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Boatyard Steps Up to Help Canoe Team

Canoe team

Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard Offers Canoe & Kayak Team Needed Space

Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard has provided an answer while the city grapples with the question. The boatyard has stepped up to offer a solution to the critical canoe and kayak housing problem that has held Gig Harbor’s attention since it was discussed at a city council meeting on July 15.

Ron Roark, managing member of Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, has come forward to offer much needed overflow space for the Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team’s fleet of paddle craft. His offer of storage space at the boatyard, conveniently adjacent to the program’s current base of operations in Skansie Brothers Park, enables the team to move several racks of canoes and kayaks out of the park. This keeps the program in compliance with park space allowed per its lease with the City of Gig Harbor.

canoe team

Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s offer of storage space allows the Canoe & Kayak Team to be in compliance with park space allowed per its lease.

The ever-popular Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team (GHCKRT) program includes at least 50 area youth, plus many more kids served and inspired in summer camps. The team, which brought home its seventh national title this summer, has a lease with the City of Gig Harbor for use of space in the waterfront park.

Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Paddles to the Olympics

However, over time and momentum resulting from several national championships, world competition successes — and now including a 2020 Olympic qualifier — plus many other achievements, the program has taken off in popularity. The team’s racks of watercraft started taking up more park space than the 1,800 square feet allowed by its lease.

Things got heated at a city council meeting in July when a few key players with the city expressed their displeasure over the team’s presence in the park and the amount of park space the paddlers were occupying. The lease appeared to be threatened, which would essentially end the program, coaches said. Now the issue is in the hands of the city ‘s Public Works Committee, which is deciding lease options.

Canoe team practice

The Gig Harbor Canoe & Kayak Racing Team has taken off in popularity — and success — since Alan Anderson, far right, started the program in 2002 with two 11-year-old boys.

All of which is frustrating to Canoe & Kayak Racing Team coaches and athletes who are anxiously waiting for the city to build the dock promised at Ancich Park. The nonprofit program is currently paying $1,500 a month for the facility they can’t use because there is no place for launching  watercraft.

Proud to Be a Supporter of Area Youth

So while all of this gets sorted out, the boatyard is happy to offer a temporary storage solution. We are proud of these dedicated youth and to be a community supporter of their incredible achievement.

This is not the first time that Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard has stepped up to offer a solution for the community. Remember the drama over the Nativity Scene in the city park? When a previous Gig Harbor City Council voted this time-honored tradition out of the park — bending to pressure from a distant, out-of-state entity — the boatyard stepped forward to offer its property for the display.

It’s all in keeping with Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s strong feeling about community. We believe in working together to support the good things going on in our town.

canoe team

Storage at the boatyard is a temporary solution while the City of Gig Harbor makes decisions regarding the paddle team’s lease.

boatyard

1 Comment

  1. Chuck Meacham on September 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Once again, a special thanks goes to Gig Harbor Marina for routinely making Gig Harbor a really great community.

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