Kalamalka Lake, BC, June 26, 2010 – The Surftech Kalamalka Classic is in the history books and the inagural event attracted almost 50 entries from across the province, Alberta and even Washington. It was a good sign that the sport is growing at a steady pace in the Okanagan region and it brought together a great group of athletes and spectators from all types of sporting backgrounds.
Saturday’s first event was the Kaloya Crossover, a short 3.5 mile paddle that included two trips through the ‘Riviera’ that connects Kalamalka Lake from Wood Lake and a short 30 second portage across Kaloya Park. The unique course was an instant hit and in the men’s class, Beau Whitehead of Belllingham edged out Norm Hann of Squamish by a mere 40 seconds at a time of 39:45. Coldstream’s Wade ‘Woody’ Anderson clocked in for the third. In the women’s race Lina Augaitis of Vancouver, in only her second SUP race, fought off some early challenges to claim the win ahead of Jen Segger of Squamish with a time of 43:59. ‘Penticton’ Pam Young earned a respectable third.
The second event on Saturday was a more casual Recreational Race and at only 1.5 miles, it was a newbie-friendly event. It also included two trips through the Riviera and a short loop through the west side of Kaloya Park. It was Garth Day of Vancouver who topped the men’s division with Ken Rymer of Kelowna and Jonathon Bowers of Kamloops in 2nd and 3rd. Michelle Mitchell of Vernon paddled to the win on the women’s side ahead of Alison Nelson of Penticton and Michele Tarr of Vernon.
Saturday afternoon featured laid-back fun races, music and a festival-like atmosphere followed by some great food, award presentations and prize giveaways at Gatzke’s Farm Market – The event and social headquarters. Each of the day’s winners was presented with Surftech Adjustable paddles and Lisette Smid of Coldstream won the Werner Advantage paddle. Special thanks to Al, Ingrid and Lindsay for the great hospitality. Check out their market at www.gatkefarmmarkets.com.
On Sunday it was the marque event – a scenic 10 mile stretch across the length of Kalamalka Lake starting in Oyama and ending up at Kal Beach in Vernon. Winds settled down at just the right time for the early start to the King and Queen of Kalamalka. Racers started the day off with a short sprint into the ‘Riviera’ which cast them into the wide open lake. Each of the three classes were released through a staggered start that brought most of the competitors within sight near the finish line and the first one to reach the beach in the men’s Unlimited class was Beau Whitehead in a time of 1:49:12. 6 minutes later Norm Hann arrived in a time of 1:55:54 followed by Bodie Shandro who came in at 1:59:04. In the 12’6 and Under Stock Women’s class, Lina Augaitis edged out Jen Segger to take her second win of the Classic in a time of 2:17. Segger touched the shore in 2:25:30 ahead of Sheila Sovereign who reached the beach in 2:32. Kelvin Humenney of Vancouver topped the men’s 12’6 and Under in a time of 2:05 ahead of Bob Woodman and Scott Siemens of Vernon who completed the course in 2:06:27 and 2:09:30 respectively. Winners were presented with special ‘tiki-board’ awards designed by venerable Vancouver-artist, Jim Cummins and the event concluded on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Surftech’s Brand Manager, Bodie Shandro, had this to say about the event “WOW, this is what SUP is all about! Kevin and Michelle not only managed to put together a first class event, but somehow talked the weather gods into blessing the weekend with perfect summer temps! From first timers, families and pets, to some of the fastest paddlers in the Northwest, the event seemed like an extension of the Battle of the Paddle Hawaii! The “aloha” spirit was alive throughout the weekend. Sign me up for next year!”
Check out results and photos from the ‘Classic’ on the OK SUP website at www.oksup.com. You asked for it…………The 2011 event is scheduled to run June 18 and 19th so plan to be there.
The event was proudly sponsored by Surftech (www.surftechsup.com), and co-sponsored by Kalavida Surf Shop (www.kalavidasurfshop.com), Sitka (www.sitkasurfboards.com), Werner Paddles (www.wernerpaddles.com), Ocean Minded (www.oceanminded.com), Nature’s Fare Market’s (www.naturesfare.com), and Xcel (www.xcelwetsuits.com) and partial proceeds have been donated to SPrKL (The Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake – www.spkl.ca.
About Kalavida Surf Shop
Kalavida – That little Surf/SUP shop across from Kalamalka Beach at the south end of Vernon, BC. Fully stocked, and stoked, about the sport of Stand Up Paddle Surfing/Boarding. Serving up sales, rentals, surf wear, tiki-bits and more – 13908 Kalamalka Road, Coldstream (Vernon), BC.778-475-5808 www.kalavidasurfshop.com/