Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gabriella's last update from Sweden!!

Hey Team!
I have had such an amazing experience paddling here in Sweden. I miss SDCKT SO much! Tonight was my last day with my club here, it was very hard and emotional to say goodbye to them all  here as it has been such a wonderful year full of new experiences, but I am so  thrilled to be coming home to an amazing team. I am very lucky to be a part of  SDCKT I miss you all so much, and I can't wait to come back and paddle with you all again! The last couple races I had here was the first weekend in June, which I placed 3rd in the 200 meters! It was so cold there, I had on my winter jacket!! In June too, I had never imagined I would ever need my winter jacket then. But we were all shivering, then running  to our team tent and warming ourselves by our fire. Other teams came to us for  some warmth! The total opposite of Georgia last nationals when everyone came to  us to cool off in our pool! It was crazy cold that weekend! Then I was in  Katrineholm for a teamboat camp for a little less than a week. It was super  fun, there were kids my age and 1 year younger there. We paddled a bunch of  different combinations, mixed in the national teamboats. They were very nice to  paddle in! At night we would watch videos together from our practices that day,  and look at our technique. 
The first race of the year was in Jonkoping where I got the chance to meet Swedish Olympians such as Sofia  Paldanius, Anders Gustafsson, and Markus Oscarsson! It was awesome meeting them, and seeing them race! We had a few free days from  school this year and then a few of us on the team would meet up and have our own mini kayak camps. We'd come in the morning do a gym or kayak practice, eat  lunch  together rest, then do our 2nd workout and give it our all although we were  already more than exausted from our first. Pretty sure I threw up from one of those practices we had. they were real tough. 
My last race this year here in Sweden was at the same location my first race was last year when I came. In Varberg. The Danish were also there! They are so good. One of the girls my age trains 10 times a week, and all of the Danish paddlers have a whole lot of muscle!!
It was a lot nicer weather for that race, and really fun to but also sad to see everyone from the other teams  for the last time. All the teams in Sweden have been so nice, and I have 
gotten  to know so many new here, it has been really fun!
After 10 months I am about ready to come home, I will be leaving Sweden tomorrow morning and I can't wait to see you all!
Hugs!!   Gabriella

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gabriella in Denmark

Hey  Team! 
 Denmark was an experience I will never forget. I was there for a week with my team and a  few others here in Sweden. We drove to the coast, then took a ferry to Denmark.  We got on the water twice a day, running practice in the mornings and some gym  workouts at their boat house. We practiced with the Silkeborg, Danish team everyday. They are SO good!!! It was fun when we tried communicating with them, there's quite a difference between swedish and danish so english came into good use!  We lived at a hostel and the danish food there was really good, which is great when you're at training camp good food is important. We did get some free time from 
training to see Denmark and it is so beautiful! While walking around town, stinky danish cheese could be smelled miles away! While training, some of the 12 year old danish paddlers got so far ahead from the rest of us! They train about  7 times a week. They have excellent technique in strength training and on the water. Training in Denmark has only made me harder and tougher.  
Unfortunately, Tuesday of last week was not the best day  to be on the water. First, there was a ton of rain, it started hailing. The  water was a bit wavey, and then I fell into 39 degree fahrenheit water. It is  fair to say it was 
freezing cold, and I was so shocked! It was me and one other  friend who was at practice that day, and we had no boat that followed us like we  usually have. My friend helped me with my kayak, and I swam as best as I could  to land. It was difficult to catch a breath, now I understand why Swedes (and  the danish) wear life jackets due to the ice cold water. New experiences come all  the time, I just hope this one was the first and last time. And I thought the water  at Fiesta Island was cold in the winter...haha.
 Last nights practice was beautiful though, we had sunshine the whole practice. It was  a nice San Diego winter kind of day. Here in Sweden we're very thankful for days  like those, even now in April.  
This Friday I will be leaving for the last kayak camp that I will be able to attend before I come home to San Diego! It's a team boat camp that most paddlers from different teams here in Sweden will be attending for those born in 97 and 96.  Can't wait!
Congrats to everyone who made the Development and Junior National Team!!!
Enjoy the pictures from Denmark!                         Gabriella

Friday, March 30, 2012

Gabriella Update

Hey Team!! 
My team and I got on the water for the first time this year on Saturday! All (well most of the ice) has melted so we were able to get on the water. March is considered early to get on the water here, last year the ice was still very thick. So we were all excited to paddle again and I was there thinking FINALLY!! Haha..We had to fight through the remaining ice by the dock, it was pretty cool and sounded like paddling through a bunch of glass, I was nervous I was going to  ruin the kayak! We couldn't paddle everywhere on Saturday because some of the  lake was still frozen, but tonights practice everything was as good as gold to paddle plus a beautiful sunset!! And luckily no one fell in on Saturday.  
I am so happy that we are able to get in some practices on the water before next week because then our team along with a couple other teams that have also been together with us for ski camps are now going to Denmark for a kayak camp!!!! We will be there for 6 days under our Spring break, training with different teams here from Sweden, and Denmark! 
7 months have gone by and I really miss the team! I can't wait to see you all in about 3 months!!
-Gabriella Garcia- 
In the picture attached, I'm in the white kayak far left.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Chilly Update from Gabriella

I just got back from another cross country skiing camp this time  in Ă…nnaboda, Sweden. My kayak team and the kayak team that's  about an hour away from my city was there for the weekend. We skied around the  track, did some long distance, technique, and had some races! On Saturday we  skied about 6 miles on the lake and it was sunny and -4 degrees Fahrenheit,  definitely my record of cold weather so far. I had ice and snow all 
over my face  and had a blast. On Friday we went to an indoor water park because it was so  cold outside we all felt like our toes were going to turn into ice cubes within  seconds. I heard you guys are getting sunburned in February. I forgot what that  feels like. I am a little less experienced with cross country skiing than all  the others but managed to keep up with the group with the exception of a couple  falls and few bruises on my knees. 
Paddle harder for me while I'm skiing waiting for the ice  to melt away from the lake so I can get on the water 
I hope everyone is well!


Sunday, February 26, 2012


Three Under 19 paddlers are fighting it out for a $500.00 scholarship to the USA Surfski Championships in August 2012 and after 6 races of the Southern California Winter Race Series the competition is really heating up with 17 year old Michael Lowe just passing early leader Garen Doyle.  Both Michael and Garen are working hard to hold off Sean Barlow who also has a couple of wins under his belt.  

USA Surfski Championships is offering a $500 Scholarship to the top junior SOCAL surfski paddler from this year’s SOCAL Winter Race Series. Junior (U19) paddlers earn 100 points for a win in the Long Course and or 50 points for a win in the short course. At the end of the 9 race series the top points winner will be named as the Scholarship  winner.

The first race of the series in November 2011 had great surf conditions at the start of the La Jolla Shores Race. The following week it was up the coast to Oceanside and despite the cold offshore breeze a large field of 19 and under paddlers headed out through the harbor and back. The Santa Barbara, Tecolote, Hano Hano, and Newport Races took place in outstanding California sunshine…  This year’s Ocean races saw awesome performances by all SDCKT paddlers at every age group. Please extend a big THANK YOU to EPIC KAYAKS and to Valhalla ttp://www.valhallasurfskis.comf or their support of the SOCAL Winter Race Series Junior Races.  For full results: for just the junior points go to or email:
San Diego Canoe Kayak Team  
4131 Raffee Drive,  San Diego, 
CA 92117. 
858 273 0063 and San Diego Canoe Kayak on” facebook”
Celebrating 15 Years of offering a year-round PaddleSports Program to the youth of San Diego

Thursday, February 23, 2012


A Valhalla Surfski is up for grabs and after 6 races of the Southern California Winter Race Series the competition is really heating up with San Diego Canoe Kayak Team member Leilani Borm forging ahead with 280 total points. Leilani has had some great performances with Short Course age group wins at the Santa Barbara, HanoHano and the NAC races where she also had some top ten finishes overall.  

On Leilani’s tail with 245 points is her twin sister Danielle Borm. Also in the running is Carly DaCosta who is in 3rd with only 4 races, Sydney Bohlman in 4th and Sammy Lee in 5th. Sammy has only completed 3 races and this means she could move up the rankings quickly, especially with another performance like she raced at the HanoHano race in San Diego.

The first race of the series in November 2011 had great surf conditions at the start of the La Jolla Shores Race, but all the kids made it out through the breakers. The following week it was up the coast to Oceanside and despite the cold offshore breeze a large field of 19 and under paddlers headed out through the harbor and back. The Santa Barbara, Tecolote, Hano Hano, and Newport Races took place in outstanding California sunshine… This year’s 
Ocean races has seen awesome performances by all young paddlers at every age group. Please extend a big
THANK YOU to VALHALLA Surfskis ( for their support of the SOCAL Winter Race Series Junior Races.  For full results: or email:
San Diego Canoe Kayak Team Celebrating 15 Years of offering a year-round PaddleSports Program to the youth of San Diego.


An EPIC KAYAKS V10L Surfski is up for grabs and after 6 races of the Southern California Winter Race Series the competition is really heating up with early front runner Bayley Olds just managing to hold onto his lead with 264 total points. Bayley has had some great performances with Short Course age group wins at La Jolla and Santa Barbara where he also finished in the top ten overall.  

Close on his heels and only one point behind Bayley (with 263 points) is a hard charging Michael Lowe. Michael, after coming a close second to USA Junior National Team member Garen Doyle in the first few races, has had some great finishes in Santa Barbara, Newport and Hano Hano races to win the 19 and under age group in the Long Course.

outstanding California sunshine…  
This year’s Ocean races saw awesome performances by all SDCKT paddlers at every age group. Please extend a big THANK YOU to EPIC KAYAKS for their support of the SOCAL Winter Race Series Junior Races. For full results: for just the junior points go tohttp://www.sdckt.netor email: 
San Diego Canoe Kayak Team Celebrating 15 Years of offering a year-round PaddleSports Program to the youth of San Diego.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Update from Gabriella in Sweden


It's been a while...
A couple of weeks  ago I was at a cross country ski camp in Bruksvallarna(Sweden) with my team and  a few other kayak teams here in Sweden! It was the first time I have  been cross country skiing and now I love it! 
We were there for a week and had two hard practices everyday. The morning practice usually consisted of long distance, we skied up Sweden's longest  uphill  ski trial and it felt amazing to reach the top, and the view was simply breathtaking! Then at night we did a whole lot of technique drills, and races!
Unfortunately we didn't get in any cross country skiing practices before the camp because of the unusual "warm" winter for Sweden with an average of about 37 degrees fahrenheit. It sure feels like winter to me!
On Christmas day a few of us on the team were on the water paddling! They couldn't remember the last time they could go out for a paddle on Christmas. All we needed to do was put on a bunch of layers, santa hats, break 
the ice next to the dock and then we were ready to paddle away! And our Christmas day paddle even made the paper. (See in the attachment). 
Other than that our winter training has consisted of swimming, weight lifting, running, and medicine ball exercises as shown in the picture attached. (I'm far right in black) 
I hope you all had a great holiday season and now I wish you a very Happy New Year!!
It's been a great year!
-Gabriella Garcia