Paddlers going for gold at sprint championships

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will be well represented as 30 B.C. canoe and kayak athletes from six clubs go for gold.

Stuart Chase of the Pitt Meadows paddling club is part of a strong local contingent that will be competing at  the nationals in Nova Scotia starting on Tuesday.

Stuart Chase of the Pitt Meadows paddling club is part of a strong local contingent that will be competing at the nationals in Nova Scotia starting on Tuesday.

Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will be well represented as 30 B.C. canoe and kayak athletes from six clubs go for gold at the 2016 Sprint Canoe Kayak Canadian Championships.

The B.C. athletes will compete at the championships in Dartmouth, N.S. from Aug. 30 to Sept. 4.

The athletes qualified for the championships following trials earlier this summer.

National team member Brian Malfesi  of the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club leads B.C. to Nova Scotia. Malfesi recently competed at the U23 World Championships where he was sixth. Earlier this spring he won silver at the Piestany International Regatta.

Joining him is Matthew Koehler also of the Ridge CKC, who competed at the Junior World Championships in July.

Seven other athletes are representing the Pitt Meadows Paddling Club and Ridge Canoe Kayak Club including Corey Stewart, Verna McNichol and Sebastian Sorescu. Stewart, the five time CKBC Para Athlete of the year from Pitt Meadows, is looking to beat his personal best times and medal.

Ridge’s Verna McNichol is the only woman in Western Canada competing in the masters category at the Canadian Championships. She is looking to have fun regardless of her placing. Teammate Sorescu’s goal is to medal in the team boats at the championships.

Other Pitt Meadows Paddling Club athletes are Stuart Chase and Shon Cottrill.

Maple Ridge is also represented by Alex Brent and Justin Won.

The Sprint Canoe Kayak Canadian Championships are hosted annually throughout Canada. 1,200 athletes from more than 40 clubs will travel to Dartmouth’s Lake Banook to compete to be considered the best sprint paddlers in Canada.