The 37th annual Paddle and Portage took place in Madison, WI on Saturday, July 30th, where competitive canoers, kayakers, and stand up paddle boarders unite for a day of fun and racing.
The Paddle and Portage starts at James Madison Park on the shore of Lake Mendota where paddlers race a one mile loop, jump out and portage their boats less than a mile across the isthmus to Lake Monona, to paddle the final two and a half miles across to Olbrich Park. Jane Schmieding, Brenden Ojibway and Steve Baskis competed while representing Central Cross Country Ski Association (CXC) and proudly paddled their way through the Paddle and Portage, proving what can be done as an adaptive athlete.
Jane Schmieding, a CXC Adaptive Master Skier, and Brenden Ojibway, CXC Junior Adaptive Skier, participated in the Paddle and Portage by using an adaptive paddleboard. Leslie Jackson and Kevin Carr of Creating Ability developed the adaptive paddle boards. Jane was the first person to use an adaptive paddleboard in the 2015 Paddle and Portage race.
Adaptive athlete and Veteran Steve Baskis was the first visually impaired athlete to complete the Paddle and Portage this year. Steve was guided in a canoe by CXC Para Nordic Coach, Martin Donegan.
“Guiding Steve from water to land was a unique experience. Even without sight, Steve has an amazing ability to acknowledge his surrounding through different means. Steve is familiar with visually impaired athletics from biathlon, to white water rafting and is always searching for the newest challenge. His ability to go into an “auto pilot” mode with little command directions needed is very impressive.”- recalled Martin.
For more information regarding the adaptive paddle board, contact Leslie Jackson.
For more information regarding the CXC Adaptive Nordic Ski Program, contact our Para Nordic Coach Martin Donegan.