Hundreds of outrigger paddlers bring excitement back to Victoria harbour

Outrigger racers make a turn during the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event March 6 in front of the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club.(Bailey Moreton/News Staff)Outrigger racers make a turn during the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event March 6 in front of the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club.(Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
Fairway Gorge Paddling Club general manager Erik Ages said after two years of pandemic-centred disruption, the club is planning a number of races for 2022. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)Fairway Gorge Paddling Club general manager Erik Ages said after two years of pandemic-centred disruption, the club is planning a number of races for 2022. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
Paddlers head towards the start line prior to the women’s B final, part of the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event on March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)Paddlers head towards the start line prior to the women’s B final, part of the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event on March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
Paddlers step into their outrigger boat prior to the start of the women’s B final at the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event on March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)Paddlers step into their outrigger boat prior to the start of the women’s B final at the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event on March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)
It was a tight race at the halfway point of the the women’s B final during the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event in Victoria’s upper harbour March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)It was a tight race at the halfway point of the the women’s B final during the Kan-U-Hakit sprint event in Victoria’s upper harbour March 6. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

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.

ALSO READ: Westshore Rugby aiming to get more girls playing

ALSO READ: TODAY: Final day of the Vancouver Island run will see Wounded Warriors at Victoria’s Market Square


@moreton_bailey
bailey.moreton@goldstreamgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Paddling