Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Annual Newsletter - Oct 2014

SDCKT wins 79 Medals at National Championships with ... Coach Barlow recognized with the Chris Barlow K4 Men's Trophy.
As many SDCKT alumni & their parents know competing on Lake Lanier (site of the 1996 Olympic games for Sprint Canoe/Kayak) can be challenging with high temperatures and high humidity. However the weather was kind this year at the USA Sprint National Club Championships, with San Diego like weather for all 3 days of competition! After all the racing was complete SDCKT came
home with a 3rd place finish overall in points and 79 combined medals! After 18 years as the Head Coach of SDCKT and racing in the K4 as a member of the 1992 Olympic Team, Coach Barlow was recognized for his contribution to the sport of Olympic Canoe/Kayak with the Chris Barlow K4 Men's Trophy. Awarded to the team that receives the most combined points for Men's K4 from all age groups.
(Chris is pictured holding the trophy, with SDCKT Board Member Miguel Carrillo - who designed and built the trophy - and his wife Cris.
For more photos of the 2014 Nationals and results go to www.SDCKT.net.

Olympic Day 2014 - A Great Success. Next year it will also include SDCKT Alumni Day at the Bay. SAVE the DATE 6/20/2015
SDCKT Paddlers compete for Team USAat Junior World Championships, Pan Am Championships, Olympic Hopes Regatta and the Lake Placid International (LPI)

SDCKT celebrated Olympic Day 2014 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June 1894 at the Sorbonne in Paris. It is an international effort to promote fitness and well-being in addition to the Olympic ideals of Fair Play, Perseverance, Respect and Sportsmanship, and is supported by the USA Olympic Committee. It is celebrated annually by thousands of people in more than 160 countries. SDCKT joined in the celebration to showcase our Olympic sport of Canoe & Kayak and highlight our amazing athletes to the local San Diego community. Council member Ed Harris was in attendance to recognize the Team and its athletes with a Proclamation of the City of San Diego Council that declared June 21, 2014 to be “SAN DIEGO CANOE KAYAK TEAM” in the City of San Diego!
Congratulations to SDCKT Paddlers Mira Corrao, Noa Hopper, Paul Chevallier (canoe) Josie Ballard & E

Three of the four paddlers in the K4 were SDCKT team members who competed in Hungary at the Junior World Championships.  In addition SDCKT paddlers represented Team USA in Slovakia at the Olympic Hopes International Regatta; in Mexico City at the Pan Am Championships; and at the Lake Placid International (LPI) regatta.

2014 SDCKT Paddle-a-thon, Open House & Pancake Breakfast.
Silver Blade International Regatta Great day of racing at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Save the Date for 2015: April 11th. Go towww.SDCKT.net for more information.

The 2014 SDCKT Paddle-a-thon, Open House & Pancake Breakfast was a great success with over 400km paddled and $9000+ raised. Thank you to all our supporters, paddlers, volunteers & new friends. We had a blast!

You Are Invited
SDCKT Turkey PaddleNov 28th 

SDCKT to HOST the 2015 USA Sprint National Club Championships & Paddlefest Paddlers, Volunteers & Sponsors. All are welcome! Contact us at info@sdckt.net
For more information on this and other events SDCKT is hosting go to SDCKT.net

Sunday, March 30, 2014


The weather? The city? The coaching?  San Diego Canoe Kayak Team has had paddlers come from all over the world to train and experience the many benefits of being a part of such a unified team in one of America’s finest cities.  Racing sprint, marathon, surf ski and white water, SDCKT has hosted many talented athletes from places such as England, Austria, Iran, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Hungary and more.  We caught up with our international friends that are currently training with us, as well as others who long to come back to San Diego.   

In the United States kayaking is a very unique sport that is almost always mentioned as rowing, although, as our community knows very well, there is a very distinct difference.  Rachel Macuson from Canada explained how grateful she was to be introduced to the right sport.  Living close to the river, she thought she would check out the rowing club: Lucky for me the canoe club open house and the rowing club open house were on the same day and I happened to walk into the canoe club first.  It seemed like such a cool sport that I didn't even bother checking out the rowing club!”  Here in San Diego, kayaking has been introduced to many by the founder of SDCKT whose own introduction to the sport was a bit of an experiment.  My brother built a kayak for a school project, put me in it and pushed me down some whitewater rapids when I was eight” said head coach Chris Barlow.  In comparison, Wolfgang Hochtl from Austria, grew up in a paddling oriented community and became involved at the age of ten. 

Many different watercrafts for paddling are offered at SDCKT which has allowed a number of international paddlers the opportunity to get on the water and try out a new style of paddling.  Suzanne de Bruijn grew up doing flat-water racing in the Netherlands and enjoys that the most.  However, when she came to train in San Diego, “[she] got to know surfski; different from flat-water, but really cool... [she] even managed to enjoy a relaxing stand-up session every now and again.”  Residing in Sweden, Scott Cole, “…had done a lot of whitewater paddling in Washington on the White Salmon River, sea kayaking with lots of gear, multisport paddling in rapids and surfski paddling in big wind”.  His training in San Diego brought him, “good memories of surfski paddling with Chris and Barry among seals and big swells”.  One athlete currently training with SDCKT enjoys team boat paddling which is very popular at our club.  I like working on a goal as a team and the good thing is, you never have to carry your boat on your own”  expressed Moritz Lipperheide from Germany 

Throughout the past seventeen years, SDCKT has become very well-known through the development of social media advertising and great representation of athletes and coaches at national and international events.  Hanieh Khatibi shared how she discovered SDCKT, “In Junior World Championships in Moscow, I was an athlete from Iran. I met Mac Hickox, the USA Junior Development Coach, and he introduced SDCKT to me… San Diego has great weather, and it is a beautiful city.”  With the power of social media, most athletes simply searched for a kayak team in San Diego My goal was to find a good university in a city with an opportunity to paddle...”  Moritz found SDCKT and UCSD where he could , “…write [his] master thesis in mechanical engineering”.  An athlete from Budapest, Hungary said, “We were searching for a kayaking club in California and Rami Zur recommended SDCKT”.  Isti Urban found the environment to be ‘very friendly’ with a “supportive team, excellent coaching and quality training.” 

The camaraderie amongst the athletes, parents and coaches creates memories every day, on and off the water.  “Every day is a special memory - whether it’s the first stroke a new paddler takes or Carrie Johnson making the Olympic Team,” shares Coach Barlow.  Training in San Diego provides great memories within itself.  Wolfgang recalls being able to, “[find] the motivation to go and paddle at 6 am during [his] holidays,” as well as, “paddling next to the seals and dolphins on the ocean”.  In addition, Suzanne mentioned, “the time there were dolphins in mission bay. We paddled behind them, when suddenly one of the dolphins jumped out of the water less than 10m away.”  Finally, the beautiful sights of San Diego are admired by all athletes.  “What I like most about paddling at SDCKT are the AMAZING sunsets,” said Rachel. 

San Diego Canoe Kayak Team, “is not only about paddling. Its principle of developing fair sportsmen and women on and off the water is really brought to life every day. It is amazing to see how kids, and adults as well, get stronger personalities by being members of this club.” – Moritz Lipperheide.   

Friday, October 25, 2013

Living with the Competition
          Paddling at SDCKT is uniquely conducive to getting whole families involved.  In most sports such as soccer, baseball and football the majority of the parents are limited to taking their turns providing snacks and just being spectators.  In paddling, parents volunteer to help out at races, regattas and time trials in many capacities.  Also, in many families, more than one of the children and often one or both parents paddle.  Paddle sports are unique in that children can compete in the same regattas as their parents, beginners can participate at the same events as elite athletes and everyone can paddle recreationally for fun and exercise.
            With this heavy family involvement in paddling, over the last fifteen years SDCKT has had many siblings paddling together.  Several of them have competed against each other because they were born within two years of each other.  SDCKT currently has two sets of twins paddling with and against each other. 
We asked the Borm and Miller twins how they liked being involved in kayaking together. “It’s different because you can’t really go home and talk about issues that you might have had with a K2 partner because that person might be your sibling,” said Danielle Borm. The sibling rivalries take over at home and on the water as these sisters compete with and against each other. Leilani Borm said that they are, “always expected to push each other and try to beat each other” during practices and competitions. The high expectations bring great success to the talented paddlers as they bring their competitive edge to every workout.
In the sport of kayaking, paddlers tend to always be sprinting on the water but the Millers do not fail to keep each other in check as they train together. “When we do a level two workout one of us will randomly speed up so we always have to remind the other that it’s only level two!” exclaimed Michael Miller. His brother, Ryan, agreed that, “it is a lot of competition,” and confessed that, “it doesn’t always end after every practice”.
Training with someone is one thing but paddling in the same boat as that person has its significant differences. The Borm twins have competed with each other in K2 at multiple competitions throughout the years and have shared some fun and interesting memories. “Sometimes we have good K2 experiences and sometimes we just don’t…” said Leilani who enjoys paddling with her sister, “half of the time, but the other half……,” their arguments from home continue as they get on the water.  Danielle shared, “We have our sibling issues but we are a good K2 when we want to be”.  They had tremendous improvement in their team boat from the first time they paddled a double together at the age of ten. “We almost sunk our boat after flipping in a lot” said Danielle.
“It’s a different experience going K2 with Ryan because we each have a different stroke style,” Michael explained. Both boys agreed that the competition between them is present in a K2 which makes it difficult to work together. However, they are better teammates in a K4 since it’s not just the two of them in the boat.
Sibling rivalry may cause some issues but the Borm and Miller twins agree that paddling together has given them more motivation at home and during workouts! “You always have a partner to run with and someone to push you constantly,” said Ryan. Michael explained how the rivalry is motivating to him when he sees his brother, “out there beating him, [he] knows that [I] will try harder to catch up and go faster than him”! The Borms encourage one another to get faster by always competing with each other and also by, “going to the gym together to swim and do pull ups,” said Danielle. Leilani is thankful that, “there is always someone who has to wake you up for the early morning workouts in the summertime”.
Paddle sports can be great for the whole family- as long as you don’t mind living with the competition!



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Canoe/Kayak University: Sprinting towards Higher Education

Originally published on USACK blog, by Joe Jacobi. 

One of the High Performance metrics that I pay attention to is the number of our canoe/kayak athletes who continue to train and compete into their collegiate years. Unfortunately  this number is far too low in the U.S. as I've watched many bright junior racing careers come to a halt at the end of high school for lack of university-level opportunities in paddlesports.

The development of collegiate paddling opportunities for prospective U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes is critical to USA Canoe/Kayak's High Performance program. Most of our international competitors benefit from the financial support of their governments including educational opportunities within the university system. As the "Under-23" World Championship events (targeting ages 19-23) increase in importance within the International Canoe Federation, collegiate paddlesports programs here in the U.S. must play a stronger role in Olympic and Paralympic journeys.

While cultivating university-level opportunities is a long-term initiative in the U.S., the sport is making encouraging progress. Just over three years ago, Oklahoma City University became thefirst University in the country to make Canoe/Kayak a collegiate varsity sport and support the program with scholarships opportunities. This program aligned with the development theOklahoma City Boathouse District and the opening of the Devon Boathouse and High Performance Center, which serves as home to Oklahoma City University's Canoe/Kayak and Rowing teams.

Now, more good news comes from Chris Barlow, 1992 Olympian in Sprint Kayaking and Head Coach of the San Diego Canoe/Kayak Team. One of USA Canoe/Kayak's Platinum Gold level clubs, San Diego Canoe/Kayak Team has reached an agreement with Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) that encourages canoe/kayak athletes to pursue their goals on the water and in the classroom with the opportunity to be considered for for tuition support while attending PLNU. 
Read more about the San Diego Canoe/Kayak Team/PLNU agreement ----> HERE

While there is still much work to do in creating more collegiate paddling opportunities, it's important to recognize positive momentum when it happens - many thanks to San Diego Canoe/Kayak Team and PLNU.
Such progress isn't just a victory for our athletes but the schools win too. Not only are Oklahoma City University and PLNU recognized as leaders and key partners within the Olympic Family but they stand apart in the academic community too with unique and creative programs and ambassadors which resonate with potential students, Alumni, faculty and staff.
While a sustainable Collegiate program does not happen overnight, our Clubs are now better positioned to develop partnerships with colleges and universities in their communities that build on the success we are seeing in California and Oklahoma. 
With gratitude, 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

International stage awaits kayakers

Originally posted at UT San Diego

Paddle power

Five local high school athletes have qualified to compete for the U.S. in the Olympic Hopes Regatta scheduled Friday through Sunday in the Czech Republic:
Name / School /Yr.
Sammie Barlow / Bishop's / Jr.
Leilani Borm / Classical / Jr.
Danielle Borm / Classical / Jr.
Carly DaCosta / Mira Mesa / So.
Jonny Espinosa / La Jolla / Jr.

Sammie Barlow received a custom-built mini-kayak from a family friend while in preschool. To help keep the craft stable, a cement block was placed beside her for extra weight.
It seems the Clairemont resident was born to kayak since her father, Chris, paddled for the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics.
Once the younger Barlow moved up to a regular kayak, she truly flipped for the sport — seven times right into the water during her first practices.
That’s a rite of passage in kayaking as her peers can testify from the San Diego Canoe and Kayak Team, coached by her father. It can also be one of the first steps on the path to international competition.
Sammie Barlow is making her debut at the Olympic Hopes Regatta this week in the Czech Republic. Joining her on the U.S. team are twins Danielle and Leilani Borm, Carly DaCosta and Jonny Espinosa from the local club. In all, 22 countries are entered in the annual event for ages 15-17.
“You put your absolute hardest into a race, and whatever comes, it’s going to be exciting,” said Barlow, a junior at The Bishop’s School, who played on the Knights’ San Diego Section Division III girls water polo championship team last season. “It doesn’t matter if you win, you’re in a boat, and you’re doing what you love.”
Barlow experienced a breakthrough three years ago when she won her first gold medal in the 11-12 age division at the Junior Nationals in a one-seat kayak, or K1 as it’s called.
“I was an underdog because I was the youngest,” said Barlow. “I wasn’t supposed to win the race, but it turned out that I did. I was at my podium, and my dad gave me the medal. That was my most exciting moment. I said to myself, ‘This is where I want to go.’ ”
Barlow also teamed with the Borm twins and DaCosta to prevail that year in the K4 500-meter, ending a five-year title reign by a club from Gig Harbor, Wash.
“We’d been keeping an eye on these four for a while,” Chris Barlow said. “When they did that, we knew that we had a special group.”
That was also the first year on the club for DaCosta, who experienced daily flips in practice at the outset but then demonstrated a quick learning curve.
“I was really motivated just because there were a lot of girls my age, and they were super nice,” said DaCosta, a sophomore at Mira Mesa High, who also plays water polo and swims for the Marauders. “I wanted to paddle with them, so I pushed myself just so I could be with them.”
The Borm twins, who live in Bonsall and attend Classical Academy in Escondido as juniors, also became hooked by the challenge to improve when they got their start four years ago.
“Once I got into more intermediate boats versus beginner ones, I really liked that,” Leilani Borm said. “The older people go faster, and I’m real competitive.”
The sisters acknowledge that can include a sibling rivalry. In the larger picture, teammates compete against each other in K1 boats and then join forces in K2 and K4 kayaks.
At this summer’s Junior Nationals, San Diego girls swept the top three spots in the 16U K1 200-meter race (Barlow, DaCosta and Leilani Borm, in order). With Danielle Borm, they took gold in the K4 500-meter race.
Espinosa qualified to make the trip to the Czech Republic in the K2 200-meter race with Miles Cross-Whiter of Seattle, his teammate in national competition and training camps. Espinosa specializes in the same distance for the La Jolla High track team as a junior.
“I’ve been really successful at sprints,” the 5-foot-3 Espinosa said. “My strength-to-height ratio is pretty good. I’m just a speed guy. It’s exhilarating, especially in the K2 boats.”
As it happens, Chris Barlow will coach the U.S. team this weekend along with his assistant, Heather Fenske, a former goalie for the San Diego State women’s water polo team. They were named to these positions in February. The San Diego athletes qualified in trials during April.
The aptly named Olympic Hopes Regatta is meant as a steppingstone for future Olympians. For added inspiration, the local paddlers can look to Carrie Johnson, a three-time Olympian, who got her start in the early years of the San Diego club, which came together in 1996.
“I’m really excited,” DaCosta said. “I never really imagined getting this far already, and I’m trying to see just how far I can actually get.”

Saturday, July 27, 2013

SDCKT is proud to have Greg Crouse as a member!!

originally published at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10938080.htm

Loma Linda University Team PossAbilities Member Earns Spot on the USA Canoe/Kayak National Team

Greg Crouse, 44, of Fullerton, Calif., a PossAbilities member for the last four years and who is on track to compete in the 2016 Paralympics as part of PossAbilities’ “Road to Rio” program, won his qualifying event to make it to the team.

A member of the Loma Linda University Team PossAbilities has secured a spot on the USA Canoe/Kayak National Team, and will represent the country at the ParaSprint World Championships in Duinsburg, Germany next month.

Greg Crouse, 44, of Fullerton, Calif., a PossAbilities member for the last four years and who is on track to compete in the 2016 Paralympics as part of PossAbilities’ “Road to Rio” program, won his qualifying event to make it to the team.

The 2013 National Team Trials were held this month in Lake Placid, New York, on the flat waters of Mirror Lake. Crouse competed alongside fellow paddlers, both juniors and seniors, and won his 200-meter event with a time of 58.07 seconds, which is 2.01 seconds faster than his last year’s qualifying time.

The victory marks the third time that Crouse will represent the United States at the World Championships, out of four attempts at making the team.

“I am just honored and proud to be able to serve the United States in this capacity,” said Crouse, a retired Army veteran who, in 1988, lost his left leg after a drunken driver struck him while he was walking.

He joined PossAbilities after hearing about the organization from a friend, and credits the organization for helping and motivating him to become an elite athlete.

PossAbilities is a community outreach program developed by Loma Linda University Center East Campus and supported by founding partner, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. PossAbilities’ goal is to offer physically challenged people born with or have permanent physical injury a sense of community by offering activities and practical help.

The group has sponsored Crouse in his athletic pursuits, and provided him with a V-1 Rudderless canoe, which allowed him to maximize his training and compete in more races. He is also part of the organization’s “Road to Rio” program, which supports athletes who have the potential to compete in the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

To learn more about the “Road to Rio,” go to http://www.teampossabilities.org/paralympic-program .

“PossAbilities has allowed me to be the best that I can be,” Crouse said.

Photo Caption: Loma Linda University Team PossAbilities member Greg Crouse credits PossAbilities for his success, including recently earning a spot on the USA Canoe/Kayak National Team.

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013

    Platinum Gold Level Sprint Clubs

    Originally posted at: USACK

    USA Canoe/Kayak Update from CEO Joe Jacobi

    Stronger Clubs = Stronger USA Canoe/Kayak
    Having spent considerable time over the past few weeks on USA Canoe/Kayak's 2014 High Perforance Plan, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the details of our National Programs. During this time, our coaches and staff engage in thoughtful and challenging discussions about the quality of and return-on-investment on all of our programs.

    One program in which I'm proud of the progress we're making is our Sprint Club Recognition Program. Our National Sprint Development Director, Mac Hickox, developed this tiered system of benchmarks geared to BOTH high performance and Club sustainability.

    Whether you're a forming a new Club from scratch, expanding an existing Club towards high level competition or moving an operational high performing Club towards greater financial independence, our Club Recognition Programmaps out that progression in alignment with the USA Canoe/Kayak's mission and goals.

    With that, we are pleased to announce our first Platinum Gold Level Sprint Clubs:

    These three Clubs met the highest standards in the areas of Club Management, Program Offerings, Community Outreach and SafeSport Practices.

    Providing Clubs with more tools and resources to build stronger organizations to better support their athletes and coaches will ultimately raise stanadards across all the key touchpoints of the sport and move of us closer to our mission and goals.

    Congratulations to all three of these Clubs.

    With gratitude,
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