Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Big Sandy Race (when C-1's attack!)

While running the Big Sandy on Friday, a light bulb went off about the coming weekend: The forecast was for a little bit of rain, and then sunshine and 80 degree temps on Sunday. The rain would hold a nice comfy level on the Big Sandy, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine than a race down our mainstay run? (The times are at the bottom if you have to skip ahead)

A bakers dozen showed up Sunday afternoon, with the usual suspects out of Morgantown, plus a few new faces. The agreed upon format was a mass start sprint race from the put-in bridge at Rockville to the pool below Wonder Falls. The course is easy class 3-4, and 1.2 miles long. The day of the race, we had about 6.2' on the gauge at Rockville.

We had ten longboats and three shortboats in a pretty tight bunch. I was behind all the longboats, but could still see the leader, Ben Ledewitz, all the way in to the rapid above Wonder. He had a pretty comfy lead, with Eric Henrickson and Jack Ditty battling for the second spot as they came to the lip of Wonder Falls. Which is when things got interesting.
We had debated whether to end the race as you landed Wonder, or to move it to a rock downstream to allow for final second passes and carnage penalties off the falls. I'm going to let the photos from photographer and artist Annie Simcoe do the talking.

Do note that Jack is looking back to check on Eric.

Hey look, here comes Brad and Brian!

At this point Eric is downstream of his boat swimming hard for the finish line. I imagine Brian (green Green Boat) had quite a view as he came over the lip here. Charlie Walbridge was standing next to Annie when she took this photo, so that makes it all okay right?

The above series all happened in about 10 seconds, and included but not shown was Eric Nies running the falls and passing a swimming Eric Henrickson to claim third place.
The remainder of the race was pretty tame. We had less than 90 seconds separating the first and last finishers, which made the jobs of Mike Vanderberg and Ty Miller, our official timekeepers (translation: buddies I conned into helping at the put-in) VERY busy. No further wrecks or carnage, however.
Thanks to everbody who came and raced, Thank You to Ty and Mike for helping keep times and finishes, and Thank You to Annie for letting me use her pics from the day. Much appreciated.
More of Annie's photo's in a chronological order slideshow below. Note the race winners attire, obviously drytops make you slow.

Ben Ledewitz 9:10 LB
Jack Ditty 9:43 LB C-1
Eric Nies 9:48 LB
Eric Henrickson 9:49 LB
Brad Buddenberg 9:50 LB
Brian Menzies
9:51 LB
Art Barket
9:52 LB
Dave Gore 9:58 LB

James Fogartie 10:08 SB
JB Seay 10:10 SB
Brad Romano 10:19 SB

Kathrin Allen 10:37 WLB
Lila Menzies 10:37 WLB

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