Local residents win doubles race in surfski series

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The mixed double crew of Matt Bouman and Danville Park Girls High School student Valma Jean Hockly was the big winner in Friday’s Chalupsky Properties Surfski series.

The fourth race in the series also saw Gene Prato win the men’s race, while Tracey Nuss won the women’s race.

Prato took full advantage of the flat seas and mild conditions to take the lead from the start of Marine SLC and galloped back nearly a minute ahead of second-placed Wade Krieger.

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With three different paddlers having won the first three races of the eight-race series, the second victory leaves Prato holding all the cards, but he is quick to admit that the size and quality of the field will change drastically after the MyLife Dusi.

“A lot of guys were out for the Dusi this week so in the next race there will be a lot more competition,” he noted.

The race was notable for the absence of a number of traditionally dominant paddlers, many of whom chose not to race as part of their preparations for the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon this week, including last week’s winners Hank McGregor and Hayley Nixon.

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In stark contrast, the crew of Bridgitte Hartley, who this week was named the new chair of the International Canoe Federation‘s Athletes’ Commission, and McGregor’s wife, Pippa McGregor, used the race as a warm-up for their Dusi campaign, and returned home as the fastest women on the water and sixth fastest doubles crew overall.

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