Wind River Race

On the Saturday, the big event was the premiere of the new video from local boater Tao Berman. The kayaking talent in and around Hood River is fairly amazing. I think myself and Johno were the only ones in the bar who didn’t have videos on the market. Really must work on ‘pushing the brand’ – maybe mañana.

Sunday was the last day of boating for me – the Wind River Race. I’d run the race section of the Wind River twice during the week, once taking the longest swim of my boating life. Thanks for the rescue Jay; I appreciate that. Stupid swim really, coming off nothing more heinous than a crashing lateral and a failure to roll up. Embarrassing, and it was only a long-distance swim as it took me ages to get to the bank because I was trying to swim the boat and blades with me through decent volume water.

Anyway, let’s never speak of it again…

On race day, Austin opted for a friggin’ sea kayak for the speed, Christie in an old-school T-Canyon.

Tactics discussion…

Finally, the weather in the Pacific Northwest was turning out as I’d been told to expect: cold and rainy. This was the pre-race setup at the put-in:

The guy pointing, Tim, was running the show. He runs a rafting race team; check out their website at Oregon Rafting Team. If you prefer, you could look up the other rafting crew – California Womens’ Raft Team (I wonder which link you guys will click on?).

The race in the general class was a lot of fun – I opted for mid-table mediocrity, thereby providing myself with a bunch of blind probes in the rapids. That way I got to see some fairly stylish personal rodeos in some of the holes right in front of me, and then avoid them. A cunning strategy that got me safely down, but ruled me out of winning anything.

Looking back upstream from the finish line…

Two-person rafting team…

Cataraft dude threads a line between two blobs of water on the camera lens…

Oregon Rafting Team on the paddle-out…

From the ‘Gosh, isn’t it a small world?’ file, the guy on the right is Kabe the Yeti, former California raft guide, current EMT guy, with whom myself and Mick Moore boated in Costa Rica eight long years ago. I was talking to him for five minutes before we figured it out.

If my company’s office in Oregon ever goes on fire, Kabe will be the guy rescuing people. Cool, eh? That’s his wife on the left.

After that, the rest of the crew packed up and headed to Vancouver Island for what appears to be even more excellent boating. I headed back to Portland to fulfill my obligation to The Man, but did manage to catch up with Declan and Gavin (stars of Mañana Mañana back in 2004)…

…and…

It’s good to see that they’re still climbing the walls.

A week later, and it’s back to sunny, cheerful Dublin…

Why is it always like this when you come home? It’s hard enough coming home in the first place, but to look out the window at that dreariness…

And that was Oregon – thanks to my sponsors for this trip: The Man, of course, but mostly Austin and Christie for putting me up and plugging me into the local scene. I’m already looking forward to the next trip.

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One Response to “Wind River Race”

  1. […] 2008: (Kayak Attack), (ORT – Race Info), (ORT – Results), (Manana Manana) […]

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