Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Deception Pass Dash Report

The northwest's premier winter paddling race went off yesterday at 11am. 158 vessels lined up across Bowman Bay. Surf skis, OC's, kayaks, sculls, and of course 6 or 7 SUP's. This was the first year SUP's were allowed at the race. Compared to last year, the weather was gentle, although temps in the mid 30's were chilly. A mild breeze out of the NE was noticeable on the way into Deception Pass.

I paddled the 12' prototype race board and was first SUP in. The 6ish mile course took me 1:14 to complete. I was 104th out of 158 paddle craft. Jeff Underwood paddling a Starboard Pin was next in and Heather Nelson was nipping at his heals on a C4 Vortice.

I need to also point out that two guys on prone Bark paddle boards beat me by about 5 minutes. Kudos to those guys.

The trickiest part of the course for me was navigating a fast line through the kelp beds. At one point I made a navigational mistake and got high-centered on a pile of kelp. I had to get on my knees and "hop" my 10" fin over the road block. Ugh. Then I stopped to take off my gloves and later I stopped to paddle backwards 10 feet to get some weeds off my fin. Ugh again.

Ex-Olympic kayaker Greg Barton easily was the overall winner on his Epic V12 surf ski.

Pictures and full results will be posted here soon.