Welcome to my world
"2006 NCOCA Sprint Championship"
July 29, 2006
Rancho Cordova (Lake Natoma), California

The Day in Review

Yours truly. Finally a picture of the photographer!

Aloha to all of the paddlers who were able to take part in this year's NCOCA sprint races and whose faces have graced this website. You have all made it a most incredible experience. This year's championships were organized by SFOCC and according to my eyes, both as a paddler and a photographer, the races were run perfectly. So much so that we even had double-hull races at the end of the day! The day was the proverbial icing on the cake of the six events that make up the NCOCA sprint season.

The day started off with an honoring of dignitaries from around the Pacific (Hawaii, New Caledonia, Tahiti, Canada, etc) and was quickly followed by some incredible hula dancing by both men and women (including my cousins Andrea and Ashleigh - love you guys). Next there was a blessing of Makana Hoe's (my club) new canoe. A Bradley Lightning named: "Uncle Bob's Ohane." Very touching. Speaking as his nephew, I am grateful that I will once again be able to paddle with "Pops" on the water.

The races were run smoothly though I did notice a couple of OC-6's and OC-1's huli'd during the day. For once, it was not me that huli'd; in Monterey, that was me who huli'd three times in my OC-1 race (event 13). In fact, my canoe (pictured above) is the yellow Montgomery (blessed by Uncle Sam as Ki'i Oni Oni) with the Super 8mm camera attached to it. I was able to film my two races and hope to share these movies at a future date on this website. Oh, did you happen to buy a t-shirt during the Championships? That picture on the back with the canoe turning on the flag was one of my very own shots from Quarry Lake. I was honored to have SFOCC use that picture. It also appeared on their club awards. Mahalo SFOCC. Speaking of awards, at the end of the day awards were handed out for the individual races as well for the entire season. Afterwards, some brave paddling souls went to Aunty Marilyn's house for an incredible buffet (Hawaiian style of course), music (Uncle Mark jamming away with Uncle Sam on vocals), and dancing. Sleeping under the stars was the order of the day. Of course, I took pictures through it all and share them all with you here.

As a paddler, I find the best part of every race is the moment Uncle Sam raises the green and white flags to the horizontal position. Knowing that, in just moments, the white flag will be raised followed in quick succession by the green flag. And never knowing that mystical internal timing Uncle has in mind on any given race makes it impossible to guess. Whether I am in an OC-6 or in my own OC-1, I can hear the calls: "Paddles on the gunwales! Paddles up! Huki! From that moment forward, all of your efforts come down to your blade meeting the water and powering the canoe down the race course. All thoughts are pushed aside and your primary focus is making every stroke count. Breathing and paddling. Nothing more.

As a photographer, it is almost impossible not to appreciate the sense of family these sprint races bestow upon its paddlers. It is my hope that my photographs capture some part of the incredible Aloha Spirit surrounding each of these special events and also serve to spread the Aloha Spirit to those folks who are not able to attend.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words and support regarding the pictures presented on this website. Mahalo. Now, let's take another look at the last and perhaps best sprint race of the season!

Michael Nyberg
July 31, 2006

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Page numbers and pictures are in order of the day's races.
Picture numbers are for ordering purposes.
Note: These images are are full-frame (8x12).
Some images are NOT suitable for 5x7 printing due to required cropping.
All pictures are $5 for a 5x7, $15 for a 8x12.
Custom cropping (close ups, etc) available at no charge.

pic#: 1790

pic#: 1791 (my OC-1 with waterproof movie camera)

pic#: 1792

pic#: 1793

pic#: 1794

pic#: 1795 (the new Bradley)

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pic#: 1797

pic#: 1798

pic#: 1799 - Me (on the right) and Gabriel

pic#: 1800

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All Images Copyright Michael Nyberg 2006
All Rights Reserved