Railroad Cut Falls Makes Sik Starting Line for Wills Creek Race

Kirk Meixner enters the top slide on Railroad Cut Falls

With the Stakeout format in full swing, early in the week the water was up everywhere, initially creating a variety of options. As the snow finished melting and the rains rolled slowly Will’s Creek in Fairhope, Pennsylvania provided the location of the 2nd Race in the World Kayak; Western PA Region Creek Race Series. I must admit, I had never run Will’s Creek, but the pics and beta on Railroad falls, Yo-Yo rapid, and some great class 3-4 boogie water got me stoked for a great race. Upon reaching reaching the tiny hamlet of Fairhope, PA as I was about to cross the railroad tracks ( By the way, if you come here there are a million trains that come by ), I looked upstream to see one epic set of steep ledges that came after rounding a bend culminating in a steep ledge hole… Simply sik!
Racers taking turns for a practice run through Railroad Cut Falls... This is the lead in before things get steep.
The format for the race was a time trial, with racers starting in the pool above Railroad Cut Falls as paddlers had to navigate the biggest drop of the run right at the beginning. The race ended at the public playground and beach area about 3.4 miles from the put-in. Once the race started, boaters went one after the other and started once the paddler in front cleared the bottom hole of Railroad Cut Falls. While the holes on this great drop grabbed a few boaters and knocked a couple out of the optimal race line….all racers navigated successfully. Water levels were just right this day to provide a good level to navigate the big drop safely and enough water down the course to make for a good race… The level on this day was around 400cfs, and per Bobby the “Zone Dog” Miller, when this run gets bigger around 700cfs + Railroad Cut Falls becomes a beast of 4 stacked back to back ledge holes with the hole at the bottom big enough to dish out some serious beatdowns for the off-line paddler.

Heading for the bottom hole

Disappearing in the hole

almost out...
11 racers all in short boats with one lone hand paddler in the mix ( Shout out to Steve “Iron Man” Kroser ) competed for fame , glory, and some pretty great swag and prizes from our World Kayak sponsors.

Results :
1. Bobby Miller : 34:01
2. David Carey : 34:37
3. Brian Kish : 34:57
4. Eli Loiben : 36:03
5. Bill Warble : 36:16
6. Jon Ludwick : 36:39
7. Zach Yomboro : 37:23
8. Seth Burdette : 37:36
9. Kirk Meixner : 38:25
10. Adam Retig : 39:43
11. Steve Kroser : 47:54 – #1 Hand Paddler and New Hand Paddler speed record for Wills’ Creek :)

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November 21st, 2017

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