Parksville duo paddles around Bowen

Bill Vinton and Theo Dombrowski only had one week to train together prior to setting out in a double kayak for the ‘Round Bowen kayak race on the weekend, but evidently that was enough.

Bill Vinton and Theo Dombrowski only had one week to train together prior to setting out in a double kayak for the ‘Round Bowen kayak race on the weekend, but evidently that was enough.

The pair took top spot in the male doubles kayak category, completing the 32-kilometre course in three hours and 13 minutes — fully two and a half minutes ahead of their nearest competitor.

“A double kayak crewed by a German couple was up there with us until the last couple of kilometres before we were able to pull away,” he said. 

The victory, added the Parksville resident, was particularly sweet because of the demographics involved.

“Our combined ages are 127 years,” he said. “I’m 63 and he’s 64, so without a doubt we were the oldest competitors there.”

Double kayaks were by no means the only craft involved in the race however, with surf skis, single kayaks and high-performance kayaks also represented in their own divisions.

The race, he said, was tough, but conditions were relatively benign for the June 26 event.

“There’s always interesting ocean going around the point,” he said. “It brews up a bit and you get a bit of a swell and you have to keep your wits about you. Still, compared to what you can sometimes get in the Strait of Georgia, this was fairly benign.”

The pair decided to paddle together in the race after both competing in the Snow to Surf race at Mt. Washington, which involves downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, running, kayaking, bicycling and canoeing.

“The problem was, Theo was going away and only came back one week before the event, so that’s all the time we had to train,” Vinton said.

•   •   •   •

There’s a new commanding officer overseeing the Admiral Yanow 169 Navy League Squadron.

The  change came during the squadron’s annual review, held at Parksville Elementary School June 28.

Gavin Christensen, who oversaw the review in his final duty as commanding officer, was replaced by SLt. Carol Calder.

Christensen will stay involved with the cadets, taking on the task of training officer. Calder had been serving as the administrative officer.

During his last duty in the top position, Christensen had no shortage of activities to oversee, with cadets kicking things off with a parading of the colours, followed by the arrival of the reviewing party and inspect ion.

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