Way back on May 12 was the Paddlefest Race at Lake Sammamish. Great turn-out of heavy hitters. Dan Gavere went out hard with me on his tail. We had a chaotic start which found us trading paint with surf skis and OC1's that somehow we caught up to. Once it was sorted out it was Gavere, myself, Cyril, Matt Spencer and young gun Dustin Sousley. Half way through the 5 mile race my forearms cramped and I lost all my grip strength... allowing Cyril to motor past and then Matt. I just barely held off Dustin to the finish line for 4th place... A strong showing from the OR boys.
The next weekend found me racing in Poulsbo in a small but fun race. I managed to win this one with Renick Woods close behind. Seattle gal Heidi Caster was the first female, and top 5 overall I think? Well done.
The next day I travelled up to Deep Cove B.C. for the first Canada Cup Points race. Fellow M&M rider Norm Hann got ahead of me on this 7 mile run and thats how it stayed to the finish. Great turn-out and no spot more gorgeous to race in.
Then, Ski To Sea in Bellingham found me in the front of a marathon river canoe for a 2 hour jaunt down the Nooksack River. We ended up 20th out of 500 teams. Not bad considering we were wearing costumes and paddling a small barge.
On June 2nd I made the trek to Portland for the second of the Ross Island Series. A huge field of competitors, on a cool, and very breezy day. Two weeks before Cyril had beat Dan Gavere at the first race, so I knew it was going to be a brutally fast pace. And I was right. Cyril commanded from the start with Dustin and myself trying to hold his draft. Ouch. At the halfway point, he dropped us and then Matt Spencer easily cruised by us. Ouch. Then it was just me and Dustin battling for the last podium spot. I stopped to take my gloves off (that never helps your time in a race), then caught back up to Dustin and slowly inched in front of him. He then stayed in my draft for the last 2 miles. Ouch. I kew he was planning to sprint past me at the finish, so I started soft-paddling and waiting. I heard his stroke rate double as he began his print. It was all I could do to stay a few feet ahead and barely finish in 3rd place.
A great showing once again by the Portland gang & Karen Wrenn smoked the ladies field. A big shout-out to all the Seattle gang who came down to represent, Patrick, Matt Parker (kicking ass this year), Renick, Greg Gilbert, John Schalka and family. I know I am missing some... Great job folks!
These first races are a strong indication that people have really stepped up there racing game this season. It's going to be a fun & challenging summer of racing. No more walk in the park (-:
Top 3 Mens 14' at Portland
The pain train in Portland...Cyril, Dustin and myself
Getting warmed up for Sammamish
Ski To Sea... a different kind of race