K2inCanada's Blog

July 21, 2011

Jun 26: Round Bowen Race 2011

Filed under: Canada, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 11:57 PM

This year I was on my own racing around Bowen – well there were many other competitors but in the past few years Jeff and I had always raced it in a double and we had did quite well. This year, neither of us had trained enough to even come close to previous years performances. So we decided to go single. I took my surfski and Jeff was in a sea kayak. He wasn’t ready to race at all just coming of an injury as well. Last time I did it solo was in 2007 in an Evo – a much more stable surfski than the Legend I am racing this time.

I had no expectation on placing or going fast just wanted to proof to myself that I can still do the distance – 32km that is. It was a nice sunny day but not too too hot. I went out easy and steady – most of the people were ahead of me off the start. We went south counterclockwise around the island – I would have prefered the other way as that would have meant to paddle the exposed side first and not near the end when I get tired. But apparently the wind was more favourable going south. We did have a nice tailwind pushing us along to the first corner. Just after the first turn, Scott, a paddling friend of mine came up from behind. I was surprised as I had thought he would have been ahead of me with the rest of the guys that always beat me on Tuesday nights. But no, he fell in shortly after the start and had to catch up. So we paddled together all the way up the east side with a good current pushing us closer and closer to the people ahead of us who were hugging the shore apparently with less of a current. I felt really good at this point and settled into a strong steady pace. By the next corner we started heading into the current and a headwind. I started hugging the shoreline to stay out of the current while Scott stayed wide. I didn’t see him again. But I did catch up to the people ahead of me. I ticked off Mark in his Evo, than Kamini and Graham in OC1 (both of them doing the relay which means only half the distance). The last two latched on to my stern and I pulled them all the way up to Tunstell Bay where they would switch off with their partners. By hey, they kept me honest and working hard the whole time and said thanks for the ride when we split ways. I pushed on towards Cape Roger Curtis – past that point the exposed westerly facing part of the race would start. Even before the point I caught up with Sean and his partner, Andy, and we started to race each us a bit trading the “lead” back and forth. Looking back we should have worked together but oh well, it was fun. Unlucky for Sean, he had to take a leak and I didn’t see him again. But of course I expected him to pull up from behind the whole time. By the way the western shore was calm and I finished that stretch with no problem but started to feel the kms and my muscles getting tired. The last stretch was with a tailwind and somewhat choppy. But I stayed relaxed and even though my speed had dropped, I still pulled towards the finish at a steady pace.  I tried to catch up with the mixed double just ahead of me at the last corner but they had more gas left in the tank than I did. I finished in 3hrs 05min, 10min faster than in 2007. I felt happy with my result. I passed most of the guys that beat me on the shorter races Tuesday nights. So with a bit more training I should be able to get back into race shape some day. I was also first women surfski, even though Caroline has beaten me on the Tuesday night races. But her surfksi is even more tippy than mine and she said she spent half the time with her legs in the water. My friend Jodi was in a double surfski with Bob and they finished second in their class – she would have beaten me in the single race for sure.

Jeff came in some time later, toodling along in his sea kayak – apparently it was worse than actually racing since he was out there for so much longer.

We hung out for a while after, enjoying the salmon BBQ as well as too many beer. I only bought one but Jodi kept filling up my cup over and over and over again. While waiting in the ferry line-up we finished the day off with some ice cream. I think I fell asleep in the car as soon as Jeff started driving off the ferry in Horseshoe Bay.


1 Comment »

  1. Congrats on the awesome performance! I had planned to pour a glass of wine and catch up on my blog, but after reading your epic race and the fishing trips, I think I should go work out!

    Comment by Krista — July 22, 2011 @ 8:07 PM

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