Flat Water North — a canoeing and kayaking club based near Schwatka Lake — made a splash at the Canada Cup West Regatta in Regina July 6-7, where the team competed against 11 other teams from both the U.S. and Canada. The entire weekend featured dozens of races, and Flat Water North participated in many of them.
“It’s a busy weekend, but it’s exciting because you get into your race head and you just go go go,” said Lynwen Birch, the head coach of Flat Water North.
In terms of points collected by each club, Flat Water North placed ninth among the 12 competing teams. The team also placed third overall in the U14 men’s races.
The Wascana Racing Canoe Club, who hosted the regatta, collected the most points overall.
Participants from Flat Water North managed to rank quite highly in a number of their races. Notably, Joel Girouard, James McCann, Rogan Parry and Bruce Porter placed first in the men’s U14 K4 500 metre race.
(Codes such as K4 refer to how many people were on each team in a race and whether the race involved a kayak or a canoe. Likewise, codes such as U14 indicate the race’s age limit for participants, with U14 standing for “under 14.”)
Similarly, Joel Girouard and Bruce Porter placed third in the men’s U14 K2 500 metre race.
Anya Lera placed first in the women’s U12 C1 200 metre race, their only canoeing race in the entire regatta.
Some Yukon racers joined up with racers from Oklahoma to compete in races together. Julianne Girouard came second in the women’s U18 K4 500 metre race, along with three other racers from Oklahoma. Alex Hendricks, Alex LeBarge and two Oklahoman racers also placed second in the men’s U12 K4 500 metre race.
Other notable placements include Rogan Parry placing third in the U14 K1 200 metre A final race, James McCann placing third in the U14 K1 500 metre B final race and Julianne Girouard placing second in the women’s U16 K1 1000 metre heat 1 race.
Birch was very happy about Flat Water North’s performance at the regatta, adding that many of their racers also placed fourth and fifth in a number of races as well.
“I think they performed beyond their expectations,” she said.
She noted that since Flat Water North couldn’t take its own equipment, the team had to become accustomed to the unfamiliar, more challenging equipment in Regina. Nonetheless, she says everyone jumped over this learning curve well.
“They’re in equipment that is unfamiliar or slightly above their ability,” she said. “And they just get in and go and paddle and race hard. And that’s what impressed me as a coach with this group. There’s no complaints, they’re just happy to be mixing it up with other clubs from Canada and showing what they can do.”
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