One golden morning in Calgary…

Judy Quinn, right, cheers after receiving her gold medal for the Over-70s women’s V12 win at the Va’a Outrigger World Sprints in Calgary, AB

They did it!
The women’s over-70s team from False Creek has won an historic gold medal at the Va’a World Outrigger Sprint Championships in Calgary, AB.
Both Canadian Kapuna teams joined for a V12 race—two outrigger canoes that seat six apiece, or OC6s, were tied together and the amas removed for this race.
The women competed against a Hawaiian team; some of them paddle at the club in Kona, Hawaii, where members of the kapunas (a Hawaiian word used for the over-70s paddlers) have vacationed for a few years. Mom has accompanied some of the False Creek paddlers to Kona for the past two winters.

Judy Quinn and her kapunas team from False Creek get ready to go through the security gate prior to their race the morning of Aug. 12, 2012.

The race kicked off at 9:36 a.m.; it was overcast, cool, and not too windy. The Canadians had a strong start at the green flag and leapt to a lead of about two boats lengths. Mom Judy Quinn can be seen in the race video in Seat 3 of the boat closest to the camera. Here’s a link:

Canada maintained its lead until approximately the three-quarter mark of the 500-metre course, when the push was on for Hawaii. They crept up on Canada until there were mere centimetres separating the two boats.
However, it was Canada’s double bow that crossed the finish line first, in a time of 2:47.40. Hawaii’s time was 2:48.16.

Nine of the 12 Masters Over 70 women from the gold medal winning team display the medals they received at an awards ceremony at the end of the day’s paddling on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.

This was an historic race for the Va’a Outrigger World Sprints: never before had an over-70s category been included in the event. and Canada won in its own country.
The announcer had a great time calling this race (as he did with most of them. He did a fabulous job today), even saying he thought people should check the paddlers’ IDs because he thought they looked too young for being over-70s.

The Hawaiian paddlers form an arch with their paddles, waiting for their Canadian competitors to walk up the ramp from the dock. It was a classy move. Once the Canadians were through the arch they created their own, so Hawaii could also walk through an arch.

At the end of the race, the Hawaiian team got out of their boat first, and formed a paddle arch up the ramp from the docks. They waited for Team Canada to walk under their arch, cheering them up the ramp. The Canadians then formed their own arch for the Hawaiian team. It was a wonderful show of good sportsmanship and camaraderie, which has been evident at this event.
The women then had to wait until the end of the day to receive their medals at an awards ceremony. And they were the very last team!

Gold medals lined up on trays, waiting to be presented to athletes at the Va’a Outrigger World Sprint championships, at the Calgary Canoe Club, Glenmore Reservoir, Calgary, AB.

Well done, ladies.
Judy’s team (Canada 1) and Canada 2 will compete against Hawaii 1 and 2 in a OC6 race on Monday. Because there are only four boats, this will be a final event.
On Tuesday, they compete in a 1,000-metre (3,280 feet) race comprised of four legs of 250 metres (820 feet) each, with three sharp turns.

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Blogger blogs about an outrigger blogger

The 2012 IVF World Outrigger Sprints event has an ‘official’ blog to follow as well, if you haven’t already seen the link.
Keri Rak is blogging about the event at She’s got a neat intro about some of the volunteers that are helping set up for the event at the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary.

You should check her out, too.

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Taking the plunge

Blogs. I admit it, I’m a lurker. I like to read other people’s blogs, but when people ask, “Do you blog?”, I either scoff, bluster or panic.

“Uh, no,” I usually say.

But I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. I haven’t been writing my newspaper column this year, and I have to admit I miss it. There are stories that need to be told, and this is where I’d like to tell them.

Since I’m an aviation buff, this is going to be my place to share those stories. I have a few in the vault that have been looking for an ideal venue. I think this is going to be it.

I love taking photographs, and this is going to be the place I will share them. I won’t promise regular posts. Not yet. But I’m sure I’ll find my groove.

I’m headed to Calgary in a couple of weeks to watch an international outrigger canoe competition. My mom is going to be competing, and I’m so damn proud of her, I’m going to share her story here.


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Hello world!

Welcome to! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

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