Saturday, July 23, 2011

NOC's Canoe Club Challenge - July 16th

NOC's Canoe Club Challenge (CCC)was an absolute blast.

Initially, I felt compelled to race because of my involvement with the GCA and the NOC in working together to continue the "Southeastern Whitewater Championships" Downriver race as a CCC event at the grand finale on August 13th. I had no idea just how much fun it was going to be.

Roger Nott did a good job organizing our timers for the July 16th event, so all I really needed to do is show up and race for the GCA. If you know Roger, you know he has an incredible respect for racers both past and present. True to form, he had
reserved the number "1" bib for me. Of course, I did not think anything about it until Chris Hipgrave started ragging on me, and then I realized what a neat gesture it really was.

Kudo's go to Allen Hedden, my racing partner in OC-2 at the Southeasterns's 25 years ago for asking me to race OC-2 with him. We won in OC-2 then and we won again this year in spite of more than a couple gray hairs between us. It is absolutely how amazing just how quickly we clicked and after just run or two we were really dialed in order to beat some formidable competition like Team Popp.

Allen provided all 3 of the boats I paddled: the OC-2 we paddled together, an OC-1, and a Gyromax C-1. Wow, what a joy as Allen does a terrific job outfitting his boats which really helps my paddling skills. They are amazingly comfortable while feeling like they "fit like a glove".

The coolest thing of the weekend is that Allen and I tied in our OC-1 races. I
think it's only fitting as he supplied the boats and my motivation for getting in the OC-1. From what I could tell, Allen who has better open canoe skills had crisper, tighter lines, while I was able to stay in the game by pushing the boat a little faster.

It was also fun to paddle a Gyromax again, 20+ years or so after I sold mine in order to help buy another race boat. While I did not figure anyone could beat me in a decked C-1, I was starting to wonder as it was the last event I did for the day as time (and my energy) were starting to run out. But my runs were solid and I won, with Roger Nott (who did very well) finishing second.

Ultimately, I did about all I could to help "Uncle GCA" win the CCC as I completed 13 runs and won the 3 classes I raced in. I am blessed to be able to still do things like this and thrilled that none of my parts fell off.

Here are the results by class:

The results organized by Team are at:

The CCC website link is: