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Chilliwack paddlers rip through Tamihi rapids for Rich Weiss Memorial Race

The Tamihi Rapids have been home to the event for over 20 years

The Chilliwack Centre of Excellence Paddling Club hosted their annual Rich Weiss Memorial race at the Tamihi Rapids course this past Saturday, April 13.

The event pays tribute to American Olympic paddler Richard Weiss, who trained with the centre at the Tamihi course through the 1980s and 1990s, before losing his life in a paddling accident in 1997.

The race brought about fierce competition with standout performances from many of the club’s talented paddlers.

14-year-old Michal Smiesko came out on top, finishing fastest overall to win the K1M junior category, while Nathan Christensen claimed victory in the senior K1M category. Both Michal and Nathan are members of the provincial team, with the latter also competing with the national team.

Jacob Selander from Washington triumphed in the K1M masters category, Marcus Omelus-Butt took victory in the cadet division, while Tyler Nelson rounded out the men’s winners taking first place in the U12 category.

On the women’s side, Jennie Goldberg of Washington took the overall victory in the K1W category. The event also featured races in the K2W duos category with Omelus-Butt and paddle-mate Xavier Vaughan securing the win.

The club’s competitive paddlers will now gear up for the national team trials set to take place in Valleyfield, QC., in May, where they will have the opportunity to showcase their talent in hopes of representing their country at international competition.

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Stefan Luciani

About the Author: Stefan Luciani

Before joining the team here at the Chilliwack Progress in spring 2024, I was a story editor for TSN in Toronto and digital journalist.
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