Third CPCA title for Vern Nolin

Vern Nolin acknowledges the crowd Sunday after crossing the finish line in second.

Vern Nolin acknowledges the crowd Sunday after crossing the finish line in second.

by Phil Ambroziak

The Rapid View Rocket continues to soar.

Vern Nolin earned his second straight Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association (CPCA) championship – the third of his career – following a successful run at the CPCA finals held in Lloydminster Aug. 14-18.

“It’s nice – it’s been two years in a row, but my third one overall,” Nolin said. “That’s what we were working for all season, and we got it done.”

Sunday’s championship race featured Nolin, who entered the finals in second place overall, first-place BJ Carey, as well as Brian Laboucane and Jamie Laboucane’s outfit, which was driven by Todd Baptiste. Carey had a good start and was in the lead with Nolin second, Laboucane third and Baptiste fourth. Carey crossed the finish line first, but because he knocked down his bottom barrel, it opened the door for Nolin. It was the first time all season Carey recorded a barrel penalty.

It took the judges close to an hour to review the situation to determine exactly how the barrel was felled and thus whether or not Carey should be penalized. It was a period of anticipation for fans, but Nolin said he was confident of what the final decision would be.

“I knew what happened – I saw the barrel get crushed right before my eyes,” he said. “But, the judges have to follow the proper procedures and review everything. Overall, it was a good race.”

In spite of a technicality costing him the CPCA crown, Carey was recognized the day before as the CPCA high-point driver. The Lloydminster driver continuously held onto first place in the rankings throughout the majority of the season.

Meanwhile, Nolin’s brother, Mick Nolin, was recognized as this year’s CPCA high-point outrider.

Day results

Poor weather conditions resulted in the fourth day of racing (Aug. 17) to be cancelled, but day money was earned Friday by St. Walburg’s Wayne Knight. Coming off the barrel four in heat seven, Knight bested Loon Lake’s Ray Mitsuing, as well as Jamie Laboucane’s and Devin Mitsuing’s respective outfits with a time of 1:14.03. Knight was also the big winner on the opening day of the event, clocking in at 1:15.37. Day two’s top driver was Brian Laboucane, who drove the injured Jamie Laboucane’s outfit to a time of 1:15.25.

Last week’s Lloydminster event marks the last CPCA event for 2013. Nolin said, aside from a few weather issues as well as injuries to Jamie Laboucane and Devin Mitsuing, the season was a good one for many of the drivers.

“Personally, I had a great outriding crew,” Nolin said. “This is the first year my boy, Brett, rode with us, plus I had my brother, Mick.”

As for next season, Nolin said he hasn’t given it much thought just yet.

“Right now we’re going to turn our horses out and have some relaxation time,” he noted. “If our outfit can stay healthy all winter, we should be fine. We’re also going to do some horse shopping soon, to add a few more horses to the mix.”

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