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Penticton outrigger canoe racers return victorious from Vancouver

The team finished third in one race and took home the top spot in another
Members of Penticton’s Paddle Sports took third place and a first place finish in Vancouver’s March Madness outrigger canoe races over the last weekend of the month. (Submitted)

A mixed outrigger canoe crew from Penticton earned themselves two podium positions during March Madness in Vancouver.

The six-person outrigger canoe crew of Penticton Paddle Sports Members cleared the March 30 Open Division five-kilometre race to make it into the 1.5 km final.

The final in English Bay, saw eight boats on the water at once, all trying to navigate and steer their way through just three turns.

The Penticton crew of Stu Seeley, Thyra Carroll, Launa Maundrell, Don Mulhall and Penny Proctor was steered by Stu Rahkola to a third place finish.

The team, with the addition of Chris Castrucow of Vernon, won the Masters-50 Plus competition on Sunday, March 31.

The team won their five-km heat, and then turned around and went straight into the 1.5 km final, winning the sprint race almost 20 seconds ahead of the second place crew from Fort Langley.

After the Penticton teams were done, local paddler Carrol joined members of Canada’s National Team for the sprint competitions. The National Team is also set to race at the Hilo World Sprints later this year.

The combined team was the fastest women’s team of the day, completing the five-km sprint in just under 24 minutes. Advancing to the 1.5km sprints, the crew continued to get even faster, finishing 58 seconds ahead of the second place crew from UBC with a time of eight minutes and 48 seconds.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Mulhall takes 3rd in 13 km Vancouver canoe race

Fans should keep their eyes peeled as May rolls around for the 24th Duel in the Desert, which will see outrigger canoe racing across Skaha Lake. The competition is scheduled to run on May 11 and 12.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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