Event Follow-up by Guest-Bloggers, Darcy and Avery Wilkins (our friends from the Chilliwack Centre of Excellence right here in Chilliwack, BC) on their experience last weekend at the Cowichan River Youth Kayaking (CRYK) Festival.
|Photo by: Rob Fletcher|
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the 1st annual Cowichan River Youth Kayak Festival(CRYK Fest) on Vancouver Island hosted by Dan Norman and the Brentwood gang just outside of Duncan B.C. In previous years this event used to be a Northwest Cup slalom race but this year they focused on a youth festival to help promote new interest in the sport for kids. I went there with my son Avery and 3 other boys (Austen Atkins, Finley Capstick and Rhys Taylor) from the Chilliwack Centre of Excellence (CCE) along with our coach Jon Allen and some of the parents/club members. We had the typical Van Isle weather of sun/rain combo that lasted both days but was afforded some beautiful scenery when the sun was out. CRYK Fest consisted of a Friday pool session (to assess abilities) and 2 fun filled days of paddling for beginners and advanced youth paddlers. About 35 kids made the trip from all over BC and were treated to some great hospitality from Dan’s Van Isle crew. The CCE gang got to spend both days surfing at Skutz Falls, paddling the S-bend and the lower canyon run. The whitewater action was well received by the kids as the smiling faces were plenty. The camping was at a great spot called the Horse Shoe Bend Group Site. It had easy access to the river from the site and an upper put-in and lower take-out. We both had a great time and would recommend to anyone with kids learning or interested in paddling to take them to next years festival.
|Way to go Avery!!! |
Photo by: Rob Fletcher
When we got to camp we had to unload Dad’s truck. Suddenly it started to rain, luckily we set the tent up before it rained. Then people started to show up. Most of the kids came in a short, white school bus; after all the kids arrived we went to the pool where we were going to show Dan Norman if we could roll, wet exit, etc (Dan Norman started the Chilliwack Centre of Excellence/CCE). After the pool we went to Boston Pizza for dinner and I went to bed at 11:00pm. The next morning I got up and had breakfast with Dan Norman’s kayak club. After breakfast we went freestyle kayaking and I had lots of fun. And in the afternoon we did a river run, not down the canyon but farther up. Then we had dinner and I did some carving on a stick with my favourite pocket knife. The next morning we had breakfast, then I and the other kids went kayaking down the canyon (the river is in a canyon). Then at the upper part of the river myself and other kids showed off our skills to the parents. I had a lot of fun at the Cowichan River.
We can’t thank Dan and his volunteers enough for such a great time and we can’t wait to go back next year!
P.S. check out Avery rocking his Werner paddle and Jackson2Fun, both of which performed flawlessly in the white stuff!