Lina Augaitis defends her title as Queen of Kalamalka

Lina Augaitis and Norm Hann: Queen and King of Kalamalka 2011This past weekend was filled with good fun, hard earned prizes, sweat, cheer, and a beautiful growing community of stand up paddleboarders.

First off a big THANKS to the organizers Kevin and Michelle from Kalavida Surf Shop for putting on a wonderful event full of events, food, and entertainment.

Last year I attended this race with a mere 28 or so paddlers. Most of us were on all arounder type boards and hadn’t a clue about racing SUP but greatly enjoyed the two events. I managed to come out as Queen of Kalamalka. This year I was back to defend my title but proved to be very different with the sport growing at a rapid speed the field more than doubled. I believe there were about 70 or so paddlers out on the courses. There was a recreational league and a competitive one. The competitive racers were racing with high speeds, with a good set of skills, technique, and strategy. We were all out there having tons of fun and trying to get crowned King and Queen of Kalmalka!

There were three different races, all testing different skills on a SUP and all counted towards the final goal of becoming crowned. I brought the board that I have been racing the Tuesday Night Deep Cove races on this year, my NEW 12’6 X 23.5.. it’s fast but it does come with some consequences if one is not careful as it can also be quite unstable, and harder turn around tight corners due to its narrowness and instability. Thank you Starboard and Trident Sports for the use of this awesome board and the growing support! I must say I was a little nervous to use the board for the short course as there were lots of turns and there could have been some bumps etc. I know I can paddle that board well on my own in flat water but wasnt too confident on my abilities to turn etc on it in a crowd with some bumps.. I do have to say for racing I love this board!

Short Course:

I surprised myself here. I used the cross bow turning method, went out hard to get in front of the crowd, stayed on my board and just felt so strong and confident that I started passing some guys, then some more and without really realizing it finished the course amongst the top males… really it was a good confident booster for me especially heading up to the Yukon this week and paddling the Yukon river… It made me feel like I could do it even more.

Sprint Course:

Here we had to use a 12′ or shorter board…I was scrambling to find a board I liked and then Beau and Dale from WA were kind enough to lend me their 12′ board. It looked like a goodie… and that it was. It was sort of like SUP cross. We had three people at the line, it was a sprint to the buoy. The fun part was you could turn around the buoy in either direction (causing mayhem) and finish with a quick sprint to the beach. Somehow our heat was pretty much the same twice in a row… hmmm but i managed to get out in front quick and avoid the chaos of the turn… There was one run where I had a true brain fart and forgot how to turn which in the end saved me. As I was gathering my thoughts about turning I drifted away from the buoy and was found on the outside of the chaos near the buoy, allowing for a quick escape back to the beach. I managed to pull out in front in the final heat for another win!

Long Course:

The long course is what it is all about… This lake is gorgeous and the distance tough but very satisfying! I was back on my starboard New. I won’t lie, when we arrived at the start I was nervous… it was choppy out there… everyone was so excited for the downwinder and I was peeing my pants… hoping I wouldn’t fall off my board too many times…. The start was choppy but Andrew helped me out and told me to stay wide as the rec class got bunched up by the buoy turn.. I managed to stay out of any crashes and up right through the riviera and along the entire lake. It was actually quite fun and the little chop kept me on my toes and made for the time to pass quickly! I spent the first third of the race catching the other 12’6 guys until Beau and I were leading the pack. I think he got tired of me and took off and I couldn’t catch him again… I managed to come in as a the 2nd 12’6 board overall and therefore solidying my overall win as Queen! I felt great throughout the entire paddle down the lake… I used NUUN as my hydration (my fav)

The points were tabulated and Norm and I were crowned! Also a big congrats to Jen D and Kristin T for their awesome performances out there rounding out the top females and Beau and Stu R on the men’s side.

Read more about Lina’s adventures on her blog!

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