Fort Wayne Canoe& Kayak Races
Race Report

Lori seemed to tap into a bit of Terry’s race weather skills: a day that had been predicted to be rainy actually turned out to be pretty decent race weather – just a bit warm and humid, with a light overcast.  Waters were flat, calm, of good depth, and as is typical of the St. Joe River: rather silty.  But we weren’t planning to paddle inverted; it’s much slower that way.  Unlike the Rescue Divers who were practicing next to us.  They weren’t paddling (as far as I know; we couldn’t actually see what they were doing down there, other than blowing bubbles), but they reported they couldn’t see their hands in front of their faces.  Hence the other part of the reason we stayed on top of the water.   The river scenery was quite pretty on the top side, making for a pretty race course.
In order to avoid having divers surface and overturn random paddlers, Lori worked out an agreement that placed the divers on the south end of the Shoaff Park boat ramp and our race on the north side.  Doing so required a slight modification of the course, deleting the 1.8 mile segment to the St. Joe Center Road Bridge.  That cut the course down to 7.75 miles, but as a group of aging paddles no one complained.

At the word “Go!” we charged upstream pretty hard, making use of the low-current region to build a little speed.  I looked over as my Stellar SEL was building speed and saw none other than Paul Kane keeping pace with me – in his beautiful strip-wood C1!  Impressive, but the laws of physics dictated the unlikelihood that Paul could maintain the speed for long (the laws of physics are pushy like that). In short order he began to fall back a bit, but he still led the group for C1’s for a ways.  Until he realized that Jim Anderson and Bill Kanost were taking full advantage of his generous wake to get a free ride at the expense of Paul’s muscular outlay.  At that point he did a bit of position swapping.  Eventually Jim and Bill broke free, switching wake riding up to the turn buoy.  At the buoy Bill broke out into full gonzo mode and managed to put a few lengths on Jim, holding that lead to the end of the race.  Paul came in just a bit back from Jim.

Following the C1 pack was the Sea Kayak gang.  Matt Conrad, ever the strong paddler, was leading but Deb Kanost was putting the pressure on.  Deb’s graceful “pause and glide” style was working well with her Razor, and she was just behind Matt’s Epic 18X on the way upstream to the turn buoy.  On the return leg Matt laid down the power and pulled away to take 1st in Sea Kayak, with Deb gliding in not that far behind.  Lori’s had a lot of family matters this year that had to take precedence, so this was actually her first time back out in the Stellar S18S.  Even so, she paddled well and came in just a bit behind Deb.

Roger Crisp was running nicely in his beautiful strip-wood sea kayak, but he had some challenging issues with his bum.  Or more correctly, with the boat seat.  As in it blew out of the boat on the way to the race!  Being the ever resourceful paddler that he is, he created a seat out of foam paddling and a life jacket.  It worked, but was less than comfortable and made the boat a little tippier.  But then during the paddle his back band gave up the ghost.  Nevertheless, Roger soldiered on and ran the full course.  Some guys are just tough…

Sue showed up with her brand new Epic V8, literally purchased the Monday prior.  I believe this was only the third time she’d had the boat out on the water.  As a new racer, Sue did very well, keeping pace with Roger through most of the course.  Sue’s Epic 18X (not paddled this time) had some issues with the rudder operating lethargically, so she brought it with her and we gave it a look-over.  Turns out someone had rigged the rudder system with bungee cords, meaning that her rudder inputs merely stretched out the line!  Good for leg workouts, I suppose, but not very effective in altering the course of the boat…

George & Hilman hammered the course in their aluminum canoe in classic style, and then went out by themselves and did it again in the afternoon (no one else showed up to race the second round).  Higher winds and stops to pick up the buoys made their trip a bit longer than in the morning, but those guys are troopers, apparently never tiring.  And they don’t even practice!

Many thanks to Lori for an excellent and well organized race!

Results

Morning Races

 

K1 Open
1st Place:   Steven Horney                1:12:25

K1 Man Sea Kayak
1st Place:   Matt Conrad                    1:20:52
2nd Place:  Roger Crisp                     1:49:40

K1 Woman Sea Kayak
1st Place:   Deb Kanost                      1:21:57
2nd Place:  Lori Blaylock                    1:25:10
3rd Place:  Susan Douglas                 1:49:45

C1 Man
1st Place:   Bill Kanost                        1:14:04
2nd Place:  Jim Anderson                   1:15:49
3rd Place:  Paul Kane                         1:18:39

C2 Aluminum
1st Place:   George Tinsley / Hilman Culp Jr.               1:36:47

Afternoon Races

 

C2 Standard


1st

Place: George Tinsley / Hilman Culp Jr.                       1:39:13

About River Bear Racing

Surf ski and kayak racing form a huge part of my life; as soon as the water is open in the Midwest, I'm on it 'till it freezes over again! Follow the aquatic adventure with the latest boats and equipment from Stellar Kayaks and Mocke Paddling Products. See you on the water! Steve ;)

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