Record-setting race for Skaha Downwind event

Season-ending Skaha Downwind event attracts 26 teams for Saturday race

The Penticton Racing Canoe Club (PRCC) had a record-setting season-ending Skaha Downwind race on Saturday.  There were 44 athletes in 26 boats competing in the 11.2 kilometer event.

The mostly one and two-person boats (with two larger six- person outrigger canoes) race between Penticton and Okanagan Falls with direction determined by the wind.  Penticton’s Don Mulhall was the overall winner in 58 minutes, 51 seconds. Top outrigger was Tyson Bull in 1:02:06 .

The top two-person outrigger was Greg and Kai Redman of Kelowna at 59:32 seconds. Top two-person junior outrigger was Reece Haberstock and Liam Mulhall in 1:01:31. Maximum speeds reached would have been approximately of 15 km/h, with most boats averaging 10 – 12 km/h.

This year saw a mild northerly wind increase as the race began into strong winds creating the much sought after waves and rough conditions that help propel the craft along the route.

Race Director Andrew MacPhail at first didn’t hold much hope for strong winds.

“Environment Canada had no wind in the forecast,” he said in a release. “It looked like it might be a very flat race. We couldn’t have timed the race better, starting it later in the day (2 p.m.) allows the wind to build and it looks like it peaked just as we were finishing the event.”

All 26 boats finished the course.

The PRCC Skaha Downwind race is part of the Canadian Outrigger Racing Association’s race series. For more info go to www.pentictonoutrigger.com or www.canadianoutrigger.com.