The 2011 Sprint Season is Officially OnJune 12, 2011
The 2011 Sprint season is official on! Crews from all over the NCOCA descended on Lake Del Valle in Livermore Saturday June 11th to compete. Though crews, coaches, officials, friends and family were greeted to 20+ knots blistering winds, snakes at the coaches meeting, and tarantulas a the club camps it was an enjoyable day of competition, food, and comraderie. Judging from the level of competition on the water, the uncharacteristically cold weather we've been having has not dampened our spirits or training. Crews looked sharp and ready to race. Keiki crews were well represented and we expect more crews summer break will be in full force by the next regatta. With gusting headwinds the keiki 12 & under girls toughed it out to the finish lines with O'Kalani girls crossing the finish line 10 seconds ahead of 2nd place. It was awesome to see full lanes in most of the events. Coed Junior 19 & under 500 was fun to watch with 7 fast crews paddling hard to a close finish.
In what has to be a first ever, 8 crews were on the water for the Open Men 2000. It was turn for turn early until SFOCC and Kilohana separated from the pack. But the pack now was engaged in their own turn for turn battle for 3rd. It was a nail biting 12 minute fight for the finish. In the end it was SFOCC, Kilohana and Ohana Wa'a taking the top honors. The Master Men and Women 500 was a traffic jam with a combined total 16 entries. Tamalpias Master Women and SFOCC Master Men bested their competition of 9 and 7 crews respectively.
The coed open 1000 was super jammed pack with 14 crews running in 2 heats. This event was the only one to have a final and it was the coed crew from Hui O' Sacramento with an 18 second lead across the finish line. Battling 9 crews SFOCC Open Women 1000 won the gold in their event. In an exciting race to watch, the Open Men 1000 had some confusion on the starting line with a hooting and hollering...something was amiss. SFOCC and Kilohana were matched turn for turn and led the pack. But when it was all said, done inches separated the canoes across the finish. Unfortunately a technicality conceded the race to Kilohana (SFOCC entered in wrong heat). It will be interesting to watch these 2 crews as they return and suit up again in Sprint #2 at Shadow Cliffs.
In what must be a tribute for the first regatta of the 2011 season, and a story unto itself, the final event of the day was packed with 8 crews on the water as the Open Men 500 lined up. In addition, the day was Ohana Wa'a first offical regatta as the new kid on the NCOCA block, and in story book ending...her Open 500 men cross the finish 1st to bring home the gold. What a story!
Lastly and in closing, I had the vantage point to watch the races unfold with my fellow official crew mates...each race meant something to the individual crews and paddlers, the the individual clubs and for me the NCOCA. It would be impossible to highlight each and every event and give each crew their sunshine. But what I was able to highlight were those events that were packed with 7+ canoes...it made for great competition and viewing. I suspect it will only get more jammed pack as the season progresses. Many thanks to host SFOCC for hosting the Malia regatta, the gang had great medals and worked hard and paddled fast. SFOCC brought home the Large Club or AA trophy for the day, and returning Champs Hui O Sacramento brought home the Small Club or A trophy. I hope to see event more crews and canoes on the water at Sprint #2 Shadow Cliffs June 25th.