“Why Not?!” once again leads me into the Unknown

I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind since the event was announced earlier this year. I toyed with going. Not really sure if I was going to get in over my head with the conditions. But it didn’t take much of a nudge to put me over the edge and sign up just before the registration deadline for the first ever Canadian Surfski Championships.

I’ve raced the course on an outrigger a few times so I was familiar with the cold water and the potential wave size, I figured that I’ve learned a lot about wave riding since the last time I did the course 4 years ago. I had the chance to play in some big waves here on Lake Okanagan and was comfortable. So …. Why Not?!

And what a blast! Lining up with the biggest names in the surfski world! Wow!

The biggest names in the surfski world were here ... talk about star struck!
The biggest names in the surfski world were here … talk about star struck!

I had no expectations for my performance. I just wanted to go out there, have fun and see what I could do in my first real surfski race. It didn’t take long for the competitive juices to kick in. I played it safe off the start but then I started to pick targets to catch and pass one by one.  There was a little bit of wave play but nothing that was fast enough to ride for any length of time. I was moving faster than the waves :(

about 1.5km from the finish up river
about 1.5km from the finish up river

I felt good crossing the line, I had about  250ml of my Vitargo left in my hydration pack and hadn’t touched any of my gels. 20.5km in 1:46 crossing as the fifth female but first Canadian Woman.  It was a big surprise for me at the awards ceremony to find out that there was money awarded for the Top Canadian Woman. Even bigger surprise was the giant novelty cheque!

Totally caught off guard that there was a prize for Top Canadian Woman!
Totally caught off guard that there was a prize for Top Canadian Woman!