The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club is stoking paddler’s competitive fires with a virtual version of their annual Wetdashe time trial.
“We always had planned on holding the event,” says club coach Marcus Krieger.
The club has soldiered through COVID-19, providing an athletic outlet to those wanting to escape their pandemic blues.
“It was definitely interesting when we first were able to reopen with our extraordinary access programs,” says club regular Miles Krakowec Tickner. “Some people didn’t have any contact so coming in here and being able to do something safely for the older people or people with preexisting conditions meant a lot.”
Fairway Gorge has already pulled off several virtual events on a smaller scale and will use the same format for their biggest event of the year.
“So we’ve been running time trials in the same sort of configuration as we’re doing Wetdashe, allowing paddlers to time themselves and submit results with GPS proof that they’ve completed the course,” says Krakowec Tickner.
Each competitor will raise funds for men’s health and the entries have been rolling in from around the world.
“Currently, we’ve got some people from Australia and from Hawaii and a bunch of Canadian teams,” says Krieger. “Our team is on the course and we’re going to be doing some pieces and putting our results in and I guess we’ll see how we stack up against all the other athletes.”
Even though the competition is online, it still poses a formidable challenge to the racers.
“This year we’re definitely less prepared than we normally would be, cause normally we would’ve been training over the summer,” says Krakowec Tickner.
“It is different not having competitors against you kind of pushing you,” says Krieger.
“So it’s a bit more of a mental game to keep yourself in it while nobody’s pushing you around.”
For more information on how to enter the race or donate to the organizations supported by the event, visit the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club website.