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International regatta first step towards potential world junior berth for young Canadian paddlers - June 30th, 2010
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – For Sebastian Sardegna of Mississauga, Ont., Brian Malfesi of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Jennifer Thunem of Richmond Hill, Ont., the Lake Placid International Regatta this Friday and Saturday is a unique opportunity to test their skills on international waters.
The trio are part of 22-member Canadian team for the annual event which attracts the top young paddlers from North America. With no world junior championships this year (it is held every two years) this is the big event for these paddlers and also an opportunity to make a strong impression for next season.
The Canadian team was selected following the first national team trials this past May in Montreal.
Sardegna, 17, is scheduled to compete in the C-1 (canoe singles) 200 and 1,000 metre races as well as in C-2 and C-4 boats.
‘’I’m pretty excited about this competition,’’ said Sardegna, who started paddling six years ago and says his 1,000-metre is his best race. ‘’I’m looking to have some good performances and enjoy the event. Over the last couple of years I’ve gained a lot of experience and this year I knew what I had to do to make the team. So I’m happy about that.’’
The other Canadians in the canoe events are: Joel Castonguay of Mississauga, Ont.; Ben Firth of Lawrencetown, N.S.; Lukas Hetzler of Waverley, N.S.; Maxim Poulin of Lac-Beauport, Que.; Julien Vermette of Trois-Rivieres, Que.; Christopher Vincent of Mississauga, Ont., and Matthew Warner of Waverley, N.S.
Malfesi has gained a berth on the team at only age 16. He is set to race in the K-1 (kayak singles) 200 and 1,000 metres as well as the K-2 and K-4 races.
‘’This is a pretty important event and it will be my first time racing with a national team,’’ said Malfesi, in his fifth year in the sport. ‘’As the race day approaches, I’m getting a little more nervous. I’ve had a solid season so far and I’m confident in my abilities to help Canada do well here.’’
Also in the men’s kayak events for Canada Nathan Desmarais of Sherbrooke, Que., Simon Fense of Regina; Liam Hatton of Waverley, N.S.; Jarrett Kenke of Saskatoon and Olivier Therrien, Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Thunem says the focus will be on more than on individual performances. She is scheduled to race the women’s K-1 200 and 500 as well as the crew boats.
‘’There’s a good chance that many of us will be together again next year for the world juniors so this is an opportunity to work and gel as a team,’’ said Thunem, 17. ‘’It’s definitely a stepping stone. I’m pleased with how my 500 has progressed this year because we didn’t race it last year at the midget level.’’
Also racing in women’s kayak are Liz Girgulis of Calgary; Sammy Hall of Waverley, N.S., Alexandra Joy of Ottawa; Alanna Bray-Lougheed of Oakville, Ont., Marsha McLeod of Oakville and Robyn Sutherland of Calgary.
Alexandra Keene of Dartmouth, N.S., is entered in women’s canoe.
Canadian canoe and kayak team for the 2010 Lake Placid International Regatta, July 2-3 in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Joel Castonguay, Mississauga, Ont.
Ben Firth, Lawrencetown, N.S.
Lukas Hetzler, Waverley, N.S.
Maxim Poulin, Lac-Beauport, Que.
Sebastian Sardegna, Mississauga, Ont.
Julien Vermette, Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Christopher Vincent, Mississauga, Ont.
Matthew Warner, Waverley, N.S.
Nathan Desmarais, Sherbrooke, Que.
Simon Fense, Regina
Liam Hatton, Waverley, N.S.
Jarrett Kenke, Saskatoon
Brian Malfesi, Maple Ridge, B.C.
Olivier Therrien, Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Alexandra Keene, Dartmouth, N.S.
Liz Girgulis, Calgary
Sammy Hall, Waverley, N.S.
Jennifer Thunem, Richmond Hill, Ont.
Alexandra Joy, Ottawa
Alanna Bray-Lougheed, Oakville, Ont.
Marsha McLeod, Oakville
Robyn Sutherland, Calgary
More information: www.canoekayak.caView