After several great practice runs and some evaluations of the new higher water that Vail Resorts had supplied for the race it was time for the main event. The whole wonderful reason I had come to Colorado.
With some good runs at the lower water level it was time to get one run with the higher water level before the competition. The added bonus to the higher water was also the entry ramp that Mather had built to send us screaming into the Creek.
The race was progressing nicely and the women went off without many
problems. Mumo from Japan swam but that really was the only issue
within their heat. I was 41st to run which gave me plenty of time to
watch and relax. Not that I was actually able to, but the effort was
there. Sam Drevo got vertically pinned in in one drop with a scary
looking flow of water over his head and although was able to swim out
without too much fanfare.
Launching off the ramp and down in to the run everything was going well. I was feeling fast and happy to be in the boat. A third of the way in to the run I tried to cut too close on the backside of a large boulder got my bow caught in the slack water behind. This spun me out sideways and while trying to recover, not quick enough I double pinned. Heads up and stable I was able to use my paddle to brace off the bottom. One of the recue crew was right there na dhands off asking if I need assistance. A quick look at my predicament and the fact that Bryan Kirk was right after me and I’m stuck on the race line was enough for me to ask for help and get off the run. Amy did a stellar job of helping me out of the pin and I paddled down a little further eddied out and jumped off the creek.
After a few choice words back at the car I wandered back down the course to see how the rest of the men were doing. Most were doing well although Sunshine West was screwing people up and lost a couple of people a lot of time.
At the lunch break Mather asked me to rejoin the safety crew. It seemed like a good thing. One of the women barreled over a drop upside down taking quite a knock to the dome. I scrambled up the bank from my position downstream to help out. The extraction was smooth and a great effor twas done by all involved.
Wathcing the rest of the men was slightly demoralizing but I’ll be back for another crack at the steak next year.