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Going fast is fun, whether on a bike – in a car – or down your favorite creek, there’s a type of person who just loves to see how fast they can go. In that spirit, some local Chatty boaters found a few friends to hold watches on the local steep and the Suck Creek ‘’go fast day’ was born.

Go Fast Day on Suck Creek

Suck Creek is short, steep, and changes more often than any creek I can think of. This adds so much to the challenge, since you can’t count on last year’s practice laps to help much – if at all. So it’s a great test of ‘’who knows every new rock that rolled into the river’’ as much as it is how fast you are. That adds to the ‘local advantage’ and adds the action for visiting racers.

visiting paddlers

Nick and I headed down early to learn the lines and I was shocked how lost I was – several of the rapids were obliterated 2 years ago and then a few more big changes this winter? This added to the fun so much – pressure was on to find fast lines and remember the order in the few hours before start time!

Feeling not super-prepared can be the best.. it adds so much focus and excitement to any course.. instead of worrying over every stroke that’s not forward, you’re stoked when you find the right channel and still entertained by every line you clean. While I was pretty sure we found pretty good.. if not the right lines.. I saw paddlers taking a short-cut on one while doing shuttle and on further investigation from the road it looked like we had missed a way to shave seconds. But should you try to shave seconds when you barely know the course? Why not!

looking good!

The race was going OK but after a few pitons and one near-pin I was feeling like I needed those extra seconds shaved off, I wasn’t going to win anyway, so why not give it a go? Bombing into the shortcut – I immediately pitoned my brains out, as the rock someone said ‘’I just aim right at it and breeze by” I hit instead. I was stunned for a second.. and drifted into the divider rocks before waking up and clawing my way through the mank with a bad angle. Nick greased the top but aimed to win, so he chose the ”second saving unknown’ as well – then pinned in the slot .. because he didn’t have the right approach angle either. While it certainly didn’t help my time – I was pretty amused the whole rest of the race by the experience and both Nick and I re-learned a valuable lesson: no matter how many race you’ve done, ‘’don’t go where you don’t know’’ when the clock is ticking!

Go Fast Day on Suck Creek

Results: While it’s not a race.. no fees, forms or prizes.. there’s a stopwatch at the end and people do love to compare how they fared against friends. Despite some timer confusion about Luke passing Bryce right at the finish (results show Luke won!) . . Bennet Smith was awarded the win for long boats, Luke Scott won the Short Boats and Ruth Slayger (sp?) had the fastest women’s time.. beating 8 of the men in the process. Thanks to all who came out, whether you raced or just boated for fun it was amazing to see the Chattanooga paddling crowd out in force on a beautiful Spring day on Suck Creek.

Go Fast Day on Suck Creek