Monday, June 14, 2010

Back to the Hooch Race 6-12-10

In April and May I started training hard only to have to go through a whole series of issues with my shoulder. It was hard to take after everything I have been through over the last year (see blog string). It was a key reason that I did not go to Sort Spain this year for the World Wildwater Championships .

I'm thrilled to have resolved my shoulder issues. The bottom line is that I tore my bicep tendon loose. It just did not stay attached from the surgery last July. While sore and tender, an MRI confirmed that the rotator cuff was in tact. My doc and my therapist (and my friends in the know like Terry Smith) feel like I don't need to re-attach it. So I am going to be another Bret Farve and play on.

With that in mind I went back to training very carefully but at an athletic level. And I took advantage of the local races in my area like the 8th Annual Back to the Hooch race that has about 400 entries. It was a lot of fun.

The results are at: ttp://

We were 3rd overall. The overall finish order was:
- K-1 Multisport - Dean
- K-1 WW - Rob
- OC-2 Marathon - Martin/John
- C-2 mixed - Melanie/Allen (who also won best costume for their Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn outfits) and in my opinion turned out the best performance of boats.

Here's Martin's version of our "race report":

"Dean, Rob, Bill, Carl - I believe that was the entire ACC fleet for the k-1 race.
Very few comments, as they were all ahead of us. I believe we were passing under Roswell Road headed downstream about the time they were passing under headed upstream. We did barely catch Bill, and he had a few choice words for us. We tried to take a stroke off his bow, but he was too crafty for us and swung wide as we approached.

Huck & Tom (I mean Allen & Melanie) and John & I were the the other ACC racers, both in OC2. Larry ran it of course, and did a superb job.

John & I did our best to keep Huck & Tom in sight most of the way down. We lost them a couple of times in the fog. We'd gain a boat length, lose a boat length.
Thank gosh for the shoals. They slowed down considerably as we approached Bill's house, and then when we got to the big island, we were able to sneak up right on their tail.
Chased them all the way through the shoals, left of the small island where all the current runs, down past the tennis courts.
With 400 in sight (in theory, as it was still foggy), they swung right and we swung left. I don't think the right side is faster at any level, and we proved it that day by edging them out just above 400 bridge.
Then it was the race experience that won the day. They tried time and again to 'hup!" climb out wake, but we'd speed up just enough to keep them back. You could hear Huck "hup!" then about 10 seconds later another "hup!" as they switched sides. That got to be really frigging annoying!!!! Why we didn't just drop your sorry rearends by 2 minutes I don't know! I prefer silence when I race, so guys, please take note.

We rounded the Island at the normal parking lot maybe one length apart, then raced to grab the eddy line next to river right shore. Fortunately Tom & Huck stayed out in the current on our right as we headed back upstream to Roswell Road. As we approached the first dock upstream of our normal putin, we yelled at the fishermen on the dock to watch their lines We headed right next to the dock which is the fastest line (and we needed the fastest line).
These two bozos watched us with no interest until we were just downstream of the dock then started waving us away. I saw the lines in the water right as we hit them. We carried two lines with us upstream for about 10 yards until we literally stopped and backpedaled to drop them off our bow.
John had a few choice words for the idiots on the dock, and I'll let him repeat those for you in person.

At this point, Tom & Huck were about 3 boat lengths ahead and not showing any fatigue. So since we had a small rest in removing the lines, John called a sprint.
About 30-40 strokes per side all the way to the finish. I know how hard we went because I think I pulled muscles in both shoulders & abs. I was extremely sore after the race!
We managed to catch up to the Huck & Tom just below Roswell Rd bridge, and sucked eddy current to stay ahead of them by about 1 boat length at the finish.
Lots of cheering going on on the sidelines, and one of the few neck-and-neck finishes of the day most likely.
Wore my poor old tired ass out, but FUN!
Thank goodness for carbon fibre vs wood strip, and for lycra vs denim!!!

And of course, being in a borrowed boat, we didn't care how hard we hit the rocks so that allowed us to keep stress levels down and spirits high! But of course, we'll never tell Evelyn that. If she asks, make sure everyone tells her how much we babied it! And we did wash it out at the end (phew! so glad we didn't have to cover that smell with a sprayskirt.)

We took our beer quota and headed to the dock!"