Monday, March 28, 2011

4th Annual Wind River Race, March 19-20

The Upper Wind River Race is always a great way to kick off the whitewater racing season in the Northwest. This event is hosted by the Oregon Rafting Team and the race begins at the bridge in the town of Stabler, Washington. A mass start always adds some excitement for the kayakers, rafters and catarafters who sprint head-to-head down ~3.5 miles of continuous class III-IV rapids. This year the water was over two feet higher than last year, resulting in some big holes and great carnage. Big thanks to the rescue team for keeping everyone safe out there.

The weekend kicked off with a much needed river clean-up on Friday afternoon. A group of us met at the take-out to pick up all the trash that had been collecting over the winter. Saturday's events included a long boat race, R2 race and a BBQ provided by Next Adventure. The short boats, R6s, and catarafts raced on Sunday.

I paddled the 11'9" Dagger Green Boat in the long boat race. At first I was a little worried that such a big boat might be a handful in such big water, but I was really impressed with the way it handled. It was surprisingly responsive and blasted right through every hole with no problem. This came in handy when things got chaotic at Ram's Horn rapid. We all bombed into the crux of the rapid together, Drew charged through first without even getting his head wet, one of the guys got surfed and swam in an entrance hole, and the rest of us all flipped at the bottom. There was another swim and Susan and I joined the rescue team in picking up the pieces of the yard sale. It was quite the show for the spectators. Luckily, I managed to avoid any carnage for the rest of the run and paddle into a 3rd place finish. Susan Hollingsworth took 2nd place and Drew Eastman took 1st. Greg Mallory won the short boat class as usual, followed by Kim Russell and Ryan Young in a tie for second place.

Wind River Clean-up on Friday

The clean-up crew

Thanks to Zach Collier of Northwest Rafting for
hauling all of this trash from the Wind River.

Clean-up organizer, Drew Eastman

Susan Hollingsworth & the Oregon Rafting Team
gearing up for the race on Saturday afternoon

Orion Meredith & Matt Hogge, powered by PBR

Team Bend

The starting line

Susan, ready to rally in the Dagger Green Boat

Drew Eastman charging through Ram's Horn rapid

Long boaters: Drew, Susan and Christie

Tim, ORT #1 R2 er

Trey Knollman and Adam Mack

Drew Eastman, #1 Men's Long Boat

Susan Hollingsworth, #1 Women's Long Boat

Big thanks to Wind Race Organizer, Tyler McPherson,

for putting on such a great event!!!

For more photos, check out the

Long Kayak
1: Drew Eastman 22:51
2: Susan Hollingsworth 24:51
3: Christie Glissmeyer 25:02
4: Nate Bell DNF
5: Ryan Young DNF

Short Kayak (Mens)
1: Greg Mallory 22:40
2: Ryan Young 23:41
Short Kayak (Womens)
1: Kim Russell 23:41

R2 (Mens)
1: ORT - Tim Brink/ Bruce Reed 25:09
2: Ben and Willy Dinsdale 26:01
3: Zach Collier/ Aaron Howard 26:54
4: ORT - Trey Knollman/ Adam Mack 27:01
5: Tim Thornton/ Trevor Jostad 27:32
6: Bigfoot - Matt Hogge/ Orion Meredith 28:05
7: ORT - Jamie Crone/ Karl Linzmeyer 28:52
8: Stunt Man Duo - Dan McCain/ John Watkins 29:10
9: David Kinker/ Aaron Chatman DNF

R6 (Mens)
1: ORT - Red 22:37
2: Northwest Rafting Company 35:35
3: ORT - Grey 36:06

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