Sarapiqui River Festival Costa Rica

Kayak Ramp at the Sarapiqui River Festival
The Sarapiqui River Festival began 3 years ago as a collaboration between Chilamate Rainforest and World Class Kayak Academy as a way to give back to the local community and get the local kids on the river and in boats and as a day to celebrate the Sarapiqui River in a safe family environment.
This year, 2013, is the River Festivals 3rd year and this year the organisation was taken on by a local organisation Chilamate Activo together with the hard work and logistical coordination of World Kayak Costa Rican Ambassador Davis Azofeifa (owner of Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat), and a great number of local and international sponsors and supporters including: World Kayak, Selva Whitewater, Tropical Duckies, Sarapiqui Outdoor Center, Aventuras del Sarapiqui, Rios Lagos y Mares, World Class Kayak Academy, Ferreteria el Tucan, Super Malibu, World Leadership School and Lago Jalapa, and the local firefighters and red cross.
This years Festival kicked off on Saturday the 23rd of November with an extreme creek race and peaked on Sunday the 24th with an inclusive Sarapiqui down river race and the RAMP!!! Attendance was higher than ever. Great food and local artwork abound. PURA VIDA!! We hope to see you next year!!

Sarapiqui River Festival Costa Rica

Kayak Ramp at the Sarapiqui River Festival
The Sarapiqui River Festival began 3 years ago as a collaboration between Chilamate Rainforest and World Class Kayak Academy as a way to give back to the local community and get the local kids on the river and in boats and as a day to celebrate the Sarapiqui River in a safe family environment.
This year, 2013, is the River Festivals 3rd year and this year the organisation was taken on by a local organisation Chilamate Activo together with the hard work and logistical coordination of World Kayak Costa Rican Ambassador Davis Azofeifa (owner of Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat), and a great number of local and international sponsors and supporters including: World Kayak, Selva Whitewater, Tropical Duckies, Sarapiqui Outdoor Center, Aventuras del Sarapiqui, Rios Lagos y Mares, World Class Kayak Academy, Ferreteria el Tucan, Super Malibu, World Leadership School and Lago Jalapa, and the local firefighters and red cross.
This years Festival kicked off on Saturday the 23rd of November with an extreme creek race and peaked on Sunday the 24th with an inclusive Sarapiqui down river race and the RAMP!!! Attendance was higher than ever. Great food and local artwork abound. PURA VIDA!! We hope to see you next year!!

Sarapiqui River Festival Extreme Creek Race

On November 23rd, 2013, the third Annual Sarapiqui River Festival kicked off with an extreme creek race for the regions best local kayakers and participants from as far as Manual Antonio. Native Turialban Arnaldo Cespedes Perez took home 1st place! It was a beautiful day but the competition was tough as the participants dared the awesome waterfalls at Poza Azul River, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. PURA VIDA

Sarapiqui River Festival Extreme Creek Race

On November 23rd, 2013, the third Annual Sarapiqui River Festival kicked off with an extreme creek race for the regions best local kayakers and participants from as far as Manual Antonio. Native Turialban Arnaldo Cespedes Perez took home 1st place! It was a beautiful day but the competition was tough as the participants dared the awesome waterfalls at Poza Azul River, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. PURA VIDA

2013 CReW Youth Challenge Kayak Program Last week -what a great season!

2013 was the 7th season of the CReW Youth Challenge Kayak program in Cornwall Ontario.

Every year we ask ourselves if it will be a good one. This was no exception. The group was small this year and when we met them we looked at each young face and asked what would they think, would they like this and would they walk away just a little bit different. The answer could be seen on their faces on Tuesday evening at Lamoureux Park.

Working with these young people as they got their first crack at kayaking has been the best evenings you could imagine. Every week we met up with Karolina, Alex, Jarrett, Nick, Max and Mateo.  Every week each one of them stood up to each challenge.
We saw every emotion imaginable, Some happy faces, frustrated faces, nervous faces, tired faces and yes even the occasional growling face. Everythying that comes with being young, learning something new and very different and most of all stepping way out out of the box. This week was no exception.

Sylvie and Zachary are out west with the truck for Slalom Nationals so I was joined by AJ and David on a spectacular evening at the park. Of course we can never forget Joel. Joel has been our SD&G BGC rep and help though the summer. Both on and off the water he has been awesome.

As always we started up with some good old fashioned warmups (loud and noisy too). Then we hit the water. slipping off the dock one by one.
      
A few easy-peasy paddle strokes while parents watched on and then up the river we went. A few great moment included Max making it up all the Eddy hops! Way to go Max!  Karolina making it look like she was born to paddle climbing each Eddy with the rest of the boys right on her stern.  Once the last eddy we talked a bit about the eddy lines and then wasted no more time. One by one like little ducklings they peeled out over the eddy line and into the mighty Saint-Lawrence in groups of three.
What we saw after that was exhilarating.
Each person heading out into the strong and boiling currents of the St Lawrence river. To some it may not seem like a big deal but let’s put those people in a 6 foot boat for the first time and let them bob around the boils, the small whirlpools and the strong currents. It can put things into perspective very quickly. Each kid, under the watchful eye of the instructors and assistant, used the new skills they learned and made it across from the bridge to the island, rode down the waves to and then crossed back to Cornwall.
And ohh the reactions!!!! From wired nerves to little shrieks and loads of smiles each one showed good paddle strokes, great boat balance and a resolve that has to be seen to be understood.
Can not help but proud of them all.
A couple more highlights? Jarret slipping down the eddy lines next to the island. Alex just had to touch land at the island just to say he did, Mateo sitting up straight and paddling hard and Nick (who I will forever think  of when I see the artwork of Andy Warhol) working the waves, keeping focus and his cool and seeing it through to the end.

By the time we go back to the dock they all had arms and abs that were on fire. Young kids taking on 5 to 6 knots or high water is a big deal and will those muscles.

Their reward for making the round trip? The satisfaction of knowing that they can and taking that knowledge home with them. Yest they have the abilities and can overcome soo many obstacles. :)
The other reward? A chance to play a bit with a stand up paddle board! Each one took a turn on our (my Daughter Emily’s) stand up board.  They enjoyed that too.

When it was all over, each of our new friends left us with a ORCKA flatwater certificate and badge, a crew sticker (gotta have one of those), a year CReW membership (puts them on our mailing list), a little more confidence for the lives ahead of them and loads good memories.

I am so very proud of each our kids in the group and look forward to paddling with them again soon. (maybe we will see some of them at the August CReW and World Kayak Throwdown in Valleyfield)

Now it is over and we will miss our new friends but know that we will get many of them back in boats as soon as possible and their adventure is just beginning.

Before we think about our next adventures, fixing up the gear for another season and making sure that the CReW equipment is ready for the next collection of eager new paddlers, I need to say thank-you.

Thank-you to our new young friends for accepting our sport and our words of encouragement and teaching.
Thank-you to the parents and care givers who are willing to trust us with their most precious commodity (ies).
Thank you to the parents and family members who we saw every week on the site and who encouraged their kids and were waiting for them. That is priceless and you should be proud.

Thank-you to the Boys and Girls Club for being a part of the adventure.

Thank-you to our sponsors: Jackson Kayaks, H2O Paddles, Level Six and the Trillium Foundation – your support continues to keep the kids on the water.

And thank-you to this years CReW volunteers. They are the back bone of our success and I would be lost without them: Sylvie, Aime-Jean, Emily and our latest addition David.

As always, I hope to see you on a river somewhere. :)

Peace,

Robert Zwanenburg

www.cornwallwhitewater.com
7 years of putting young people in Kayaks!…. many many more to go….

 

Whats going on in the Seaway valley now?

New things to do in Cornwall!!!

Starting November 13th CReW and ASAG are hosting a series of pool sessions for paddlers in the area.

Space is limited but if you are in the Cornwall area this winter and want to get some pool time in or want to take a clinic with CReW to improve a specific skill, drop us a note and we will work with you to make it possible.
Drop us a note at  info@cornwallwhitewater.com for our schedule and rates.

What else can you do in a kayak in Cornwall? If you have a Sea kayak or other longer kayak there is wave waiting for you! Right across from Lamoureux park in Downtown Cornwall you can surf surf surf!

If suirt boating is your thing the eddie lines behind the international bridge could be calling you! Those are some serious lines may promise some quality down time. (Getting kinda cold for that now but come see us in the spring!

Will be posting more about the local paddling soon.

By the way, Kiwi Dezignz, CReW, ASAG and the Zwanenburg family have moved to downtown Cornwall.

See you on the river,
Robert Zwanenburg

July 16th – WK Seaway Valley boater-cross and throwdown

Another crazy fun day on the riviere St-Charles in Valleyfield, Quebec went off without a hitch!
(First let me apologize for the lack of pics and video. We had a camera melt down. the result. 2 weeks of photos and media gone….)

Saturday morning was a warm friendly of day. Sylvie and hitched the CReW trailer, loaded he kids and trucked off to Valleyfield at 9 am to set up for registration. July is a funny month and you can never be sure if the event will be packed or sparse. We got lucky. The kids from the slalom club in Valleyfield came out and with a few of our regulars we had a good good.
15 people signed up for the boater-cross and 12 competed. Last month we started above the tubes for a 2 on 2 race but this time we opted for a larger group start.
I walked the kids through the course which included 3 must make upstream gates in tiny eddies. 3 heats fed to 2 which fed t o a final. We also ran a B group (all those who were bumped off in the first heats). Everyone got loads of rides.

The upstream gates are awesome as they force the racers to cross each other. A crafty paddler can use these moments to jump up as much os 3 places in the race.
Everyone raced fair and clean but there were a few very awesome rivalries (Max and Zachary) and some sweet collisions without injuries. :)
Sportsmanship was 100% and thanks to the good gate judges the only contested move was overturned by the consensus of the judges.

The finals of the A group ended as follows:

A1- Louis-Philippe Legare
A2- Zachary Zwanenburg
A3- Marc-Antoine Dubois
A4- Sam Lizotte
A5- Max Leboeuf
A6- Francois Lizotte

In the second group the final places ended as follows:
B1-simon lefevbre
B2- Charles Demeule
B3- Yannick laviolette
B4- Jocelyn Quenneville
B5- Emily Zwanenburg
B6- colin Poirier

When the race was over every one stopped for lunch and we got geared up for a 1 PM freestyle event.
Something about afternoon, people come out of the woodwork :)
When we  were ready to go the we had 16 people register and 14 competed :) What makes the afternoon event a hoot is the number of spectators hanging out to watch.
The judges had to keep up whith Francois BP as he threw down fast and furious :) He also showed up a helix which is a first at Manic :)
From the others we saw, entry moves, loops, space gods, cartwheels, split-wheels, back loops and more. From the shore we could hear the cheers from the friends and family who came out to watch. Soo nice to be encouraged:)

When it was over the scores looked like this:

Name Score Category
François Lizotte 64 C1M
zachkayak 188 K1JM
Maxime Leboeuf 74 K1JM
Sam Lizotte 40 K1JM
yannick laviolette 27 K1JM
simon lefevbre 20 K1JM
Charles Demeule 19 K1JM
Emily Zwanenburg 22 K1JW
Francois Proulx 339 K1M
Aime-Jean Lavigne 158 K1M
Louis-Philippe Legare 102 K1M
Jocelyn Quenneville 47 K1M
Jimmy bergeron 29 K1M

Well done to everyone who stood up to manic.

Moments to remember:
Young Sam, albeit after the event, looped his Fun 1 1/2 for the first time and kept looping for the rest of the day! Who hoo!
Emily Zwanenburg, stopped during her race to make sure that Colin was OK after his swim in the second heat. Sportsmanship matters. Well done Emily.

When everyone joined up back at the trailer at the put in, we had fun with the awards and then the prizes from our sponsors.
Everyone walked away with something for their efforts.

Our format of the double header works well and our paddlers are happy with it. So now we slowly started thing about our next event of 2011. We decided that the next one should be when folks are just thinking about school and the end of the season so we are hosting the next double header on September 10. Same time and same place.

I hope we will see loads of people looking for that final event of the year.

Till then there is loads of paddling to do. July is not over and august will have its memories to build still.

Until next time,

Paddle hard and have fun,

Robert Zwanenburg
(looking good in his Chaco Z2 Vibram Yampas :) )
www.cornwallwhitewater.com

PS: we are waiting on some pics from a friend and as soon as we get ‘em they will be posted.

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