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June 4, 2005

The Dowd’s Chute race went sweet; we added gates to
the course this
year and made this ho-hum spectacle of sprinting into a head to head
battle to make hard moves while racing. The footage speaks for
itself. Amongst about 1/3 the racers getting a DNF Rush Sturgis
out-tapped EJ for the win.

Homestake was higher this year – more like 50 cfs instead
of 20, but it makes a huge difference on this 400 ft/mile section. We
started higher to add a bit of warm-up and cut out ‘POS" the bottom
mank no one seemed keen to race. As a result we had far more racers this
year and still ran a clean course. Well not totally clean:

Jay Kinkaid missed a critical boof at ‘little Sunshine’
and the resulting pin had the crowd completely freaked out. We could see
Jay – his PFD and Drytop, and even his paddle for a few seconds – but
under about a foot of brackish green water exploding off his back and
into the pool below. He wisely popped his knees in right after he hit
and was able to stand up and step out of his predicament – much to the
relief of the media and spectators unfamiliar with this sort of penalty.
His boat stayed put, and we had to call Steve Fisher off the course 3/4
into his run since the drop was blocked.

Fisher then goes BACK to the top to start at the end
of the order and has a great race – overtaking a boater who started a
minute in advance – right at the final ‘Leap of Faith’. The boater dodged,
but Steve’s momentum carried him into the bank, causing him to spin backwards
and drop the narrow 8’er totally out of control. So we gave him another:
and he broke his 7-2 paddle at the top of the course. Hats off the Steve
Fisher for taking such bad-luck in stride and keeping his chin up as the
race continued without him.

EJ’s first ride in his Rocker was fast, but then Tao’s
smoked it 10 second faster and it seems to have fired him up. He ran 5
seconds faster the 2nd round – to place 3rd behind the VERY fast and consistant
Pat Keller in 2nd and Tao Berman in 1st. Other highlights included Dane
Jackson descending the course with a respectable time despite his "Fun
1.5” ”creek boat” and Nikki Kelly’s consistant times which would have
earned her top 15 in the Men’s Class. Tanya Faux and Robin Betz from NC
rounded out the ‘fast women’ for the day.

The Big Trick was dominated by EJ’s crew – JAckson
Kayak taking 1st – EJ, second – Nick Troutman, and 3rd – Dane JAckson
(he goes big). I think Emily was 2nd in the women’s too, with Tanya Faux
airing it out for top honors in her RAD.

Today is the Freestyel Semi’s and Finals – in the snow!
Jay Kinkaid and EJ are in top spots as are Emily Jackson and Nikki Kelly
– so far. Pretty amazing how often these top athletes are on the podium
given the diversity of the competition, but everything can change here
at 2:00pm when we start back up.

Till then –
Clay WRight