For most people in Homer, cold weather suggests that it might be time to stop hanging around the Spit for the season.
But at the Kevin Bell Arena, winter winds this weekend meant the fun was just beginning.
More than 50 people from all over Alaska plunged onto the frozen rink on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to participate in the Homer Hockey Association’s third annual Adult Coed Jamboree.
Week 2 of the Homer City Basketball League kicked off with a close game between the Slammin’ Salmon and K-12 on Monday night. K-12 were the winners, with Brandon Young scoring 12 of the team’s 45 points to the Salmon’s 42. In Game No. 2, Riptide’s Fred Dickerson was the high scorer, bringing in 18 points against ABI. The final score was 42-39, with Riptide in the lead.
The Homer City League started a new season Monday night, with Game No. 1 between ABI and The Splash Bros earning “Game of the Week” honors.
ABI won the game, 39-35. After ABI took a 14-point lead, The Splash Bros made a late comeback to make it close game. ABI, however, held on for the close win. ABI’s Joe Kneen was high scorer with 8 points.
In Game No. 2, Riptide defeated K-12, 55-36. Best Western’s Dan Miotke was high scorer with 22 points.
In Game No. 3, the Titans defeated Smooth Ops, 70-61.
Homer will host the Best Western Bidarka Round Robin Rumble this weekend. Wrestling begins at 5 p.m. Friday night with duals. Action on Saturday starts at 10:30 a.m. for an individual tourney which runs until 4:30 p.m.
This weekend’s action follows trips to Bethel and Kenai, where the Mariners held their own.
Kevin Bell Arena opens Sept. 21
Homer’s community ice rink, the Kevin Bell Ice Arena on the Homer Spit, opens for its 10th season on Sept. 21 with hockey, broomball, curling and figure skating for every age. For information on how to register for programs and the event calendar, visit www.kevinbellarena.org.
Basketball referees needed
One of Homer’s newest sports might have a funny name, but pickleball has become a great sport accessible to all ages.
It’s played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court with an oversized ping pong paddle and a whiffle ball. It combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong and can be very fast and competitive. In Homer, pickleball meets in the historic gym 5:30-7:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and noon-2 p.m. Sundays at the Homer Education and Recreational Complex.
Homer’s Michael Houghton can still remember the first hole fellow Homer resident Chris Morin played at the Kenai Golf Course about 10 years ago.
Morin’s initial swipe at the notoriously penal layout was a duck hook that ended up on the tee box of the ninth hole.
“I thought, I’m glad I have another duffer to play with,” Houghton said. “He then clears the top of the trees, puts it on the green and two-putts for par.
The pool echoes with excitement as soon as families hustle in for American Red Cross morning lessons. It is a busy place. There are three groups each morning and just as one session finishs up and a new one rushes in and huddles in a line on the bench at the shallow end of the pool.
Down East Saloon and Homer Events sponsor the second-annual Alaska Open Human Foosball Competition on Aug. 29 at Down East. Last year’s champions from the Maverick Bar will defend their title.
“Homer Events is famous for making weird things happen at their events, so teams are encouraged to make a big showy entrance, dress strange, sing their theme song, wear matching T-shirts, have cheerleaders, bring a poster to trot around the outdoor venue, whatever,” said Homer Events coordinator Dax Radtke.
Rounds for the Rink, the annual 18-hole best ball scramble, is 3 p.m. Saturday at the Tips Golf Course. The scramble benefits the Homer Hockey Association and the Kevin Bell Ice Arena. The player fee is $60. Teams can have four to five players per team, with nine teams maximum. Pre-register at Tips Golf Course or call 399-1728.
A dozen local runners tackled the epic Fourth of July Mount Marathon race.
Race history was made with Swede Emelie Forsberg, 28, finishing the 3.1-mile race at 47 minutes, 48 seconds, smashing the women’s 1990 record of 50:30 by Nancy Pease. In the men’s race in the afternoon, Forsberg’s boyfriend, 27-year-old Spaniard and mountain-running superstar Kilian Jornet, made an equally triumphant, procession down Fourth Avenue, winning in 41:48 to lower Eric Strabel’s 2013 record of 42:55.
The bulls won the weekend at the Ninilchik Rodeo.
Riders had no luck on John Wayne, Dark Town, Hizenberg and Calico as all jumped — or were thrown — before the eight-second mark.
Just one rider, Chris Manis, managed to best a bull named Snubbin Post to win both the weekend of bull riding and $550.
Competitors in other events had varying degrees of success besting broncos, roping calfs, racing around barrels, running poles and — for one lucky kid — grabbing the ribbon from a calf’s tail to win just over $70 in cash.
In the grueling Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic, where contestants race unsupported through the wildest country of Alaska, just finishing can be an honor. But when you’re not only the first to finish, but the only one of 29 competitors to do so in the scheduled time, the honor gets doubled.
It’s no secret that Homer has a vibrant boating community. Beyond the halibut hopefuls, however, Homer draws a different type of boater a bit unexpected for the far north: the sailor.
Founded in 1983, the Homer Yacht Club has been sailing in Homer for about 30 years. But Erik Pullman, current commodore for the yacht club, remembers an informal organization actively sailing in Homer even before then. “We started in the late 1970s,” said Pullman, “but it wasn’t until 1983 that we became official.”
Although 10 boats competed in the annual Land’s End Regatta put on by the Homer Yacht Club, most agreed that the tide was the real winner.
Two days of sailing with no wind left participants in the regatta being pushed backward by the tide and disheartened.
“The tide definitely won over the wind this weekend,” said sailor Shawn Hansen shortly after the race.
A cool overcast morning made for perfect running weather on Saturday. Almost 300 people gathered at the high school for the Homer Spit Run, a 10-kilometer race to the end of the Spit.
Hosted by the Kachemak Bay Running Club, the annual Spit Run is a course certified by USA Track & Field, the national governing body for long distance running. New this year was a 10-K walk beginning ahead of the run.
Ninilchik scramble puts spotlight
on decline of area’s razor clams
The Ninilchik Chamber of Commerce ran its first Clam Scramble Mud and Natural Obstacle course run Saturday.
The chamber wants to create an annual solstice event in a central location on the Kenai Peninsula for the whole family. Proceeds from the race go to Ninilchik Emergency Services.
Athletes at the seventh annual Kachemak Bay Celtic Club Scottish Highland Games set new field records last Saturday at Karen Hornaday Park. In a first for the games, Matthew Patterson of Fort Wainwright successfully threw the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1547 Challenge Caber. On his second try, Patterson flipped the 110-pound, 18-foot, 11-inches log, something that has never been done in the history of the challenge caber.
The Kachemak Bay Running Club is hosting the annual Spit Run that begins at Homer High and finishes at Land’s End. The race is June 27.
Register online at www.kachemakbayrunningclub.org.
Walkers start at 9 a.m.; runners at 10 a.m. Bib pickup and late registration is at 8 a.m. on race day. The Homer Spit Run is a USA Track and Field certified 10 kilometer race
Proceeds support local youth running programs. Fees are $5 for ages 10 and under ($10 race day) and $20 for ages 11 and older ($25 race day).