Five competitive members of the Yorkton Canoe Kayak Club, as well as two coaches, travelled to Regina this past weekend to take part in the annual Canada Day Regatta held at Wascana Lake.
Jessica Burgess, Reece Cyr, Makayla Douglas, Jennifer Richards and Ashley Chillog, as well as Coaches Jessica Riley and Desiree Nieckar, all took part in the regatta along with some of Western Canada’s top athletes.
And not only did they take part, they competed and succeeded, as four of the five athletes walked away with at least one medal apiece.
But it was the performance of 11-year-old Reece Cyr that stood out the most. Cyr, the youngest of the YCKC paddlers, brought six medals back to Yorkton including four gold and two bronze. “She (Cyr) had an amazing couple of days racing,” said a very proud YCKC head coach Jessica Riley. “She was competing against kids from Calgary and other places that have year-around training programs... she did really well winning all of her single events and most of her team events.”
While Cyr’s performance was extremely impressive, hers was not the only one that impressed coach Riley.
In fact every YCKC athlete that participated in the Canada Day Regatta surpassed expectations, such as 12-year-old Makayla Douglas (two bronze), who, despite racing in a higher age category, still managed to finish in the upper echelon of the competition. “She (Douglas) raced up an age category this year but still had great finishes in second and third,” offered Riley, continuing, “I don’t want to say it was more than I was expecting because I hoped that she would do excellent and she did.
“She definitely met some great expectations and surpassed others.”
Other results for YCKC members were: Ashley Chillog (one silver, one bronze) and Jennifer Richards (two silver, one bronze).
The Yorkton Canoe Kayak Club will now regroup for their next regatta, training out on York Lake for many of the upcoming days in order to prepare for the Calgary Divisionals, a regatta that coach Riley would love to see her club paddle at.
If YCKC cannot make it to the Calgary regatta then the next regatta that they will compete at will be their host developmental regatta on Saturday, August 16. An event that everyone is encouraged to attend.
Dragon Boat sessions
The YCKC has recently expanded to include Dragon Boat racing. Dragon Boating is much like recreational canoeing in that competitors do not need to kneel to paddle. Instead, they sit in a similar fashion to how they would in a regular canoe.
There are also in the neighbourhood of 9-11 competitors (10 being the preferred amount) per Dragon Boat meaning competitors do not have to worry about tiring out as their teammates will back them up.
Dragon Boating is in its first year at YCKC and as such, coaches Riley and Nieckar are offering a Dragon Boating experience to anyone who is interested in the hopes that they will sign up for the inaugural Dragon Boat race at the developmental regatta on August 16 at York Lake. “Teams can come out for the Dragon Boat race and there will be 10 per boat,” offered assistant coach Nieckar. “This can be groups of families, co-workers or anyone who just wants to take part.” Nieckar also mentioned that should someone want to participate, but cannot form a group, they could simply show up, pay the fee and jump into a boat with others in the same situation as they are.
As for the fee, it’s $60.00 per person which gets you three Dragon Boating lessons, one non-Dragon Boat individual session (canoe/kayak), an individual YCKC membership and a spot in the Dragon Boat race at the regatta.
The Dragon Boat training sessions are held on Thursday and Saturday starting tomorrow (July 10) and run until Thursday, August 14.