In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll have heard that registration for the Canadian Surfski Championships is now OPEN! [You can register by clicking here]. If you are considering taking part in the race, and are travelling from out of town/state/country we’ve put this post together to give you an idea of what to expect from your visit.
So let’s start with the big picture. Vancouver has been named as one of the most desirable place to live more times than anyone cares to remember, and there are hundreds of reasons to come and see why. The scenery is incredible – snow capped mountains surrounding turquoise water and blue ocean giving innumerable hiking and paddling opportunities; Stanley Park downtown was named ‘Top Park in the World’ by Trip Advisor in 2014; just some of the amazing wildlife you may encounter includes eagles, orcas and bears; and the city itself is a great place to spend a few days – great museums and shopping, as well as world class hotels and restaurants.
You could spend a lifetime exploring Vancouver and the local area, so it’s safe to say that your time here will be full of incredible experiences…before you’ve even got to thinking about racing!
The week leading up to the race
We have put together some great activities in the week leading up to the race, all of which you can check out the details for on our website here.
- It all kicks off on the Tuesday Night with our Race with the Stars, which all of the international racers in town take part in. You can see the great video of the race which shows the Mocke brothers taking on the Rice brothers below!
- Wednesday morning at Ambleside Tide Rip in West Vancouver. After the race, if you want to stretch your paddling legs in some waves, join us at the Ambleside Tide Rip on Wednesday morning. The tide rip is created when an ebb tide meets a North-West wind to make some really big surf, right by the Lions Gate Bridge – talk about exciting! Check out a video here:
- Wednesday night is a BBQ and Beers social night at Deep Cove Outdoors, where you can also pick up your race number and swag bag. This has been a great opportunity in the past for paddlers to meet and talk tactics before heading up to Squamish.
- Then, try out the race route for real on Thursday afternoon by taking our shuttle from Squamish to Porteau Cove. Get your ticket when you register, or contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org to add it on. We’ll be running the shuttle back and forth as long as there are people to paddle.
- On Thursday evening, head to the Squamish Adventure Centre for our Film Festival! The Film Festival is new for this year, and we hope gives you guys a chance to show your short paddling films on the big screen! We’ve seen some epic films from some of our regular paddlers like Macca Hynard and Ryan Paroz, so get filming and we’ll show it! Prizes for the best film too, and beer on tap!
- Friday will be a day for resting up, checking out some demos and taking part in clinics, more details will be posted here when available.
The race – Saturday 15th July
Race day is basically our favourite day of the year! The anticipation at the check in tent, seeing all the boats lined up at the start area, racers all geared up at the race meeting and then the adrenaline of the start line…it all just builds to a hugely exciting spectacle. Full logistics can be seen here so you can plan your day.
The top racers finish in around 1 hour 20, and the sweep comes in around 2 hours 30 to give you an idea of how long you might take. It really is worth paddling the course before race day as the currents and rivers that feed into Howe Sound can create some interesting conditions, before you’ve even thought about the wind and waves. The water is an incredible turquoise colour due to the sediment run off, but in the sunshine that makes it hard to read. Check out the race video from last year which gives you some idea of the conditions.
Post-race = The Gorge
After the after-party, we’ll be heading down to the Columbia River to race the Gorge Downwind Champs! This is a great opportunity to take part in a great double-header in a combo with the CSC, and take in two west coast races at once! The Gorge is a great fun week too – with practice runs, beer gardens and good times all week. Check it out here.