Penticton was the first team to cross the finish line in the junior mixed category at the National Iron Outrigger Championships Saturday at Kin Beach.

Penticton was the first team to cross the finish line in the junior mixed category at the National Iron Outrigger Championships Saturday at Kin Beach.

Vernon paddlers hit national podium

The Vernon Paddling Centre played host to more than 200 paddlers in the National Iron Outrigger Race last weekend on Okanagan Lake.

The Vernon Paddling Centre played host to more than 200 paddlers in the National Iron Outrigger Race last weekend on Okanagan Lake.

Several Vernon paddlers earned medals in both the six-man outrigger races Saturday and the small-boat races Sunday.

The novice women’s race (12 kilometres) was won by Burnaby’s Lotus Sports Club, primarily made up of juniors. They covered the route in one hour, three minutes and 20 seconds. The Calgary women came in at 1:21:34. Calgary took the men’s novice race in 1:02:19, with Lotus following up in 1:14:13.

The mixed short course was won by a crew of juniors from Penticton, who dashed off the start line and placed first overall, in 1:02:19. Vancouver Ocean Sports took second and third with times of 1:07:06 and 1:13:00, respectively.

As expected in the women’s long course (24- km), the team out of False Creek in Vancouver took first spot in 2:10:24. Calgary 1 came second in 2:13:12 and Kelowna, with local Christine Castrucow steering for the crew, placed third in 2:15:45. Also with Kelowna were Kerry Willis, Kathy Montgomery, Leanne Stanley, Sandra Mowat and Shannon Bliss.

Vernon also had an entry in the mixed division with the local crew taking first in their masters division (second overall) in 2:15:42. Crew members included Monika Lawrence, Denys Lawrence, Debbie Jones, Sandy Cook, Scott McKenzie, who paddled his first race, and Gregg Cancade who recently came out of paddling retirement to compete. Penticton, who were an open team, posted 2:10:38, defending their 2012 title.

Vernon’s men’s team also won the masters division in 1:58:27, just 28 seconds ahead of Calgary. Racing for Vernon were Bob Woodman, Kim Doleszar, Glenn Bond, Ian Chadwick, Ken Crosby and import Greg Blackman of Prince George.

The men’s open category was won by Geronimo out of Victoria who ripped up the course in 1:54:53.

Sunday saw close to 60 surf skis, OC-1’s and OC-2’s hit the waves competing on an 11 km route.

There were 49 boats in the small-boat category and the winner was surfski paddler Shane Martin of False Creek, in 50:26. Runner-up was Paul Hardy, also on a surfski, in the senior master men’s category in 53:37.

Third overall was an over-60 team from Calgary on an OC2 Golden Master. John Roberts and Jon Amundsen finished in 54:45.

Fifth overall was the team of Doleszar and Castrucow in an OC2, in 56:16. They won the Mixed Masters category.

Race sponsors were: Silver Star Mountain Resort, Fresh Air Experience, Sandy Cook, Attridge Snow Ski Wake, Skyride, Lake Breeze Winery, Coldstream Dry Goods, Vella Radio, Stussi Sports, Nature’s Fare, Starbucks, Coast Capri Hotel, Dodds Auction, Kim’s Concrete, Kal Tire, Okanagan Trestle Tours, Village Ski Shop, Canada Water Depot, Denys and Monika Lawrence, Swan Lake Nurseryland, Kalvida Surf Shop and Don and Peggy Kassa.