August long weekend is a good time to be in the Okanagen. Unless you don't have a place to say. Or don't like heat.

My excuse for making the trek out to Vernon this time was the Vernon Freshwater Challenge. The race was on a Sunday morning, so I rode my bike out on Saturday Afternoon. Meriit when I rode past it.

There was nowhere to stay in Vernon, so I ended up staying up at Silver Star. Although more expensive than camping, it was quiet, and cool.

The Vernon Freshwater Challenge is a fun race: well organized, warm, beautiful location, and a nifty beach start. It is also a change race. Change races are oddly similar to relays; in a change race there are 9 paddlers and only 6 of them are in the boat at any time. A escort boat carries the other 3, periodically dropping a few in the water in front of the canoe. The paddlers become swimmers, and the swimmers become paddlers. The escort boat then cycles around and picks up the swimmers. Getting into a boat going 13kph is harder than it sounds.

Race day started by getting up too early to cheer the women for their 0700h start. Then followed about 4 hours of trying to organize 9 guys for a 4 hour race: food, water, paddles, and a coach (someone to keep on top of the change schedule). There was a brief delay of the race start when Steve, the steersman for our top boat, cut his head open on a car door.

The race went well. We had a good start, we didn't huli, and we beat the women and all of the mixed teams.