Monday, June 10, 2013

Final Blog Post

We are discontinuing use of this blog in order to streamline our online presence. Feel free to browse these old posts, but for recent information on Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak activities go to:



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Innisfail Male Athlete of the Year - Darius Ramrattan

After a great year as Alberta's top cadet, with multiple Nationals and Alberta Summer Games medals, Darius followed in team mate Jessica Groeneveld footsteps by winning Innisfail athlete of the year. Since the 1990's Innisfail has been a powerhouse in Alberta Slalom's team. Cottonwood Kayak Club has produced National Team athletes like Becky Ritson-Bennet, Brendan & Connor Curson, Thomas & Daniel Purcell, Jessica Groeneveld and Levi Severtson, to name a few.

Congratulations Darius and Cottonwood!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

2013 Winter Camps Survey

Please fill out the following Survey in order to help us plan the trips:

2012/13 Winter Training Camps

Snow Camp - January 2-6, Canmore

The goals of this camp are fitness and exploration. Based out of the Alpine Club of Canada's Clubhouse we mainly cross country ski in Canmore and Banff, but we have also done things like: go caving, hit up the hot springs, go snowshoeing, hike up mountains or go downhill skiing/snowboarding. The Bell Cabin is perfect for our group as we share meals, play games and learn about each other and the sport. Parents, coaches and families are welcome and free (re. coaching). We usually do a potluck on the Saturday night. The cost will be about $250 for full campaccommodation and food. HP and WTP athletes are free for coaching/looking after, others are $75.

Warm Weather Camp - February 14-24 (+- depending on participants) San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos has an amazing little whitewater park, similar to Harvie Passage. An ex-Olympian has a house on the river to use as a base of operations for a skills based training camp. Last year we did slalom, freestyle, learned to boof a 4ft drop, went over graduation falls (12ft, even AJ's dad did it), chased turtles and did Rocky workouts on the lawn. The site is great of all ages, giving enough technical opportunity for older paddlers, yet easy enough for the novice. If you haven't seen the video, check it out Logistics: Last year everyone flew one way and drove one way. It depends on the number of participants. (10 in 2012). Requires some adult drivers Cost: Depends on mode of transport, but last year it was $850 (Coaching, food, van one way, accom) +$ 300 (one way flight)

Spring Break Camp - March 22-31 or March 30-7 - Chilliwack, BC

This is Alberta's Classic Spring Training camp. I went on my first one in 1995 and it has happened nearly every year since. By late March the Fraser Valley is warming and greening and the river is excellent. The National Team was based there from at least 1985 to 2006, including World Champion David Ford. A Chilliwack camp isn't complete without a hike up Elk Mt and visits to the hot tubs. Cost: about $700 (Coaching, Transport, Accom, Food)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Calgary Police Service - Aquatics

We invited the Police boat to do a run up and down the course to see how it interacts with the gates. As you can see, it was no problem. The lines were plenty high enough and the poles just bounce off the bow. Thanks Sergeant Perkins!
Calgary Police Boat Testing Harvie Passage Slalom Course from Mike Holroyd on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Harvie Passage Race Recap

Alberta Cup #4

What an awesome day of racing! Thank you to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development for allowing us to put up the gates. Thanks to our Event sponsor Undercurrents and Team Sponsor TECK for their support this season. Thank you to Calgary Police Services for being around for community liaison and education. Thank you to the Parents and Volunteers who create the atmosphere and support to enable us all to race on the river.

With over 35 competitors in Slalom Canoe and Kayaks & Open Canoes it was a great mix of people. The shores were filled with scores of spectators and weather was a perfect fall day. With only a couple of swims, the competitors showed their skills on the technical course. Congratulations to all the paddlers for an exciting race and for being race pioneers on the new Harvie Passage!

Here's to many more races at the new venue!

Harvie Passage Slalom Race from Mike Holroyd on Vimeo.

Race Results


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Harvie Passage Slalom Race - September 29, 2012

Come be a part of the first ever Slalom Race at Harvie Passage! Thanks to Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources we have permission to put up gates for one day on September 29th and hold our last Alberta Cup of the season.

The river is very low, so the right channel is appropriate for Novice paddlers. It will also be sufficient to challenge even the best in Alberta. We expect several National Team members and possibly even a past Olympian or two.

The best parking is in the lot at the end of 17a St NW. We have permission for one vehicle to park on site so we can bring in the Gates and Bipods. You will have to carry boats, food, etc in from the parking lot.

Washrooms are located in Pearce Estate Park, by the parking lot.

Please register online at:

7-9am Course Construction (many hands make light work!)
9:30 Clinic/Race Registration
10-12 Clinics or Open Practice
12pm Race Registration/ Lunch (if you didn't at 9:30)
12:30 Racers meeting - Bib distribution
1-3pm Race - Two runs back-to-back
3:30 Awards
4-6 Open Practice
6-7 Course Take Down

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thompson River @ Thanksgiving!

Warm Water in Western Canada? It's true! The Thompson River is one of Canada's paddling Jewels with big volume, fun waves and salmon spawning. Located along HWY 1 near Lytton. MAP ASCK will be facilitating this Classic whitewater trip to the Thompson River over the Thanksgiving Long Weekend.

  • This trip is open to any paddlers and families interested.
  • Transport options include transport in the AWA van or via personal vehicles.
  • The trip is equally enjoyable in any type of whitewater kayak (Playboat, Slalom, Creekboat).
  • We recommend that all participants have a solid roll.
  • Noon, Friday October 5th - Depart Calgary
  • Saturday, Sunday, Monday (AM) - Paddling on various sections of the Thompson (Features include The Frog, Lunch Spot Wave, Wall Wave)
  • Noon, Monday October 8 - Return to Calgary
Brace Lee + TBD

Cost: ~$425
  • $180 instruction/coaching
  • ~$125 AWA Van cost (based 7 on participants)
  • ~75 Food (Eating and cooking together)
  • Camping TBD

Here's a couple random looks at the river, from You Tube.
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

If you are interested is this amazing trip, please contact me to reserve a spot.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Provincial Team Standings

Check out the following spreadsheet to see where you stand with regards to your Provincial Team standings. If you have questions or would like to see the original document please contact Mike (the original doc won't upload)

Find your name on the left and then scroll across to find the Team you are on. Sometimes you will have multiple entries. The Criteria is on the last tab.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

40th Anniversary Provincial Championships Festival

We had a great turnout for the 40th Anniversary Championships! Over 55 paddlers competed over the weekend of events with over 85 athletes, parents and volunteers. A huge thank you to Chuck Lee, Mark Taylor and Lynn Jobe for thier hard work putting the weekend together. Also thank you to the parents and volunteers for their help with the events.

The amazing Prizes were donated by: High Level Kayaks (Lethbridge), Totem Outfitters (Edmonton), Undercurrent (Calgary), Aquabatics (Calgary), NRS, DUEM Stuff, Muck Boots, AWA & ASCK.

Paddlers from Edmonton, Calgary, Innisfail, Canmore, Pincher Creek & Blairmore competed in all the events and it was great to see so many kids paddling C-boats. Remember kids there's more spots at the Olympics in C1 and C2 than kayak. Keep on training both!

Novice Slalom Results
Advanced Slalom Results

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

September Long Weekend Media

Here's two news articles with us in them, this weekend.

Globe and Mail. Balanced article about Harvie Passage.

CBC The National about the rise of kayaking v canoe. Good footage from the Provincials Novice race. Spot the paddlers...

Friday, August 24, 2012

40th Annual Alberta Whitewater Canoe/Kayak Provincial Championships August 31 - September 3, 2012 Canoe Meadows, Kananaskis

This event is aimed at bringing together a broad cross section of our paddling community to enjoy good paddling, good food and good friends.
The goal is for everyone to take part in the clinics and as many events as possible. For some, taking part is the goal. For others, winning a prize is the goal. Whatever your motivation, you’ll have fun paddling with the group. Join us!
All are welcome from beginner to expert.
Important Dates
Monday, August 27, Midnight Eary bird registration ends, register by this date to receive a SUBSTANTIAL discount!
Wednesday, August 29, Midnight
Online registration ends and:
the weekend package is no longer available
it is unlikely that tickets will be available for the catered meal
on water clinic space may be limited
Friday, August 31, Noon Event begins, individual events & camping may be registered for on-site, on water clinic space may be registered for - space permitting & catered meal tickets may be available.
- Subject to change
Friday Afternoon Campsite opens, on water clinics
Saturday Morning Registration - events & clinics, on water clinics begin
Afternoon On water clinics, judging clinic, 'sladeo', boater cross
Evening Pot luck dinner, games & activities including a 'Settlers of Catan' board game tourney
Sunday Morning Advanced freestyle competition, novice slalom downriver race
Afternoon Novice slalom race, downriver race, beginner slalom race
Evening Catered dinner, awards, games & activities (S or C tourney continues)
Sunday Morning Advanced slalom race
Afternoon Novice freestyle competition, advanced sprint downriver race, awards
Detailed schedule of events
Canoe Meadows Group campsite, opens at noon on Friday, Aug 1 ends on Monday, Sep 3. Amenities: pit toilets, non-potable water, cook shelter. Until August 27 fees are $35/unit/night for families, $25/tent/night - individuals, camping fees also included in the event package. After August 27 the fees go up by $5/night. Everyone is welcome to camp with us - you don't need to be a paddler and space is plentiful!
Fees & Registration
Click here for detailed fee information. Early bird pricing is in effect till midnight on August 27. There are substantial discounts in effect for those who register early!!!  You will be able to register on site for the competitions (please register online if at all possible) and camping. 
Click here to Register Online - available till Wednesday, Aug 29
Online registration allows for more efficient and effective event planning resulting in a more enjoyable event for you. That means the right number of instructors available, the right amount of food, and volunteers will enjoy having participant lists for the events they are coordinating.

Saturday night will be a pot luck supper, please bring enough food to feed your group/family. We will supply hot drinks (coffee, hot chocolate). Sunday night will be a catered meal - more details available soon.Please bring your own cups, plates & cutlery. These are the only group meals organized this year. Picinic tables will be set up as in previous years to encourage people to informally come together for all meals, to visit, play games, etc.

This event is hosted by the Alberta Whitewater Association with support from
 Alberta Slalom Canoe Kayak & Alberta Freestyle Kayak Association.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

REVIEW: LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES A MAJOR SUCCESS FOR CANOEING France tops the medals table in Canoe Slalom and Hungary & Germany remain dominant in Sprint

London, England 17 August 2012 – The President of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) José Perurena López has declared Canoeing at the London 2012 Olympic Games “a resounding success.”

Canoeing saw its best reception at an Olympic Games after tens of thousands of spectators attended competition events at both Lee Valley White Water Center (Canoe Slalom venue) and Eton Dorney (Canoe Sprint venue).
The whitewater action at the Lee Valley White Water Centre was spectacular as it was dramatic, providing arguably one of the most thrilling viewing experiences of any venue of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
France topped the Canoe Slalom medals table winning two of the four gold medals on offer, wresting the crown from Slovakia, who had won three out of four gold medals at Beijing 2008.
In Canoe Sprint, Hungary and Germany shared the top position with three gold medals each, reaffirming their dominance in this discipline.
(29th July – 2nd August 2012)
Estanguet (FRA) makes Olympic history
Tony Estanguet (FRA) made history when he won a third Men’s C1 gold medal at an Olympic Games. The 34 year old who announced his retirement shortly after the competition also won gold at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.
In what could be deemed to have been the “turning point” for Team GB at London 2012, and certainly a turning point for Canoe Slalom in Great Britain, Men’s C2 duo Tim Baillie/Etienne Stott (GBR) performed to perfection their run in the final, claiming a historic gold medal for Great Britain.
David Florence/Richard Hounslow (GBR) who had been tipped to medal took silver. Great Britain’s gold medal in the Men’s C2 was the first time that a host country had won the discipline.
After 5 consecutive World Championship gold medals and in search of a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal, the Hochschorner twins, Peter and Pavol Hochschorner’s (SVK) ambition were dashed when they touched a gate in their final run. The resulting 2 second penalty placed them in 2nd place and a clean and fast run from Florence/Hounslow relegated them to 3rd place and a bronze medal.
European champion Daniele Molmenti (ITA) continued his fine form this year earning Italy's first gold medal in Canoe Slalom for 20 years, side passing the two-time World Champion Peter Kauzer (SLO), who has won every major title in Men's Kayak (Slalom) except an Olympic medal.
France’s Emilie Fer stuns the Women’s Kayak field
Spain’s Maialen Chourraut, winner of two of three World Cups this season won the bronze medal making her the first Spaniard to win a medal in Canoe Slalom. First-time Olympian Jessica Fox (AUS) added an Olympic silver medal to her vast collection of medals after only two weeks earlier winning 3 gold medals, including a gold medal after she retained her Women’s K1 junior World Championship title.
France’s Emily Fer was flying under the radar going into the Games and nobody saw her coming. Her best result this year had been a silver medal at the La Seu d’Urgell World Cup in June and best ever result a silver medal at the 2009 World Championship. In winning France’s second gold medal of the competition she also made history by becoming the first Frenchwoman to win the Women’s K1 final at the Olympic Games.
(6th – 11th August 2012)
200m event the biggest winner
The future of the sport was cemented with the success of the newly introduced explosive 200m distance, an instant winner with the spectators at Eton Dorney. Never was there a bigger cheer than when Great Britain’s Ed McKeever, now commonly referred to as “Bolt on water” took to the blocks in the Men’s K1 200m final.
Evident also for the world to see is the progress that the International Canoe Federation (ICF) is making to develop the sport around the world, as several countries made their first appearance on the medal table.
Canoe Sprint has long been the playground of Hungary and Germany but even as the two traditional powers shared the top of the medal tables with 3 gold medals each, none of the 200m gold medals were won by either country.
"Before we had 1,000 metres and 500 metres, and normally the same athletes competed (for the medals) in both," ICF President Jose Perurena López said. "But now we have totally different athletes. There are more medals for more countries, more possibilities to concentrate the athletes on one distance and to specialize.
"It was marvelous for the crowd. I will push for more events in the 200. The 1,000 for men and 500 for women are our traditional distance but the 200 is more important for the television and more exciting for the spectators."
Carrington (NZL) trumps Douchev-Janics (HUN) in Women’s K1 200m final and Hungary and Germany dominate 500m and 1000m events
New Zealand’s golden girl Lisa Carrington and the 2011 World Champion outperformed Hungarian great Natasa Douchev-Janics, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, to win the Women’s K1 200m. It was the first Canoeing medal won by a woman from New Zealand.
In the Men’s K1 1000m Eirik Veras Larsen (NOR) regained the title eight years after winning Olympic gold at Athens 2004. Adam Van Koeverden (CAN), the 2011 World Champion, took silver holding off Max Hoff (GER) as the German, who made a late effort took the bronze.
The incredible Sebastian Brendal (GER) won the Men’s C1 1000m event ahead of Beijing 2008 silver medallist and Athens 2004 Olympic champion David Cal Figueroa (ESP). Cal came from the back in the last 200m to take the silver medal ahead of Mark Oldershaw (CAN) who won bronze.
Men’s K2 1000m duo Rudolf Dombi/Roland Kokeny (HUN) won the first Canoe Sprint medal of the Games for Hungary, while Fernando Pimenta/Emanuel Silva (POR) won silver. The silver medal was Portugal's first medal at London 2012, and first ever in Canoeing. Germany’s Beijing 2008 gold medalists Martin Hollstein/Andreas Ihle won the bronze medal.
Hungary regained the Women’s K4 500m gold medal that had eluded them since the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. The quartet took the lead at the start of the race and kept it till the end despite the late comeback from the German squad who took silver. Belarus won the bronze medal and the Polish quartet who made history in the semifinals by posting the world best time finished in 4th place.
Peter Kretschmer/Kurt Kuschela (GER) claimed the Men’s C2 1000m gold and regained the title for Germany who last won this event at Athens 2004.
Perfect race secures first Canoeing gold medal for Australia in London
Twenty years after winning the Men’s K4 1000m bronze medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games Australia took gold. The 2011 World Championship silver medallists produced a perfect race taking a slight advantage from the start and capitalizing on their gains as the race progressed.
In the Women’s K1 500m Danuta Kozak (HUN) won Hungary's second gold medal of the competition. Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Inna Osypenko-Radomska (UKR) won silver and Bridgitte Hartley (RSA), delivered another superb performance in the final to win the bronze medal. It was the first medal in the Women's Canoe Sprint competition for South Africa.
ICF President addresses gender inequality in Canoeing
Spurred on by canoeist Samantha Rippington (GBR) who was prepared to launch a High Court challenge in the UK, claiming a lack of equality in the program, the ICF President Jose Perurena López addressed these concerns in a one-on-on session with the media.
"It's clear that for future Olympic Games we want to have equality amongst the men and women events. It will work," he said. "I don't know (about) 2020, but sure in 2024 there will be equality. It's not possible that we continue without including ladies in all the events in the Olympic Games."
Not to be overlooked are the advances the ICF has made towards gender equality in Canoeing. Most recently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted the ICF’s proposal to include Women’s Canoe in both the Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom competitions at the Youth Olympic Games.
As a result, Women’s Canoe will be included in the Sport Programme at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing China. A big victory for the ICF’s Women’s Canoe programme and a major step towards equal gender representation at the Summer Olympic Games.
The ICF President however noted that it would take time for the Women’s C1 event in Canoe Sprint to grow to the extent that it would justify its inclusion in the Sport Programme of the Olympic Games.
"The problem for us is also the quota (of events in Canoeing)," Perurena López said. "We have a very small quota. We need more quota places if we want to include more women. Without that, it's difficult."
Canoe Team and volunteers central to Canoeing success at London 2012
At the center of Canoeing’s success at London 2012 has been the Canoe Team, brought on by the LOCOG. Spearheaded by LOCOG’s Canoe Manager John MacLeod, the team worked diligently with the ICF during the planning stages to ensure that the presentation of Canoeing at the Games was the best.
Judging by the spectator turnout and feedback from officials, their goal and the ICF’s to showcase the sport at the highest level has been met with flying colours. 
In conclusion, London 2012 has been good for Canoeing and while a thorough assessment will have to be made following the official debrief of the sport, there is no doubt that Canoeing came out on top at London 2012 and the bar has been set high for Rio 2016.
Access images from London 2012 here.
For information on Canoeing at the Olympic Games visit: .
Media Contact:  Tel: +44 7842 986074 e-mail: Lerina Bright:
For an extensive selection of Canoeing photos visit:
Social Media
For information about the ICF and its activities, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About ICF:
The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is the world governing body responsible for administering the sport of Canoeing, which includes both canoeing and kayaking. The ICF governs eight disciplines, two of which are Olympic sports (Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom). The competition categories of these two disciplines include Men’s Kayak, Men’s Canoe, Women’s Kayak and Women’s Canoe. The ICF has 157 member associations and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. Its current President is José Perurena López (ESP).  To learn more about the ICF visit:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 National Championships - Valleyfield, PQ

What a great Nationals! This year's installment of the National Championships was great. There were so many excellent results and such quality paddling.

Thank you to the organizers who set up a great event and camping for all the competitors to enjoy. A huge thank you to my coaches Thomas Purcell and Brace Lee for helping all the athletes have an enjoyable time and helping them race their best!

Here's some highlights starting with the big picture:
  • Congratulations to Ontario for winning the Brian Creer Cup with 113points! Alberta was close behind with a much smaller team at 99points. Quebec, BC and Saskatchewan followed.
  • Levi Severtson got his name on the Jr Mens Team trophy for the 4th year in a row! Ryley and Samu are both there with Levi twice.
  • Ben Hayward (Edmonton) and Cam Smedley (Ottawa) swept the Golds in the men's classes K1, C1, C2
  • Hannah Penner and Darius Ramrattan swept the cadet podium prospect awards
  • Ryley Penner 5th place in Seniors on Sunday (just behind coach Mike)
  • Darius Ramrattan was the top cadet on Sunday, qualifiying for the A-Final!
  • Jessica Groeneveld & Veronica Ozcowski tripled in K1, C1, C2, showing gender equity is possible (take notice ICF and IOC)
  • Alberta Senior Men Won the Team Race - Ben Hayward, Adrian Cole, Mike Holroyd
  • Nick Atkinson wins the unofficial Alberta 'warrior' prize for racing despite at knee injury.

Here's the full results

Sprint DR
Classic DR
Team Runs
Sunday Slalom
Age Group Slalom Saturday

Wednesday, August 1, 2012