by The Nelson Daily Sports on Monday October 04 2010
By Bruce Fuhr,
The Nelson Daily Sports
Local eye surgeon, Dr. Neville Maytom has never attended the Canadian Masters Kayaking Regatta.
After filling his vehicle with medals for the long ride home from Regina, Saskatchewan, the rest of the field may not want the Nelson paddler to return.
The good doctor by day and kayak enthusiast by, well almost most of the time when he’s not working, earned two Canadian Masters titles during the championships on Wascana Lake in August.
“I’ve never been to the Canadian Masters before so I really didn’t know what to expect,” Maytom told The Nelson Daily from his home on the North Shore.
“I only went because friends I have in Vancouver asked me to come. They wanted to get as many B.C. paddlers there to have a chance at winning the overall title so I joined a team from Burnaby for the event.”
It really didn’t take the 50-plus kayaker long to become a fan favourite with his new Lower Mainland teammates.
Maytom, overcoming rough, choppy water conditions, was part of the gold medal team in the 500-meter K2 (two-man) with teammate Kurt Foellmer and 500 meter K4 (four-man) 55-59 age division. He added three silver medals, including a second-place finish in the prestigious 500-meter K1 (singles).
Maytom finished a measly two seconds behind previous national sprint champion, Nick Natchev from Pointe Claire, Quebec. Third place went to Keith Major of Peachland.
“We raced in heats and (Natchev) was in the other heat,” said Maytom, who thrives on hopping into his boat for a paddle in front of his house on Kootenay Lake. “I really wished we were in the same heat because it would have been nice to see how I’d do against him (head to head).”
The Canadian Masters Regatta has been staged every year since 1986.
The majority of the field, this year boasting more than 200 participants, hail from Eastern Canada known as the “heartland” of sprint kayaking.
“The regatta helps to promote long-term health benefits, camaraderie and great memories of an event well worth attending,” explained Maytom, who made the trip to Regina with his wife.
Maytom, a four-time World Masters Kayaking Champ, won the only other race he attended this season on Lake Okanagan.
He teamed up with a four other friends to capturing the 100 kilometer Lake Okanagan Relay. The race starts in Vernon and ends in Penticton. Each person paddles 20 kilometers. Team Maytom won by 20 minutes.
Maytom said the Masters event in 2011 is slated to be in Eastern Canada so the likelihood of attending appears remote.
Which is good news to the rest of the field.