Yesterday’s event, the first of an annual three part series, really went great! This was the first ever attempt at holding a race on Clear Creek near Crossville, TN. It was also the collaborated efforts of Nashville World Kayak, The Outdoor Experience in Cookeville, and Westroke.com. We all put our minds together to bring you this great series!
The morning started out slippery with mother nature saturating the earth, then freezing it. The roads were slick over. It’s times like these when you figure out who the most dedicated paddlers and supporters are. Two friends of our actually slid off the road into a ravine. Thank goodness they’re ok! After battling the icy roads, I arrived at the Nemo Bridge take out on the Obed River, startled to see boats and boaters everywhere! I had no clue there’d be this many dedicated racers out here in such extreme weather! We had a safety meeting, then proceeded carefully back up the plateau to Lilly Bridge put-in on Clear Creek. There, my excellent volunteers frantically got waivers signed and numbers put on boats. Because of our lack of bibs, we duct taped #s on the sides of boats for the judges at the bottom to read. Our friend Seth Webster at Outdoor Experience in Cookville, TN scrounged up some awesome swag for us to raffle off, including Jackson Kayak Nalgenes and Apparel, A dry sack, some kayaking DVD’s, gear stench removal, and many other items! Rami Ayoub, an Outdoor Experience team paddler, conducted the raffle, drawing tickets from a stocking cap. We created lots of happy paddlers this way because everybody knows, paddlers love FREE STUFF!
We had a few logistical issues that couldve been avoided with just a little better planning on my part. Mistakes that will not be made on next years race. I had to shorten the racecourse. But no problem. Still it was a good 4ooyd sprint through class 2 and 3 water to the final class 3 “Jacks Rock”, where if you missed the chute in the middle, the holes on the side would eat you. We got lots of great pictures and gopro footage that will be compiled at the end of the series into one big, awesome movie covering all 3 three rivers! We will then enter it in the GoPro River Guide Project!
After the race, Kevin and Mike from Westroke along with Clint and Big Matt, who were manning the finish line, had some closing remarks with the paddlers and sent them on down. Big thanks to Kevin Todd from Westroke for dissecting the GoPro footage to determine our top five paddlers. I’m sure he is now happily working on his camper, no longer having to worry scoring racers! Big Ups Kev! Thanks to all the other folks who took pictures, Mary Brace for your awesome bridge mounted aireal shots, Kandi Fincher and Jay Penny for your action shots too. I really like that bridge photo of all the paddlers coming down through Lilly Rapid in a line. What a great shot! And Jay Penny, when you caught the two karmas nearly on top of each other! Whoa! Kandi Fincher, you got a killer pic through the trees of the line of paddlers coming down Jacks’s Rock! Thanks for all your efforts everyone! Together we made this a great event.
Next month on February 23rd we will race the waterfalls of the Crooked Fork Creek in the Obed system, then on March 23rd we will have our Daddy’s Creek 6.5 mile Enduro Race, which will be followed up with an award ceremony and camp out/party (isnt that what all campouts turn into???) Alot of the information listed on our next two races has changed, so expect me to go back and fix it all soon.
Here are the top five results for yesterday’s race, forgive me if I misspell, I can’t read your writing on the log sheet. lol.
Short boats (9′ and under)
1. Jason Crummer – Dagger Nomad
2. Ben Ghertner – Dagger Mamba
3. Darin Stenson – Dagger RPM
4. Mikel Carr – Jackson Villain
5. Ian Stewart – Jackson Villain
Long Boats (9’1″ and over)
1. Mark Kennell – Liquidlogic Stinger
2. Jim Enochs – Dagger Crossfire
3. Branden Voto – Liquidlogic Stinger
4. Bill Taylor – Perception Overflow
Thanks to all who registered, I will track your progress through this series and we will see who’s the winners at the end!