Paddlers from all over Vancouver Island and beyond gathered for competition for the first time this year in an event hosted Sunday by the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club.
The Kan-U-Hakit sprint event featured 400 racers from Victoria, Comox, Langley, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Vancouver and Powell River. Outrigger canoe teams raced 1,500-metre sprints between the Bay Street bridge and the Selkirk Trestle in 72 separate heats over the course of the day.
Kan-U-Hakit was the last race that happened before health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic shut such events down in March of 2020, said Fairway Gorge Paddling Club general manager Erik Ages.
The March 6 races marked the first crew boat event this year where paddlers from elsewhere on the Island and mainland have all raced together. Ages said the plan is to have a full season of races through to September.