A group of father and sons from the Penticton Racing Canoe Club used experience to win the Survive the Triangle race in Salmon Arm last weekend.
Tyson and Chris Bull, Stuart and Dennis Rahkola and Liam and Don Mulhall teamed up to paddle the 20-kilometre distance in the men’s division finishing in one hour, 29 minutes.
“Really our advantage I think was simply that despite our diverse age range (the youngest 15 and eldest 76) when you look at the number of years of experience paddling within the boat, we probably had more than most boats,” said Tyson Bull, 47. “In a six-man boat, a lot of it is a matter of meshing and working together. We certainly had that come together very nicely. Our boat was very smooth and I think fairly technically strong in the water.”
“I think it went great. I think we executed everything that we had intended to,” said Don. “We had no idea going into it what our comparative horse power was going to be. What the crews were going to be there. Even just within our own race, I think we did exactly what we thought we would do.
“Our steering was as good as or better than most out there,” continued Mulhall. “It’s a fairly long race. I think we were pretty consistent in how we kind of applied that effort.”
Bull said he felt the other crews underestimated Liam, 15, because of his age.
“He did an extremely good job,” said Bull.
Mulhall added that the group believed they would perform well.
“I don’t think we expected to win,” said Mulhall. “But we expected to go out there and do ourselves proud.”
Mulhall said it was kind of an honour to have the team they did. He added the sons were excited to get out with their fathers. Bull said enjoyment came from the team they had.
“To still race with my father and his original racing partner, to have an opportunity to compete athletically with your father, when you yourself are already middle aged is quite a plus,” said Bull, 47, adding that not many people are in a position or as lucky to have a father as fit as his is at 72.
The 20-km race attracted several crews from Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver, Delta and the host club of Salmon Arm.