Matt Kelly – Has had an on and off paddling season this year and is not in as good form as he has shown in previous years. Too much work? But Matt relies on his exceptional surfing and rough water skills he has attained from many years of whitewater and downriver paddling.
Ken Stanick – Ken is in top form! I know, I spent many hours in the gym with him this past winter training at Jodi Boates Athletics. He has taken his training very seriously. He has just returned from the Wildside Relay where he was honing his downwind paddling and rough water paddling skills. Expect to see Ken crack the top 30
Sean Gibson –I have just learned that he is injured and won’t be racing but will still come to help with shuttling etc. Thanks Sean! Here is what I was going to write: Sean is taking on all the big races this year. Unlike most people who work their way up to the toughest races, Sean is doing it the opposite way. Tackling the granddaddy of all surf skis races this past spring, The Molokai World Champs. Sean will test himself in the cooler waters of The SF Bay.
Shane Martin – Shane lives the paddling lifestyle and probably logs more miles than anybody else on this list. Lots of power, great surfing skills. Shane had partnered with Ken at Wildside relay. Look for Shane to be top 30 again maybe crack top 20 if he has a good race!!
Gareth Tudor-Jones – Gareth had the best showing of any Canadian at last years race with a 16th place finish. There is no reason to suspect that Gareth will do any worse this year. He has been on a solid training regime. However, the higher up you get on the ladder, the greater the spacing of the rungs. It will be no easy feat to pick off the likes of Rami Zur, Carter Johnson or Olympian Phillipe Boccara who finished just ahead of Gareth last year.
Warren Bruce – The Veteran of the group. Warren is lways solid in his conditioning, spending half the year in Baja, Mexico. Warren has been working hard on his rough water skills. Warren is my main Canadian Competition in the Senior Masters division (over 50)
Bob Putnam – I’m feeling better this year than last and am hoping to be able to challenge the course whereas last year’s effort was just a matter of survival. I had a good winter of training with Ken and Jodi and it’s made a huge difference for myself. I’m hoping to finish top 5 in Senior Master (blue hair division) I’m looking forward to the big downwind in the last half of the race. My time spent paddling the Ambleside Tide Rip has been awesome to help prepare the rough water paddling skills, cause it doesn’t matter how good your conditioning is, if you can’t paddle in the rough water you won’t do well.
Rob Hansen – Rob hales from Campbell River and like Gareth has South African roots. Paddling is in his blood. Rob had a good spring of paddling in Vancouver while he was doing a stint at UBC’s Sports Med Clinic. This is Rob’s first trip to the USSSC and look for him to put in a good performance. Rob has a superior fitness base and good rough water / downwind paddling skills.
Daryl Remmler – Daryl has been a busy boy not paddling as much as he has in the past years. But more than anybody else Daryl has the ability to draw on his years of racing experience and “pull it out of the bag” on race day.
Sean Rice – Looking for a 1st place finish, nothing more needs to be said
Linda Warren – Our token female!! Linda is a big promoter of “Girls and Skis” It will be great to have Linda join the group. It’s her 1st USSSC. Linda has been keenly preparing for the big event and just had a great race at the Jericho Oceanman. Hopefully in future years more women will take part
Thanks to Viv for her great photos. USSSC takes place this Saturda August 13 / 14.