by Daniel Routley
A wild ride on the water has left a canoe team from Nelson smiling.
With a time of 6:51, Kootenays (Zone 1) members Gino Catenacci, Galen Boulanger, Stuart Milde and Jacob Timmermans completed their 500 metre, four-person canoe race Saturday morning by paddling hard in reverse.
Starting in lane #5 on the far right of the course, the four boys pulled ahead of the others only to begin an accidental journey to the left of the course. With teammates and the referee calling on the team to go right, the boys still managed to end up off the course, in the bushes, and then eventually completely backwards.
“We were actually going better backwards than forwards,” said Timmermans after the race. “We were more in sync going backwards!”
“That’s how they paddle in the Kootenays, backwards.” announced chief official Bill Rublee on the radio.
“We’re no good at the canoeing,” commented Catenacci. “We’re much better at the kayaking.”
But, with only two months of training between them all, even a sixth place finish is an excellent feeling, they said.
Boulanger called it “the best race I’ve ever had,” and, with smiles on their faces and excitement in their hearts, it was certainly an exciting event.