Islanders hold own at world championships

  • Oct. 13, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Three islanders held their own at the World Surf Kayaking Championships on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Queen Charlotte’s Kye and Luke Borserio, who both ended out the competition in the top 24 in the world, were invited to be part of Team Canada prior to the Sept. 29 to Oct. 9 showdown. Their father, Kevin Borserio, went along for the ride and when they arrived, they found out one of the seven members of the team had been held back at the border. The team asked Kevin to join so they could participate in the competition for top team in the world. “This was the first time they’ve ever had enough for team competition,” said Kevin. Out of 22 countries competing at the World’s only five teams had the seven members required to vie for the top spot: Basque Country, England, America East, America West and Canada. Basque came out number one and Canada, said Kevin, came in 5th. Regardless, the Haida Gwaii kayakers were excited to fly the Canadian flag in the parade and join in the competition with their team members from Uculet, Toronto and Northern Ontario during the rest of the championships. Kevin said the best moments of the competition were watching his boys hold their own and even come out ahead of national and world champions in different heats. Kye got double digit scores on two waves in one heat, said Kevin, but didn’t end up winning and Luke lost a heat to the current runner-up world freestyle river champion by 0.25 points. “It was awesome to see,” he said. The boys got a lot of coaching from an Argentinian freestyle champion named Jorge who befriended the Canadian team. He gave them tips on getting points and getting their equipment in top shape for competition. “We just surf for fun here, not how to gain points,” said Kevin, so the Haida Gwaiians appreciated the extra support. Equipment was not their strong point. Kye was the only competitor to use a plastic boat and Luke arrived without a kayak as he couldn’t get his out of Terrace where he is attending school. Luke had to borrow from different teams every day, said Kevin, and people were astonished at how well Kye did in his plastic boat. One of the American team members came over, said Kevin and asked when Team Canada was going to get their guy a real kayak. So the Borserio’s came home with five kayaks bought at discounts from different competitors who didn’t want to bother bringing them home. “It was cool to be there as a family,” said Kevin. Most days the waves were the size of the best waves on North Beach but a few days they were a lot bigger. Still the water was always warm and Kevin said it was the first time he’s ever surfed in shorts and a t-shirt. Now that they are equipped with world-class equipment, the trio already plans to head to Australia in 2013 and Luke and Kye want to hit Argentina in 2015 as well. “They’re really stoked to improve their skills.”

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