going into it with more confidence and knowledge but was very careful not to be too confident.... I once again had a good start and managed to get to the first bouy first. I had a solid first loop and run and provided myself with a decent lead. On the second round though something happened I fell on my second bouy turn... I have no idea what happened and it totally shocked me... I got up sooo quick and just paddled my brains out... I was so scared that I had messed things up but luckily it was a mistake that didn't cost me the win. phew.
|Start of Wikiholo photo: Andrew Dye|
I like to participate in all the events so I took my turn at the inflatable Naish sprint races and we put together a fun WERNER relay team (Andrew was part of it!YAY!)... The team relay was a great way to finish off day one. We enjoyed a social beverage at the Tiki bar and dinner on the beach.... I love the races that allow us to be social, meet new people and enjoy everyone's awesomeness!!!!!!!!! As fun as the evening was the BIG race was lingering on my mind..... The crossing and the Canadian Champs.
|Team Werner relay team. Photo: Nikki R|
Kalamalka Lake Crossing.
First off: Congrats Andrew, my amazing hubby for paddling in his first race and his first crossing of the lake. He killed it! I am so proud of him and so happy that he liked it too! YAYAYAYAYA
Second: thanks Nikki Rekman and Mark for the shuttle and for being a wonderful supporter and friend.... I love that you were there and I love your stoke and love for all things paddling, people, and community!!!!! We are lucky to have you!
Third: I am a Canadian Champion and doubly awesome once again the QUEEN of Kalamalka Lake.... So, The 14ft racers started last.... I had a decent start and found myself heading into the channel in 4th overall... I had my sites on Stu, Norm, and Mike.... my goal was to stay as close to them as possible.... I was feeling pretty good, the heat was not bothering me and I really did not get that sore. I tried to work on my stroke, remember to drink, and to try and look around a little (it is sooo beautiful)... I managed to pass Mike and then I wanted to catch Stu and Norm but they were too speedy and there was no chance:).... so I just wanted to paddle well.... and I did! My Werner Small Grand Prix paddle rocks the house and my 2013 Starboard 14x24 Sprint is fast and comfortable..... Two pieces of equipment I definitely could not do without.... Also I wore my photochromic/polar Ryders Eyewear Strike sunnies and they sooooo worked... no fogging and clear views.... YES! Chaco sandals is what I wear on my feet before, after, and always.... love them
|coming into finish of long course photo: Mark and Nikki|
|1st place women 14ft CAN champs|
So in the end I got to reclaim my QUEEN of the lake title and add a 14ft Women's Canadian Champion to my name... Not a bad weekend if I say so myself....
|King and Queen photo: Nikki and Mark|
Again, this SUP community is just sooooooooooo amazing, the people are generous, happy, supportive, stoked, fit, fun people to be around.....
The racing marathon is almost coming to a close..... still some more racing in September but it's been an amazing wild ride and I could not have done it without my hubby, Andrew LOVE HIM!
live, love, laugh,...DREAM!