Members of the junior Penticton Racing Canoe Club are looking to continue their success during the Canadian Outrigger National Championship in Vernon this weekend.
Representing the club are Brian MacPhail, Clara Schirrmeister, Noah Beglaw, Matthew Koster, Julia Veidt and Katarina Young. MacPhail said the focus this weekend is to win.
“We have won it in the past and it will be good to win again,” said MacPhail, adding they will face crews from B.C. and Alberta.
Training every Thursday morning, their focus has been on technique, endurance and some sprinting. Beglaw is new to the sport having joined two months ago. While he uses it as cross training for triathlons, his main sport, Beglaw said he can help the team in Vernon.
“Apparently a lot of people are saying that I’m a pretty strong paddler,” said Beglaw. “A lot of it probably comes from the sports I have already done.”
Schirrmeister is excited about Vernon for the opportunity to compete against other juniors, since the Penticton crew has mostly faced adults.
“It’s good to meet people from other clubs rather than being in our own environment,” she said. “Learn from others. People always have a different way to do their stroke.”
Coach Tina Hoeben wants to see the crew have their best performance, but added they never know what other crews are like.
“I think our crew has a fair shot at winning,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
The team is coming off a second-place result in the Gorge, which took place on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon July 20. With five junior crew members, Hoeben, who was among the crew members, said they performed fabulous in big water conditions against adult paddlers. Overall, Hoeben is happy with the program and said they have had a positive influx of new members. They are expanding to the Olympic paddling sports, flat water, kayak and canoe. Currently the club has 70 members, 30 of which are juniors. Anyone interested in joining can contact Tina at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 250-486-4286.
The PRCC is also having an introductory camp for other interested juniors (ages 11 and up) on Aug. 12 to 15 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. To sign up, contact Matthew Kosters at email@example.com or call 250-488-7126.