Mixed doubles teams compete at the Lake Cowichan pickleball courts on the second day of the Island championships last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Mixed doubles teams compete at the Lake Cowichan pickleball courts on the second day of the Island championships last weekend. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Pickleballers pack Lake Cowichan for successful Island championships

Well-received event shows off Lake Cowichan’s courts

More than 100 avid pickleball players from across Vancouver Island gathered in Lake Cowichan last weekend for the 2018 Island championships.

Weather tried to play havoc with the tournament, but organizers managed to beat the conditions at every turn. There were two rain delays on Saturday, and the men’s doubles division wrapped up on Sunday morning instead of Saturday afternoon, but in the end, every game was played, and the tournament ended just an hour later than planned.

“Every contingency plan we developed for the tournament, we used,” said Dennis Peters, the president of the Cowichan Lake Pickleball Club, who envisioned bringing the Island championships to Lake Cowichan in the first place.

Of the more than 100 participants, some played in three events (mixed doubles, either men’s or women’s singles, and either men’s or women’s doubles). Peters was aware of one man who played 17 games on Sunday as he competed in men’s doubles, mixed doubles, and men’s singles. The field also included Damaris and Peter Brix of Victoria, who won the national mixed doubles title in Kelowna last month. Although they finished third in the mixed doubles event at Lake Cowichan — won by Youbou’s Bob Fish and Victoria’s Lindy Arnold — the Brixes did take home their respective singles titles.

According to Bee Greenway, who handles media relations for the Cowichan Lake Pickleball Club, everyone she spoke to enjoyed competing in Lake Cowichan.

“I played in it on Saturday, and I found it to be a marvelous experience,” she said. “That seems to be the feeling of all the competitors there.”

The club has a lot of relatively new players — Peters estimates that the majority have played for less than a year — and that was part of Peters’s reasoning for bringing the Island championships to Lake Cowichan.

“I had two goals in mind,” he said. “One was to expose our club members to a high level of pickleball. The second was to display to the pickleball world on Vancouver Island what we have in Lake Cowichan. Lake Cowichan has some of the best outdoor courts on the Island.”

The Cowichan Lake Pickleball Club started in February 2017 with 21 members. As of the final day of the tournament, that number had grown to 101. More than 10 members took part in the Island championships, Peters said: about six or seven permanent residents of the area, and about three or four seasonal residents.

Vancouver Island Pickleball Championships results

Women’s doubles • A flight

First: Damaris Brix and Carolyn O’Brien (Victoria), Second: Elizabeth Peckham and Kerry Savory (Victoria), Third: Colleen Crowder and Lissy Rauber (Black Creek)

• B flight

First: Evelyn Kaatz and Jen Hlannon (Ladysmith and Crofton), Second: Sally Morten and Elaine Levell (Nanaimo), Third: Cindy Bruster and Jill Nelson (Apache Junction, Ariz. and Comox)

Men’s doubles

• A flight

First: Wayne Russell and Scott Davis (Victoria), Second: Randy Oben and Peter Brix (Victoria), Third: Thomas Rauber and Clay Toresdahl (Black Creek and Comox)

• B flight

First: John Handy and Sean Kennedy (Sooke and Nanaimo), Second: Mark Lucier and Clemens Smienk (Duncan and Maple Bay), Third: Tom Sharpe and Ray Bradford (Saltair)

Mixed doubles

• A flight

First: Lindy Arnold and Bob Fish (Victoria and Youbou), Second: Lissy and Thomas Rauber (Black Creek), Third: Damaris and Peter Brix (Victoria)

• B flight

First: Anna Edgar and Peter Korvin (Nanaimo), Second: Debbie Simpson and Wayne Russell (Victoria), Third: Jen Hlannon and Neil Martin (Crofton and Comox)

Women’s singles

First: Damaris Brix (Victoria), Second: Barb Lawrie (Ladysmith), Third: Teri Kielbiski (Victoria)

Men’s singles

First: Peter Brix (Victoria), Second: Clay Toresdahl (Comox), Third: Bill McKay (North Saanich)

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

In years past in-person ceremonies have been held for International Women’s Day. This year the observance is going online on Monday, March 8, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (file photo)
Virtual ceremony for Women’s Day in Cowichan on Monday

Audrey George, manager of the Ts’i’ts’uwatul’ Lelum assisted living facility, will be keynote speaker.

North Cowichan councillor Rob Douglas is advocating for a pilot project that would see the forest industry on Vancouver Island and the coast managed regionally. (File photo)
N. Cowichan councillor continues push for regional management of forestry

North Cowichan councillor wants pilot project established

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)
NDP tables dental care program

Millions of Canadians don’t visit the dentist every year because they can’t afford to.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read