Great Falls Race
The Great Falls Race was held on the Virginia Lines for the first time since 1993. We were blessed with relatively cool weather (for DC in July) and blue skies. As always the race had a great turnout and it was one of the closest races ever, with only twelve hundredths of a second separating 1st place from 3rd. Jason Beakes eked out a win with a time of 51.85 seconds in the finals and Geoff Calhoun won the short boat class in 57.37 seconds. All the big dogs (and many of the smaller ones) were firing up the super-fast (and photogenic) right line at the Spout. Team Potomac Paddlesports eagerly joined the large group of competitors. Jordan rocked the C1 class, beating out Seth Chapelle for first place, after just having run the Spout for the first time the night before. Maggie once again represented as the only female racer. Scott and Pete held there own, both finishing in the top ten in the short boat class. Scott also held the distinction of being the only racer to run the center line on the Spout. Cherie wisely chose to save Falls racing for her 2nd full year of paddling but plans on giving Maggie a run for her money next year! Congratulations to all racers and special thanks for Tom, Nathan, and all those who organized the race and vigilantly set safety to ensure everything went smoothly. For complete results and photos, visit the Potomac Fest website.
Community Gorge Paddle
After the Falls race Scott headed down to Sandy Beach to coordinate the Community Gorge Paddle. The turnout was great, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 participants. Ed Ruiz convinced 17 of his closest friends to come dressed as cows, which was truly a sight to behold! After handing out the costume prizes (you HAVE to see Gilligan and the U.S.S. Minnow!) we paddled down Mather Gorge as a group, stopping to do a kayak boom run, squeeze 8 people onto a Dagger Green Boat, play a massive game of kayak basketball (cows vs. everyone else), and hold a sunken boat race through Maryland Chute. It was quite possibly the best Community Gorge Paddle ever!
Following the Community Gorge Paddle Scott held an "Eddy line Play" clinic for a few adventurous souls. They practiced stern squirts for a while, and then filled their boats with water and practiced stern stalling. There were some wide eyes at first, but everyone had a blast.
The boatercross was held Sunday afternoon. Normally people don't show up because it's the last event of the weekend and everyone is tired, but this year 24 people found the energy to compete, and it's a good thing they did, because this year's boatercross was awesome. The first round was held in the Feeder Canal, with a devilish course devised by volunteer extraordinaire Emily Cohn to test the competitors' mental acuity as well as their stamina: all even gates between #2 and #14, plus an unnumbered upstream gate between #6 and #8 and another upstream gate at #9 (which wasn't red). After narrowing down the field, the second round was held in Z-Channel, with two beach ball buoys and a tight turn around the rock at the bottom. The finals were held in Little Falls, with a very challenging course that forced competitors to run a steep chute into the big river right eddy, ferry out, split the island and Meatcleaver rock, and punch the big hole at the bottom. In the end, it was Jeremy Laucks, Steve Graybill, and Collin Swan finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.
A big thanks goes out to Scott for coordinating the Community Paddle and the Eddy line clinic and to Cherie for doing a fabulous job of coordinating registration and the silent auction!
~ Team Potomac Paddlesports