The Wind River Festival is part of the Western Whitewater Championship Series, a series of 8 river festivals throughout the summer and fall. Racers accumulate points throughout the series, of which the individual with the most points per category is deemed Champion of the Western Whitewater Championship Series. The Wind River Festival featured the first of many downriver kayak races to come- a mass-start, grueling 25 minute all out paddle to the finish line!
The day was Saturday, March 13, 2013: the Wind River was at 5.9ft, a perfect medium flow.
Wind River Safety Meeting (Photo: Zach Collier)
The time was 11:40am. Over thirty paddlers gathered for the racer’s meeting, doing their last-minute stretches,wearing their good-luck tiara’s and making their pre-race bets.
K1 Men's Short Boat Start (Photo: Zach Collier)
Cards were drawn, declaring start order with Aces, 2 and 3’s starting downstream from Jacks, Queens and Kings. Paddler’s lined up facing the bank, forcing paddlers to start switch. This led to an interesting men’s start, with over half the field back-paddling for the first hundred yards. The Men’s race was a fight until the end between 25 paddlers, with Dan Rubado coming across the line in first, quickly followed by Trevor Sheehan, and Laurence Rosen. My very own hubster, Jesse Ray Becker, pulled off an eighth place finish.
The women’s start of 9 paddlers was much more calm, save for the Dynamic Duo captained by Nicole Mansfield and Katrina Van Wijk. The countdown was given, and on go, the ruckus began!
K1 Women's Short Boat Start (Photo: Zach Collier)
Through the flats, past Initiation, “The Horn”, Clear!, Balls to the Wall Right, keep it fast through the boogy water, line it up for Climax, and Rally to the Finish! I managed to keep the lead from the start ahead of the duo, despite one pass near the end and a pass-back. It was a rally to the finish, but my Diesel 80 pulled through with its smooth, consistent speed. Woop ya!
Raft and cataraft races followed with Zach Collier of NW Rafting winning the cat race, and Tim Brink of ORT and his team winning the R2 event.
Tim Brink and Jeffrey Steeler of ORT make their way through Ram's Horn
Men's Short Boat (minute.second):
1. DAN RUBADO 22
2. TREVOR SHEEHAN 22.18
3. LAURENCE ROSEN 22.26
4. LEWIS HOOKER 22.41
5. JOSH OBERLEAS 22.53
6. LEIF ANDERSON 22.58
7. TIM THORTON 23.03
8. JESSE BECKER Not recorded
9. HARRISON REA 23.15
10. NATE MERRILL 23.19
11. NATHAN HERBECK 23.45
12. MICHAEL FREEMAN 23.24
13. PATRICK HIGGINS 24.15
14. ANDREW TAYLOR 24.27
15. BEN ROBERTS PRENEL 24.58
16. DAVID WELLS 25
17. SPENCER MANK 25.48
18. EDWARD (TED) WALZ 25.59
INGMAR PROKOP Not recorded
EVAN SMITH Not recorded
LUCAS RIETMAN Not recorded
PAUL GILLINGHAM Not recorded
EZRA TEAL Not recorded
JAMIE ALBERT Not recorded
JACK O'MALLEY Not recorded
Women's K1 Short Boat (minute.second):
1. KIMBERLY BECKER 22.34
2. HEATHER HERBECK 24.09
3. ERIN CLANCEY 24.34
4. ELIZABETH TOBEY 25.59
5. DOVE MILLER 27.19
JONI RANDALL Not recorded
ANNA HERRING Not recorded
KATRINA VANWIJK & NICOLE MANSFIELD 22.35
(DISQUALIFIED FROM TOP 3 RANK DUE TO BOAT LENGTH)
Men's Long Boat (minute.second):
1. TRAVIS COWLES 21.34
2. JOE STUMPFEL 21.54
3. NATE BELL Time not recorded
Women's Long Boat (minute.second):
1. CHRISTIE EASTMAN 22.55
2. SUSAN HOLLINGSWORTH Time not recorded
Men's Cataraft (minute.second):
ZACH COLLIER 27.32
BOB HUNT AND DAVID ALLEN 30.03
Men's R2 Raft (minute.second):
1. JAMIE CRONE AND TIM BRINK 26.04
2. JEFFERY STEEHLER AND GREG BABIKOFF 28.20
3. TODD COLLINS AND DAVID SACQUETY 28.51
4. BRYAN CARRINGTON AND DAVID SUTHERLAND 29.11
5. JOHN WATKINS AND TIM WEAVER 30.57
6. MARTIN AND DEREK KAMAHOAHOA 31.57
7. PETER GRIEVES AND SCOTT MICHAEL 32.00
8. MATT LINDLAND AND BRUCE REED 37.50
The next event in the Western Whitewater Championship Series is the Northwest Creeking Competition, which takes place April 20, 21, 2013.
Hope to see you there!