Saturday, Sept. 19, brought a successful conclusion for Yorkton Canoe Kayak Club’s Racing Program season.
Five YCKC athletes travelled to Regina to compete against SRCC (Saskatoon) and WRCC (Regina).
The competition was created to rank U21 athletes within the province and help nominate a training team for the Canada Summer Games, originally scheduled to be hosted in 2021. The event was then expanded to include U14 and U12 events.
“This was a different year for us competitively as all regular competitions were cancelled due to COVID-19,” said head coach Jessica Riley. “We have been hosting mini-regattas within our own club, but nothing beats an away competition!”
Competitions this season required strict procedures and regulations to be followed, therefore most clubs were not able to host events. YCKC athletes were thrilled to be able to attend at least one competition, and are thankful to the Regina club for working hard to host it.
“We definitely missed having team boats and mixing with the other clubs,” Riley said. “Meeting paddlers from across the province, country, or internationally, and paddling with them or hanging out and getting to know them is a wonderful side of our sport that we look forward to being able to do, hopefully, next season.”
Their dedicated time spent training this summer was evident by their results at the competition. Though no medals were handed out, Lily Whitney (8), Keegan McCabe (9), Nathan Whitney (10), Stephan Roy (12), and Elia Bolme (15) went home extremely proud of their success at the competition.
In the U12 K1 1000m Men event, Nathan Whitney placed first with a time of 7:15.46. Keegan McCabe placed second with a time of 7:28.14. Both boys had a solid 1 minute lead on the competitor in third place.
In the 500m event, Whitney again placed 1st with a time of 3:44.00 and McCabe placed 2nd with a time of 3:50.32, both boys with a solid 45 second lead on the other competitors.
In their final event, the U12 Men's K1 200m, Whitney concluded his first place sweep with a time of 1:22.62 and McCabe finishing second with a time of 1:23.20.
Lily Whitney had a tremendous regatta winning both her U12 K1 1000m and U12 K1 500m events with times of 7:45.49 and 3:46.44 respectively. Despite being the smallest paddler and one of the youngest in her category, in Whitney’s 1000m event, she had a 10 second lead ahead of the other 9 competitors. In her final event, U12 K1 200m, Whitney battled a head wind to place 2nd overall with a time of 1:23.01.
Stephan Roy, an experienced competitor, placed 1st in all of his events with times of 6:26.57 in the 1000m, 2:57.65 in the 500m and 1:09.42 in the 200m.
Elia Bolme, just 15 years old, competed in the U21 events and ranked 4th in the K1 1000m, 500m and 200m and 5th in the 4000m event.
“The Canada Games have now been rescheduled for 2022, and Elia’s placements after the weekend are a great indication of her training success this summer and an opportunity for us to set some training goals for the winter and next season,” Riley says.
Riley is overall thrilled with the success of her athletes this season and at the competition. “It was great for the kids, especially the three young, new athletes, to see the rewards for working hard and pushing themselves”.
The athletes now transition to school and winter training and look forward to 2021 and the competition opportunities it will bring.