It has been a memorable years for local paddlers.
The competitive season for the Ridge Canoe and Kayak Club ended on Sept. 11, when it hosted the Pacific Cup and B.C. Under-15 Canoe Kayak Championships.
With nearly 300 paddlers at Whonnock Lake, this year’s Pacific Cup was one of the largest ever.
It was a good end to a remarkable season for the local club.
In August, the top paddlers from RCKC travelled to Halifax for the national championships. The small team of six paddlers brought home six medals.
One-time junior national team member Alex Brent scored bronze in both the U19 K1 500m event and the U19 K1 1,000m. He also teamed up with junior national team member Matthew Koehler to win silver in the U19 K2 1,000m.
Senior national team member Brian Malfesi paddled to bronze in the senior men’s K1 500m and gold in the senior men’s K1 1,000m.
At the national championships, Ridge club paddlers scored almost as many points as all other B.C. teams combined.
Malfesi and Koehler travelled to the junior and U23 world championships in Belarus. Malfesi was in the Canadian K4 boat that placed sixth overall.
In July, five RCKC athletes put on a strong show in the events at the B.C. Summer Games in Langley. Cassidy MacPherson led the way with six gold medals; Jia Kim had four gold and two silver; Lilly Small had a gold, one silver and two bronze; Noah Said had four silver and two bronze; Alex Dmitriev had a silver and four bronze; and Sam Rosenthal won a silver and two bronze.
Over the course of the summer, RCKC athletes travelled to three B.C. Cup Series regattas in Burnaby, Kamloops and Nanaimo. When all the points from those competitions were tallied, MacPherson was first in U13 and U14 women’s kayak, second in U15 women’s kayak and second in U-14 women’s canoe. Kim was first in U15 women’s kayak and canoe. Shania Modha was third in U-13 women’s canoe. Said was first in U14 men’s canoe and third in U15 men’s kayak. Bryan Kelleway was third in men’s U12 kayak and Dmitriev was third in U15 men’s kayak.
There are 30 competitive paddlers registered with the club, which has also hosted more than 1,000 students to a one-day introduction to paddling, and also offers week-long summer paddling programs.
This fall and winter junior paddlers will continue to train three times per week, while seniors go almost daily.