Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dudes (and one Dudedette) Paddling Faster Than Normal

So you've done Cherry Creek, big deal. Have you done it in a non-stop fashion while paddling faster than normal from the confluence to the leap? Have you then gone on to run Lumsden with the peanut gallery in full effect? Have you then gone on to party for 12 hours straight? Have you then gone on to paddle the creek the next day in a state somewhere between extremely hungover and still intoxicated?

If so, you've officially earned your Cherry Creek Badge of honor. If not, you have something to aspire to... or is it perspire to...


If you have been to the Captain Kirk Cherry Creek Memorial Race, you know what it is all about. If you haven't... Well if you haven't it is kind of hard to describe, but I guess I'll try to explain what it means to me - it's about being with your paddling brothers and sisters and celebrating how lucky we are to be able to do what we do.

It is also about boating hard and playing hard.

Screw this Green Boat! The Captain (aka Charlie Center)

The Man, the legend - Noceti

A sober (I think) Joe Bosquin

Tim Hagan - the man behind the curtain
Eventual Runner-up Macy Burnham (check out the Dancer Pro...)

Keith and Rebecca (left) planning out their race strategy). It went something like this:
Keith: "If I get hammered, you have to keep going so that someone can time the race"
Rebecca: "If I get hammered you better save my ass!"

If you look closely you can see people talking smack

The intensity at the put-in. Feel the tension?

Safety boats getting a head start - they should get to Mushroom by the time I do...

The race itself is about 40 minutes long; from the confluence of the main down to Lewis' Leap. I have to say that you start to feel pretty exposed about 15 minutes into the race when you are already extremely tired, are headed into Mushroom, realize you are probably passing the last of the safety boaters and come to terms with the fact that you will be paddling the remainder of the class V run on your own.

To be honest, I'm guessing that there were folks past Mushroom to help out a racer in need - the problem was the lack of oxygen and tunnel vision prevented me from being able to see them. Keith and Rebecca, on the other hand were completely on their own; they raced as a team, ostensibly providing safety for one another as they made their way down to the finish line. This is certainly one of the more thankless jobs during the weekend and a big thumbs up to those two for sucessfully escorting the time clock down to the leap!

This year's race sure seemed to have all the makings of a good one. There were 5 Green Boats, yes 5 (I think that must be every single Green Boat on the west coast). Macy Burnham, Tim Hagan and Ben Wartburg were the only ones that "manned" up and paddled old school boats (the Dancer Pro, Animas and a sinking Dagger boat of some sort). I rounded out the class with my stubby Remix 69 - but like I told everyone, it's not the size that matters...

Sure enough, It was one of the more competitive races in recent memory (except for Charlie blowing away the field for the win). Here are the results

Long Boat
1. Charlie C., Green Boat, 36:40
2. Macy B., Dancer Pro, 37:44
3. Guido, Remix, 37:52
4. Taylor C., Green Boat, 37:53
5. Robbie H., Green Boat 38:07
6. Jared N., Green Boat, 38:38
7. Thomas M., Green Boat, 38:50
8. Tim H., Animas, 40:30
9. Ben W., Sinking Response, 1:01:34

Short Boat
1. Ben J., Mystic, 40:25
2. Aaron S., Nomad, 41:03
3. Kurt S., Nomad, 41:15
4. Joe B., Nomad, 42:11
5. Sean M., Nomad, 43:04
6. Chad D., Nomad, 46:43
7. Roman N., Fluid Solo, 55:10

1. Rick S., Habitat, 44:46
Jim B., Jefe
2. Rebecca G., Remix, 45:37
Keith K., Nomad

Highlights of my run included a mostly-capsized run through Jawbone, a sweet boof off the center rock in Mushroom, a complete flub of Unknown Soldier, getting lost in some boulder garden, survival through Sky King and a nice boof at Christmas Tree Hole. Other highlights include, but were not limited to, Ben W mostly sinking his way down, Roman's heroic surf in Richard's Hole and Dave and Kevin's equally heroic rescue of Roman in Richard's Hole.

As racers finish their runs, they congregate on the rock overlooking Lewis' Leap and talk smack about how much faster they could have been as well as make fun of other folks as they make their way down. Comments like "Is Joe racing or is he safety - it doesn't look like he is racing..." or "Where is Ben, we are about to loose light on the sun-dail".

Charlie explaining exactly how he smoked everyone

So who's setting safety for the safty folks...
Rebecca looking bad-ass

Ducklings headed down the leap

One of the highlights of the weekend is when the race is done and everyone fires up Lumsden. The peanut gallery is always in good form and you get to see just about anything that can happen on Lumsden. We were a little late getting down this year and only got to catch the tail end of the action, but here is some of it (mixed in with a little pre-race day footy).

The scene...

The parking lot below Lummy

Is that Joe's boat?
Is that Joe?

After the fun at Lumsden, it's time for some serious lounging and swimming time before the late night party scene...
Lounging on the rocks

Who says pool toys are for kids

Taylor achieving terminal velocity

Something funny happened...
After this, things got a little hazy, something about a killer BBQ, the Big Creek Shot table, keg stands, men in dresses, not one but two bands, and a whole lot of dancing. Maybe we'll round up some pictures for a later post. Until then.

A little vidy of the Lumsden show

In memory of Kirk, Kenny Gould, Deb Martin, Larry Berg, Lars Holbek, Jon Burnham

No comments: