Sannich-Brentwood Bay canoe team wins nationals

An outrigger canoe team from the Saanich Peninsula was the fastest crew to complete a 24-kilometre course.

The 2016 National Outrigger Iron champs

CENTRAL SAANICH — An outrigger canoe team from the Saanich Peninsula was the fastest crew to complete a 24-kilometre course at the Canadian National Outrigger Iron Championships last weekend.

The Saanich — Brentwood Bay based Geronimo Canoe Club (GCC)  team finished the race, held in Gibsons, B.C., in one hour and 48 minutes.

The GCC began participating in the outrigger sport and competing at the Nationals in 2011 (2nd after a filp), 2012 (3rd), 2013 (1st) and 2015 (1st). This year’s win makes it a three-peat.

Based on traditional First Nations War Canoe racing, the event incorporates a traditional style of paddling, determination and skill. The GCC was founded in 1974 by the late Ivan and  Madeline Morris, who created it for their four boys and two daughters. Ivan and Madeline’s grandchildren are carrying on the legacy.

War Canoe racing has been in existence since the early 1900s where canoe clubs travel from lower Vancouver Island, lower south west B.C. mainland and the northwest Washington State.

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