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Women In Paddling

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Catalina Relay - Lori and Laura's Adventure

Lori Jorgenson and Laura Ricker Lori Jorgenson and I, Laura Ricker, competed in the Catalina Relay on Sunday, March 26 and came in 1st place with our two paddling partners, Cheance Adair and Shannon Smith. It took us 6 hours and 19 minutes to cross the 40 mile channel between Avalon, CA and Dana Point, CA with the help of our change coach Susan Reeves, and our awesome escort driver Drew and Mike. What a team! Our Huki V2X was comfortable and a perfect fit for all four of us - which promptly sold to a new owner right when we pulled onto the beach!
Catalina Relay Challenge map

The weather started off a bit overcast but with a bright horizon stretching ahead of us to paddle towards. We slammed out of the gate and had a great start. Our Kialoa Axel II and Teva Hoe paddles definitely helped with that! Throughout the race we used our Hollyakala's and were really happy to have such a variety of paddles to choose from over such different water terrain.
We were on the water for 30 minutes before our first change. We pulled up alongside our escort and zodiac and changed out with Cheance and Shannon who continued our lead. Through rain, sun, and a school of 100+ skipper dolphins, we raced to the other side of the ocean! It was exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Catalina Relay Challenge OC-2

The challenge was the constant input from all directions every time we got on and off the canoe - current, direction, chop, rollers, chop on top of rollers, wake, wake on top of chop on top of rollers, escort boat, other canoes, changes, staying hydrating, eating, bathroom, staying warm, changing out and starting the cycle all over again. It was an awesome experience and even though we checked it off our list as something we did - all we are thinking about now is doing it again.

Thanks Kialoa! Our paddles made the difference and pulled us all the way through the race to the finish line for our win!

~Laura Ricker
Mountain Home Canoe Club
Portland, OR

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