Mar 31, 2008

Scantic Race Report

The results were very good, second place, and we were only beaten by 15 seconds in a very competitive race. Looking back, it's pretty easy to see where we could have easily made up the time, but it's tough to know during the race how close it will be with the staggered starts. Ultimately we had a great time, and so the race was a success!

We got there in plenty of time for registration and to watch a bit of the video slide show from last year. Spotting my brother and I coming through the rapids section without dumping the boat was pretty nice, and we hoped a good sign for the race to come. We scouted a bit of the staircase rapids, the final set of drops right by the finish line, and noticed immediately that the water was quite a bit lower than last year. It was clear that the line we took successfully last year was still available, a quiet holding eddy right between the two drops. Once again, we planned to get over the first drop and into that area then carefully come across the ledge and line up the second drop. We would have time to make sure we hit the chute square and run right through it.

Heading up to the start, we dropped off the boats and shuttled the vehicles back with my brother-in-law Sean who had come to watch and was going to keep my daughter so that she could watch the race as well. It was pretty cold and windy still, I was wearing a wetsuit with one shirt under and one thicker shirt over it. The waiting is the coldest part since you don't want to overdress and then be hot during the race and you need to leave all your warm clothes at the other end of the river. Finally the novice racers had all started and they were ready to start the full course paddlers.

Our class was pretty big (it turned out to be 14 boats) and we started 5th I believe. We jumped in the boat and hung out waiting for the go signal. After the start, we almost immediately passed 1 boat, and then 2 or 3 more. It's a relatively straight shot to the portage, 2 miles or so worth of turns but no significant drops so while you need to stay sharp there isn't a whole lot of risk. The portage comes up right where the novice class gets out, and the tough stretch begins.
We jumped out all alone and headed up the step climb to the water stop, grabbed an orange slice and headed down the steeper slope back to the river. Basically, you hang on to the rope and let the canoe slide down. We came up to another boat at the bottom, but passed them getting into the water and pushing off faster.

Almost immediately, you come to Stockers Rapids, a steep chute with an optional portage. We elected to run it of course, it's no fun to go around, and headed towards the left. Unfortunately, we had not scouted it prior, and with the water level a bit low we had virtually nowhere to go when we got to the drop. There's a huge chute that we were going to go over, probably a 4 foot drop or so and no way to avoid it. We did manage to stay upright, but got enough water in the boat that shortly thereafter we rolled when hitting another rock. We pushed it quickly to the side and jumped back in. I think we actually lost more time 1 minute later when we got hung up on a rock and had to jump out of the canoe to push off. We also took the time to empty all the water at that point as well.Moving on from there, we made good time and didn't see any other boats. We navigated the rest of the river pretty much without issue, going through the chimney pretty smoothly and only pausing a bit to bail out a little water. We approached the finish rapids and saw our first boat in a while, they were having a bit of difficulty but we went through just as we planned. I saw my daughter and brother-in-law on the side and heard them yelling as we dropped through the chute to the bridge. This was also the point where another boat passed us, a couple who win the Male/Female division every year. They went by us pretty quick, but we pulled to the finish and jumped out happy with our race.
As I mentioned, we ended up in second place, getting nipped by just a few seconds. We hung around and watched the race video and ultimately got a little wooden canoe plaque. You can page through the Pictures here if you like, there's no good ones of us other than waiting at the start line but you can get a feel for some of the rapids.


Admin Control Panel

New Post | Settings | Change Layout | Edit HTML | Moderate Comments | Sign Out

About This Blog

Visitor Map!

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP