The 2016 River SUP race on the Columbia and Slocan Rivers was another successful weekend with racers from all over Western Canada coming out to challenge their skills.
On the Friday eve of the race weekend, Mike Darbyshire instructed a SUP River skills course on the upper Slocan River with a full class. All eager to learn, the crew practiced eddy turns, ferrying, and board edging. The course was to prepare seasoned SUP paddlers to take their skills to a river format.
The Saturday Columbia Race was over 17.8 kms. of fast moving flat water with a steady downriver wind. Competitors lined up at the old ferry landing in Robson and paddled to a sandy beach in the town of Genelle. Top times were under an hour, faster than last years winning times with a solid wind and steady flow helping the racers. Mike Darbyshire and Ken Larsen lead the pack to victory with Mike taking first spot. Jenny Popoff secured the top spot for the women with Heather Griffiths close behind, while brothers Evan and Adam Gerbrecht raced head to head in the Junior division.
Racers woke up Sunday morning to a beautiful sunny day and a SUP X race course to contend with. Heats of three or four paddlers maneuvered the six buoys of the course on either side of the river where racers had to turn around the floating markers usually positioned in eddies. Top two paddlers in the heats advanced to the semi finals and top racers advanced to the finals for a showdown of tired yet determined paddlers.
See you next year same weekend for the best race in the west!
Results listed below!
All images by Andrea and Chris Ryman