Born: Parry Sound, ON, Canada
Lives: West Kelowna, BC
Favourite Vaikobi Items: VCold and VOcean pants!
Weapons of Choice: Puakea Designs Ehukai, Levas Paddles, Vitargo
Leanne began her paddling career in marathon canoe back in 1998. Her paddling evolved to incorporate dragon boat, outrigger, sup and surfski over the past 20 years. She has won numerous individual Canadian titles in marathon canoe and outrigger as well as several team titles at the World Dragon Boat and Outrigger Sprint Championships, along with a team win at Queen Lili, a 4th at Na Wahine O Ke Kai, and 4th at the 2017 inaugural World Va'a Distance Championships with Team Canada. 2017 was a break out season for Leanne with a 4th in the V1 (rudderless outrigger) at the World Distance Championships in Tahiti, a 2nd place Canadian finish at the Canadian Surfski Championships followed up a week later with a win in the OC1 at the Gorge Downwind Championships.
Leanne is happiest when sharing her passion for paddling with others. With all the travelling, coaching and racing that Leanne has done, her favourite paddling experience has been helping with the development of the Kelowna Paddle Centre. The unique combination of outrigger, surfski and SUP programing, paddling excellence, social events and community has put Kelowna on the radar of many of the world’s paddling elite.
One thing Leanne never leaves home without (besides her Vaikobi gear!) is her insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (mostly because they are attached to her). As an athlete with Type 1 Diabetes, Leanne demonstrates that with careful planning and listening to your body, people with Type 1 can compete with the best in the world.
With her KPC teammates pushing her in every workout, Leanne currently has her sights set on the next World Outrigger Championships, and in the coming years, a top 10 placing at Te Aito and her first Molokai Solo.