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Layoam Eagles to take on all challengers

Champion team to race at Paddlefest 2002 The Pemberton Layoam Eagles Dragon Boat Team, the top high school team in North America and number two in the world, will be taking on the public in a 22-person war danoe during Paddlefest 2002 on June 8.

Champion team to race at Paddlefest 2002

The Pemberton Layoam Eagles Dragon Boat Team, the top high school team in North America and number two in the world, will be taking on the public in a 22-person war danoe during Paddlefest 2002 on June 8.

Come over to Green Lake to watch the action, or get a team together and see if you can give the Eagles a run for their money – all proceeds will go towards the team to help cover their travel costs.

Organizers are currently trying to put together a 20-person Whistler team for $25 per person, and the $500 will go towards the Eagles. Other teams are invited to do the same.

Each of the native war canoes at Paddlesfest was carved from a single tree by local First Nations, which are taking an active part in the three-day festival.

This is the first year for Paddlefest, which organizers plan to make into an annual event celebrating self-propelled water sports in an area that boasts some of the best whitewater and still-water canoeing and kayaking in North America.

The event runs from Friday, June 7 to Sunday, June 9 and features clinics, competitions, tours, discussions and First Nations. There are events tailored to everybody, from kids, families and first-timers to the most hardcore rodeo and creek kayakers. There are also social events, including barbecues and lakeside bonfires on Friday and Saturday evenings at the Edgewater Outdoor Centre.

Edgewater is the base of the festival, although kayaking clinics will be held on Alta Lake. Other events will be held on the Green River, Cheakamus River and River of Golden Dreams. The more advanced paddlers will be taken to other more challenging locations as well.

Following the races on Saturday, the Eagles will be taking part in a First Nations salmon barbecue, featuring First nations entertainment on the shores of Green Lake.

For more information or to buy tickets for clinics and events, contact Tourism Whistler at 1-800-Whistler. If you wish to enter a team against the Eagles, contact Epic Events at 604-938-1783.

Friday, June 7

9 a.m. – Hospitality tent opens, guests and exhibitors arrive and register. Also the first chance to get wet with free kayak tours on class 2/3 and 3/4 runs.

Noon to 2 p.m. – River of Golden Dreams tour, $50 per person.

1 p.m. – Free kayak tour, class 3/4 and 4/5 runs.

3 p.m. – Free introduction to water safety and canoe paddling.

5 p.m. – Native war canoe demonstration and clinic, $35 per person or half price for kids.

6 p.m. – Dinner and refreshments at Edgewater Outdoor Centre. Barbecue beef, chicken and veggie burgers, salad and desert, $15 per person.

Saturday, June 8

9 a.m. – Site expo opens for all suppliers, sponsors and participants. Free Whistler Kayak Club trips, class 2/3 and 3/4 runs.

10 a.m. – River of Golden Dreams tours, Green Lake tours by canoe or kayak; $50 for river tours, $29 for lake. Trips leave every hour on the hour.

Noon to 4 p.m. – Native War Canoe demo tours, $35 per person, half price for kids. Canoes leave every hour on the hour.

1 p.m. – Free Whistler Kayak Club trips, 3/4 and 4/5 runs.

2 p.m. – Kayak Freestyle Rodeo on the upper Cheakamus, hosted by Captain Holiday’s kayak school; $15 per person.

5 p.m. – Whitewater Kayak Association of B.C. annual general meeting at a site to be announced.

7 p.m. – Native Salmon Barbecue at Edgewater Outdoor Centre, featuring first nations dancing and story telling with Art Thevarge and Lillooet First Nations. Cost is $30 per person.

Sunday, June 9

9 a.m. – Site opens.

10 a.m. – Tours and clinics begin, including River of Golden Dreams, Green Lake and war canoes.

Noon to 2 p.m. – Kid’s Paddling Clinic for youth under the age of $15. Cost is $30 per person.

1 p.m. – Cheakamus River Run for Fun.

3 to 6 p.m. – Family River of Golden Dreams Tour, $50 for adults, $25 for kids.

7 p.m. – River Talk with Whistler Kayak Club. An information session on access issues related to the corridor and how to get involved to keep runs open for future generations. This will be followed by a wrap-up bonfire on house rock.

Captain Holiday’s Clinic Schedule

Guided tours of local rivers, plus a variety of clinics available for special Paddlefest rates.

Friday and Saturday (Day 1 and 2) Clinics

Creeking Clinic – Take part in a one-day clinic on the finest steep creeks in the area led by legendary creeker Stuart Smith. This clinic will focus on Grade 4 and beyond water, and covers water reading, safety, special creeking techniques, as well as a tour of some popular spots. Cost is $125 or US$90.

One Day Intro – A full-day introduction to kayaking on Alta Lake for those with little or no previous experience. Covers gear introduction, terminology, how to get in and out of the boats, strokes, braces and safety. After lunch participants learn rolling with personalized instruction. Cost is $150, or US$115.

Half Day Intro – A three hour course that includes the first half of the full introduction. You’ll probably want to stay for the afternoon and learn how to roll. Cost is $80 or US$60.

Two Day Intro – Includes the One Day Intro with another day on the river. On day two you’ll be on a relatively tame section of water, applying the skills you learned the day before on moving water. The morning will be spent on safety and technique, and the afternoon paddlers will practice running the river.

Kids Program (ages 8 to 13) – From 9 a.m. until noon, this course is designed to introduce kids to kayaking through games like kayak polo, relay races and the popular "rock launch." The cost is $65 or US$50, and includes the use of real whitewater equipment and snacks at break time.

Family Program – Parents learn the basics of kayaking with their kids. Play games and explore Alta Lake while instructors spend time coaching people individually. Provided in half, full and two-day formats. The cost is $245 (US$190) for a half day, $425 (US$315) for a full day, or $750 (US$565) for the two day course. Family rates include mom day and two kids under the age of 16.

Rolling Clinic – Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. Learn the art of rolling in an easy three-step progression. Previous kayak experience is an asset. Cost is $65 (US$50).

Playboating Clinic – Hosted by a National Rodeo Team member, this clinic will help you learn the techniques and tricks used by the pros at some of Whistler’s best play spots. There will be a fun rodeo event in the afternoon that’s open to everyone, with categories for all skill levels. Cost is $75 (US$55) for the clinic and $10 for the rodeo.

Sunday (Day 3) Clinics

River Running Clinic – Join ex-national team member Keith Klapstein from the Riverworks Kayak School who will teach the art of smooth river running to intermediate kayakers. Cost is $75 (US$55).

Cheakamus River Run for Fun – meet at House Rock Park 1 p.m. A fun timed race down a short section of the Cheakamus River with different categories for different skill levels.