June 2009

Raise your paddles for many jobs well done!

Well it is now about the half way point in the 2009 season. I just wanted to take a moment to remark on how excellent the season has been already. As you know, two of my favorite sayings are “It takes all of us to make the club what it is!”, and “We could not have all of the great events that we do without the volunteers!” You have really shown me what those statements mean this year!

There is no way for me to thank everyone involved in the great events that have been laboriously put together and presented other than to say a BIG THANK YOU to you all. Thank you for creating events to share our sport with new paddlers; for sharing your skills with those trying to take the sport to a new level; for making the opportunity to support other athletes on the water; for creating a time and place for paddlers to come together for training times and for social times; and for designing day and overnight trips of all sorts! And to all those who have reaped the benefits of these events by participating, remember that you deserve thanks as well for keeping the interest alive! So the next time you are on the water with a group of CPA paddlers, stop and take a minute to raise your paddles together and say a big THANKS for all who make these great events happen, and to all the volunteers!

So let me walk back through the season real quick to recall what was so great, and what started me into this excitable topic. Now, I know I have not been to all the events this season. There are far too many for that, but at quite a few, the turnout was tremendous. I participated in a couple of the Swim Support events already this year, and was most impressed by the turnout. I believe that more paddlers came out to the Chesapeake Bay Swim Support than I have ever seen in years past. There was also great success reported from the Potomac River Swim Support and the Columbia Triathlon Swim Support. For these opportunities, we can thank Sue Bauer, Chris Bresnan and Cyndi Janetzko, not to mention all those who did the hard work of spotting swimmers.

The trip reports that have come out of the June camping and paddle trips sound great! Lots of fun times have been had already. Many thanks to some of the event planners and coordinators: Gina Cicotello, Ralph Heimlich, Tom Heneghan, Bill Dodge, Jim Zawlocki, Mike Cohn, and more! What a great job.

Some of the early season paddles, in May are still being talked about as well. How many people have gone out to the Bay to join Marshall Woodruff on one of his adventures around Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge or even in training for a full circumnavigation of Kent Island at 35 miles around? Whew! And this year, he held two days of beginner paddling on the Eastern Shore that brought many people out . Great paddles, and great times shared amongst friends.

But of all these events, who does not know of the best of the best; the two events most widely known and most commonly spoken of in remembrance of CPA events? SK101 and SK102. For the second year in a row, Yvonne Thayer and Gina Cicotello planned and held an event for people just starting to get an interest in Sea Kayaking. With volunteers like Greg and Jenny Welker, Ed Hershon, Todd Angerhoffer, Suzanne Farace, Ralph Heimlich and more, SK101 was again a success . And of course SK102 was as big as ever this season. Brian Blankinship and Gina created the event (perhaps for the last time!?) which brought together almost 120 paddlers for instruction and friendship.

While I know this is not a complete list of events from the start of 2009, nor have I mentioned all names involved in these events, this list serves as an example of what CPA does for everyone involved in the sport of Sea Kayaking. With merely the first half of the season behind us, and all the impressive participation we have seen, 2009 should be without doubt one of the best seasons for CPA paddlers. So with all those great memories on our minds, let’s jump right into the second half of the 2009 season. There are many more camping weekends to enjoy, day paddles to venture out on, skills days to test us, and social gatherings to bring us together. Click on over to the CPA Calendar of Events at our Events Page and see what of the many events you want to join. And if you find all this paddling and camaraderie on the water as wonderful as I do, then think about helping out any of the events, or make another one happen! After all, remember that it takes all of you paddlers and all of you volunteers to make these events what they are! And you have all done a great job! Thanks!

See you on the water!

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