April 9 – Lone Rock Return

Sometimes, just showing up to paddle can turn out better than you’d expect. Maybe you’re really busy at work, or it’s a little colder outside, or maybe you don’t think you’re ready for a hard effort…but you know it’ll be worth it if you just show up.

Last night’s 5.2 km race around Lone Rock involved a challenge of a different sort: race organizers had pledged to donate all race fees to the Monster & Sea 24hr paddle event fundraiser. To sweeten the pot, word went out that the $5 entry fees would be matched for each racer registered.

Suffice to say that the community responded…there were 107 craft, with 115 paddlers. Karly said it was the largest turnout in the 11 years she’s been involved! Congrats to everyone, as the $575 race fees plus $575 matched donation will more than fill a $1000 cash envelope for someone dealing with cancer. As a bonus, another envelope is now more that half-full with the additional $310 in cash donations, plus $110 from the Think PFD auction.

In the race, the prone class was well represented and it was great to see Troy Nebeker paddling strong at the front of the crew (all of whom will be participating in M&S 24). Incidentally, Troy founded Monster and Sea and organized the first M&S 24 five years ago, and has now watched the event grow to over 30 teams!

The surfski/kayak classes had huge attendance and Jason Rusu blitzed the field in 25:08, with Katja and Jeff 13 secs back in a double. Wes Hammer and Dari Fisher rounded out the top three in the singles, although there were many other stories of hard-fought races “within the race” discussed later at the Raven. It’s nice to have some video evidence to go along with the burger and beer special!

Mike D again showed he’s in top form, taking 1st in the SUP class, followed by Jason Bennett and Adam Gerbrecht. It was great to see Norm Hann come down from Squamish and help push the pace for the top three. Norm’s wife Jen Seeger managed to compete in the SUP surf class with son Keil up front cheering his Dad on.

Gary Cassulis raced on his SUP last night and is one of a very few racers who enjoys paddling sitting down, standing up and even lying prone! Also, rumour has it that SUPer Steve Esslaar has bought a used V10 and will try out a few surfski races soon. All this cross training/racing is awesome!

Please remember to register for the Board the Fjord race on May 10, and note that if you register early by April 12 it will allow race organizers to customize your race jersey with your name!

As a reminder, the Monster & Sea 24hr relay goes off this Saturday and note that all paddlers are welcome to join the teams on the water at multiple venues around the Lower Mainland including Deep Cove, Vancouver and White Rock. Come out and show your support!

The Monster & Sea mantra is “Go Because You Can”, and with the 24hr relay being so tough, it’s kind of like a bunch of TNRs packed into one day. But sometimes when you don’t feel like paddling, you know it will be worth it if you just show up.


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