One Stroke Closer to the Pan Am Games
By Doug Furtney
“They won! Their ‘jump finish’ was amazing!” These were the excited words uttered by an astonished Coach Johnson. The North Lambton (Lambton Shores) Super Strokers U18 team won a 26-team High School Dragon Boat Challenge Cup in Pickering on Sunday, June 7th. The mixed U18 team came from behind to defeat the hometown favourites, the Mowat Mustangs, from Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate Institute in Scarborough. North Lambton Super Strokers ended a 14-year winning streak by the Mowat Mustangs. The Mustangs have won this race every single year since 2001.
The Super Strokers competed in a 200-metre race and a 500-metre race. In both races, the Super Strokers finished in second behind the Mowat Mustangs. Both teams advanced to the finals in each distance. In both races, the Mowat Mustangs led at the start of the race and were beaten at the finish by the Super Strokers. The Super Strokers finished the 200-metre race in 50.20 seconds and the Mowat Mustangs finished in 50.45 seconds. In the 500-metre final, the Super Strokers finished in 2:11.40 and the Mowat Mustangs finished with a time of 2:12.34. Joey VanValkenburg, the sternsman for the Super Strokers, was asked by various crewmembers at the crossing of the finish line of every race, “Did we win?” His answer was always the same: “I don’t know; it was close!”
This race helps the Super Strokers U18 qualify for the Pan American Club Crew Championships, August 14th to 16th at the Welland International Flatwater Centre. The Super Strokers also must race in Welland, Ontario at the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships on June 26th to June 28th as part of the qualifying process.
Congratulations to the U18 Super Strokers and Coach Mrs. Johnson on a fantastic win.
Super Strokers.jpg Caption
Super Strokers Win Trophy
What is Mrs. Johnson whispering? Is she whispering about the intense competition between the Super Strokers and Scott Madill’s team, the Mowat Mustangs? Scott Madill coached the Canadian U18 team that won in Hungary in 2014. Seven paddlers from North Lambton Super Strokers won gold medals on his team at the world championships in Hungary. Will Mrs. Johnson get a chance to coach the Canadian team? Photo by Doug Furtney