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Weekend Wanderer

Wandering the Weekends in California and beyond

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My 10th Catalina Crossing

This past weekend was the Catalina Crossing US Outrigger Championships! It takes a lot of training, a lot of work and a lot of planning just to GET to the start line that Saturday morning. It’s not something I take lightly. It’s something special and different than any other channel crossing. It’s home base.  It’s family – all the girls that you’ve trained all season with on the water together for one last race.

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This crossing was a little different. I came to the realization that I have been doing so many other things for so many other people – that this race was for MYSELF. I didn’t need to impress anyone, take care of anyone, babysit anyone. I was 13 miles from land during my race, halfway, and the only person I had to watch out for was myself. This was my tenth crossing. And it was hard.

We paddled into a headwind and side swell for 5 hours. But there wasn’t a time where we wanted to give up, or stop. We kept pressing and we kept going. We rallied together, pushed through our mistakes and kept racing.

The next day, we turned around to come home. The men raced back. It was a fast course, the wind was at their backs. And even though the fastest guys were up front; the most exciting part was in the middle. With the 5 junior teams competing against each other! Teams from LA, Newport, Hawaii and Dana point! It was the largest division of juniors that we have had at that race in a long time. I couldn’t have imagined a better race for these boys that I escorted across the channel. They were the boys that ever gave up, that hammered through the chop and evaded a 500 ft tanker coming across the course. We did it boys!

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Winter Series Races 2012

WINTER SERIES RACES

We’ve had two races so far this month for the SoCal Ocean Racing Winter Series. The Becky Stuart in Oceanside, California and the Tecolate 5000 hosted by the San Diego Canoe and Kayak Team. Both races had a most of the NAC Jr Kid’s competing in.

The first race took place on a cold Saturday in Oceanside. The 100’s of people at this race are as expected as this is one of the more popular races…and not just because of Molly Bishop’s afterparty:)

What was exciting about this ra6mance was that the Newport Aquatic Center had paddlers that had never raced before, and this venue being their first race is perfect. Not only is launching one mans and two mans easy at this race, they also allow for us to race 6mans for the kids. That allows us to have atleast 12 more kids race, and let about 6 or  7 kids race twice! These winter races are perfect for getting kids out on the water and ready for racing. It’s also perfect for the returning Jr Paddlers who are ready to take the next step up in the sport, for example one man long course. We had about 7 kids going long course, a lot of them for the first time. Jenny and Kylie being the two girls from the team going one man in the 9 mile long course race, while Daniella and Megan went two man. Clay, Spencer, Gunnkellyn and isabellaer and Cade all went one man during the race.

Before that, even short course one man is a feat in its own for a lot of new paddlers. Makena won her division in one man, while Liam won his.

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 I can’t wait to see how the start of 2013 will go for Winter Series Racing with the juniors, but I hope it keeps going as successful as its been. But it’s up to them to push themselves during the race, they don’t have a coach out there right next to them encouraging them along the way. It’s all on the paddler, and how hard the paddler wants to go.

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