Late July brought about a now staple part of the Canadian racing scene. Toby creek race, the brain child of Simon Coward has become the North Fork of the North. Mimicking the road side access that allows easy viewership of the Idaho based race, Toby has grown rapidly and brought over 150 people this year.
The toby creek race fell in close proximity to the Canadian Slalom Nationals and the Canadian national freestyle trials. This resulted in tough competition. With tough competition also comes entertaining viewing.
The courses, set up by Aquabatics staff on three sections of the Toby Creek River located near Panorama ski resort, allowed for three categories of racers to enjoy the event. Saturday began with the intermediate race upstream near the resort. This was closely followed by the Advanced and Elite race on the entry rapid to the 7 canyons section of the river. The top 12 people from Elite men, and top 6 women moved forward to the final.
Finals were run on slipping rock rapid. With little practice time finals were incredible to watch and had some home town heroes make their way home to their day jobs late on Sunday with some extra cash in their pockets.
These races are an integral part of our BC whitewater kayaking culture, it forces old and new friends together to enjoy whitewater with the optional presence of tough competition. It also showcases that those of us that have had to buckle down and travel a little less for kayaking still have a shot at competing with the big dogs.
Until next year….