Members of Mike’s Garage portage to the shore of Comox Lake for the start of the kayak leg. The team finished second in the Open Mixed Division. (Photo by Terry Farrell)

Campbell River squad ‘masters’ Snow To Surf

Third overall at 2017 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race

The 2017 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race had a bit of a different finish this year.

At least first place overall did.

The Ski & Surf Shop Tsunami claimed first place overall, with a time of 3:18:54 – nearly 15 minutes clear of the Island Timberframe/BiblioTaco Cumberland Quilters.

The aforementioned difference?

No Banzai.

The Snow to Surf’s own “dynasty team,” which had claimed victory 23 times in the first 34 years of the race, did not enter the 2017 competition, leaving the door wide-open for the perennial bridesmaid, Tsunami.

“It is a little bittersweet,” said Tsunami team captain Rupert Wong. “It’s great to win, but with Banzai not being here this year, our rival … there are a few members of Banzai on other teams, but not quite the same. It doesn’t feel quite right, although we did win. I would have liked to have nailed it down battling those guys. But that’s OK; the beer’s still going to taste good.”

The rivalry is long-standing. Tsunami has been entering Snow To Surf for just about as long as Banzai.

“We’ve been around since the early ’90s, in one form or another. Our team has kind of evolved over the years. We actually used to be a Masters team but a lot of the guys either got injured, or got families… so now we are an Open Men’s team. We are all from the Island – all homegrown. We have three juniors, and I am the oldest guy at 54.”

Strathcona Park Lodge placed atop the Open Masters Division – and third place overall – with a time of 3:45:28

KMA won the Grand Masters Men Division with a top-10 time of 4:00:55 – ninth overall.

The BiblioTacoritas won the Open Women Division, with a time of 4:14:27 – the 13th-fastest time overall.

The Strathcona Domination Boyz won the Junior Men Division with an impressive 16th overall time of 4:20:28.

Team ELM! won the Masters Women Division, ringing the bell in 4:21:27, which was good for 17th overall.

One minute later – and 18th overall – was the Masters Mixed Division winners, Yin, at 4:22:46.

The Parksville Panters won the Grand Masters Mixed Division and placed 20th overall, with a time of 4:25:11.

Natural High won the 23-team Open Mixed Division, with a time of 4:30:46.

Vitamin I was in a class of its own, quite literally, as the only entry into the Grand Masters Women Division. Vitamin I placed 29th overall with a time of 4:33:31.

Chicks on Sticks were the fastest of the Junior Women, ringing the bell in 4:34:07.

Great Expectations won the Great Grand Masters Men Division, while The Wolfs were the fastest of the Military teams.

For all the results, go to snowtosurf.com

(All results were still unofficial as of this publishing time.)

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Brandon Woods, of Garvin’s Gators, cleans his bike off after completing his part of the relay. The gators finished sixth overall. (Photo by Terry Farrell)

Homeward Bound Two members of the Ski & Surf Shop Tsunami head out into the estuary on the canoe leg - the final leg of the 2017 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Tsnami had a 10-minute lead heading into the water and stretched it to 15 minutes at the final bell. See page 29 for a full recap of the race. (Photo by Terry Farrell)

The canoeists from The Co-Op pose for a photo while waiting for their teammate to arrive at the transition station. (Photo by Terry Farrell… and someone else)

The Ski & Surf Shop Tsunami pose for a photo after winning the 2017 Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow To Surf Adventure Relay Race. (photo by Terry Farrell)

The hardware. (photo by Terry Farrell)

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