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June 18, 2006

The start of this race is on a ramp 15 feet over the river that slopes down about 45 degrees and drops you off at an angle that you can boof too much and land flat hard, or pencil too much and get stopped, or do it just right and be fast. From there there is a ferry that you have to determine what line to take over a dam into the first gate that you must go right of (the Quicksilver banner). Then it is simply swirly water in a mini-man-made canyon with big holes on both sides and wandering water down the middle. The next gate is another Quicksilver banner, but this one is a limbo banner that you must roll under. After rolling up you need to quickly decide whether to go to river left or right of the covered bridge abutment (bridge made in 1547) to an upstream slalom gate behind the bridge and then a ferry to another upstream gate on the other abutment, and then a sprint through the waves to the finish line. The whole thing is about 100 seconds.

Yesterday was the time trials, one at a time to seed the group. Today is the head to head knockout rounds, with 4 boaters at a time! In the time trials: Taking first place was Nick Troutman with a 1:37.9 in a 4 Fun. Taking second place was me (EJ) in a Fun with a time of 1:40.4. In third place was a Swiss Slalom Team member with a 1:40.8. Two more slalom racers were after that from Italy and France. I don’t remember the rest,except that Dane was 20th with a 2:01. In the women’s class Maryanne Seather had the best time with a 1:53. Emily caught up to Amy Jimmerson who missed the last ferry and was trying it again. She got all tangled up in the final ferry and almost missed it too coming in really low and in 7th place.

Today we will be going off the ramp shoulder to shoulder 4 at a time! No room for paddles or hands to push off, simply lean forward in tucked position and watch your face on the landing! Then try to find a place for your paddle in the water and take off for the dam! The first and last two gates will really tangle people up and it will be a very interesting competition!

Well, it is time for coffee and breakfast (croissant, jam, ham, cheese, coffee, and orange juice) downstairs.

Last night I had dinner with the Jackson Kayak distributor to German speaking countries (Switzerland, Austria, Germany) and his girlfriend and two friends. Things are looking good for Jackson Kayak in these countries. The paddlers really like to paddle them, but they are still too hard to get. We can fix that.

🙂 EJ