Clay Wright 05/11/2014 | Posted in Whitewater
With the sunken heart of missing the race due to injury I set up my camera on river right and got set to watch the show. Within minutes I was stoked to be there! From the first moment of watching Pat Keller swing his bow in just in time to the heart-ache of Hunt Jennings spinning into the speed trap I recognized instantly this was truly a sporting event I could enjoy.
Here are some of my favorite moments from a day full of extreme sport action – just the mistakes! My favorites would be the Christopher Columbus lines, the pile-ups into the speed trap, Sam Manzer folding the Tornado down the flume, Gareth Tate getting ‘squirreled to piton’ then dragging his paddle on rocks almost to the lip of the notch before pulling a roll and charging off like it was nothing, Keith Sprinkle’s desperate struggle to get upright in the eddy and finally pulling a roll into the crease, seeing my kayak from last year’s race under the parking garage, Diane Gaydos choosing to back paddle off the pad rather than turn around in the eddy, and on and on and on.
To the OC-1 crowd that turned up in force to the Germans that did their first ever run on the river in snow the morning before the race, this is a race about heart and conviction. Thanks to Leland Davis for starting it, Jason Hale / Dixie Marree for picking it up, and John Grace and Chelsea for keeping us going. Here’s to more Green River access and action for many, many years to come! Thanks so much to the access fund (Woody / Shane / Tim and Sara Bell etc) and to Duke Power for turning us on almost daily.
If you weren’t there – consider a scenic hike through the mountains of North Carolina on the first weekend of November next season. You won’t be disappointed! Kayakers – feel free to drag, drop, and tag yourselves as desired. If you didn’t make today’s cut – CONGRATULATIONS! If you did, hope you are healing up fast 🙂