We had a great time in July at the Atlanta World Kayak rescue Challenge. The event was held at the Metro section of the Chattahoochee River. We had a pretty good turnout and a beautiful summer day. Rick had asked me at the beginning of the season to come up with an idea for an event. I asked a few friends etc. and the idea was born to do a rescue challenge. We had done throw rope competitions in the past but decided to do something a little more involved.
We started the day with a boat ferrying completion. We set an empty boat in an eddy. The idea was to get it across the main current and to an eddy on the other side the fastest. Chuck Jarrell showed us all up, doing it in just over 26 seconds ( everybody else was around a minute ). It turned out to be a fun event and everybody was learning. Next we headed down river to do the throw rope portion.
After talking and realizing how busy the river was we decided to ditch the actual competition part and make use of our recently certified SWR instructor Francheska. The rest of the day turned into a learning opportunity. Francheska worked with us on throw rope techniques for the rescuer and the swimmer. We spent a couple hours swimming the rapid and catching each other with roaps etc. Perfect for a day that was almost 100 deg. Lots of great stuff above and beyond just throwing and catching a rope.
We finished the day paddling the rest of the river, enjoying each others company and talking about what we had learned. We got to the takeout and in true World Kayak fashion gave out some great prizes. When all was said and done, I think everybody had a great time and learned some stuff. Hopefully we can expand on this next year. Big thanks to Francheska Thompson for her knowledge and to World Kayak and the many great sponsors for making this stuff happen. Also a big thanks to all our participants. Chuck Jarrell, Erik Humprey, Donald Robertson, Chad Copeland, Jimmy Jones, Francheska and Rick Thompson.
Written by John Roberts