Nine members of the Penticton Racing Canoe Club aim to shine during the World Outrigger Sprint Championships in Calgary.
PRCC coach Tina Hoeben said it was an exciting week for her junior paddlers earlier this month as Brian MacPhail, Reid Noble Hearle, Travis Doroshuk, Matthew Koster, Clara Schirrmeister, Julia Veidt and Daylon Tilitzky got past the main hurdle of having success during trials to earn spots on Canada crews.
MacPhail and Noble Hearle made the Canada 1 crew for under-19 boys for both V-6 (a canoe for six people) and V-12 (two six-person canoes rigged together). Doroshuk and Koster both made the Canada 1 crew for under-16 boys, both V-6 and V-12, while Schirrmeister and Veidt made the Canada 1 crew for V-6 and V-12. MacPhail, Noble Hearle, Doroshuk, Schirrmeister and Veidt also paddled fast enough to qualify to represent Canada as individuals in V1 boats (solo canoes). Tilitzky is competing on the open men’s Canada B team.
MacPhail has also been asked to represent Canada in the open mens crew. He is being pulled up because of how quick he was in qualifiers.
“It’s a very prideful thing. To be able to represent Canada is amazing,” said MacPhail, who really enjoys the sport. “It’s also going to be an awesome chance to race against other people. It’s going to be cool to see how we can do.”
MacPhail said competing on that stage from Aug. 11 to 15 is going to be “an awesome experience.” One in which he intends to take the opportunity to learn about people from different countries.
Hearle said the opportunity to compete in the world championship is an incredible feeling.
“As juniors we’ve never really had much competition with other juniors, just other adults,” said Hearle.
He is determined to get better.
“I wanted to be the top-three in Canada,” he said.
Doroshuk is also excited about the talented paddlers they will be up against.
“It should be a blast,” he said. “I’ve been to (B.C.) Summer Games and stuff but I’m sure this will be such a bigger event.”
The Va’a (outrigger) World Sprints website states that the V-12 race a 500-metre straight sprint, while the V-1 is the same distance. The open category is a 1,500-m race with five turns.
When Hoeben informed the paddlers of the tryouts, Doroshuk decided to try and placed second among under-16 competitors in Canada.
“It was really shocking to me actually,” he said. “I didn’t know I performed so well.”
Doroshuk hopes he can make enough of an impression to go to the world championship in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2014.
Veidt and Schirrmeister are both excited by the challenge. Veidt is looking forward to competing with her crew, being part of the team and learning from other countries. She’s intrigued to see their approach. Schirrmeister also sees it as a learning experience.
Hoeben is excited that all the junior paddlers qualified. They will be joined by adult paddlers Kathryn Ginther and Ron Pronger.
“It just strengthens our club,” said Hoeben. “The more you have racing and are successful, it inspires and brings more people to the club.”
Hoeben added it will be nice to have people exposed to Penticton from far away.
“I’m just proud of how well those kids did,” she said, adding that three different coaches talked to her not only about how successful they were, but the enthusiasm and sportsmanship they showed as well.