CXC Adaptive Athletes Compete in 2016 Paddle and Portage

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.

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Steve Baskis and Martin Donegan start the race on Lake Mendota. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

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.

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Jane and Brenden competing on their adaptive paddle board. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

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.

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Brenden portaging his paddle board across the isthmus to Lake Monona. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

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Brenden finishing the Paddle and Portage. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)        

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.

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Steve and Martin in the final stretch of the paddle across Lake Monona. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

“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.

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Martin guides Steve in the portage portion of the race. (Photo Credit: Victor Henderson – Blind Endeavors)

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

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