Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 19 Holyoke Rows Kayak Race

What a great showing at this weeks kayak race with Mark Wendolowski, Joe Shaw, Ed, Dvorchick, John McCarthy,  Christopher Kielb, Jack Morse, and Mike Craft. Conditions were choppy with 15 mph southerly wind producing some 1-1.5 foot waves. Great conditions for the surf skis.

As Mark let out the command 'go' Joe, Jack, and myself in surf skis moved ahead in a pack. Mark was there too but taking in water in his ICF boat. Two words Mark, spray skirt. After a short while Mark's boat filled with water and had to head to the river bank to empty out the boat. I did my best to hang on to Joe and Jack's draft, staying on their wave. After the first turnaround, Joe and Jack. begin to move ahead and i lost their draft.

This was Jacks first race in a surf ski and he was matching Joe's paddle stroke for stroke. Jack is famous for his racing and training on the CT in C-1s and C-2s (solo racing canoe and tandem racing canoe). The transition from canoes to kayaks for Jack seemed to be seamless. As much as I tried to close the gap to catch up, they would move just a little more ahead of me.

As we approached the second bridge i was still holding on to third place. Then i heard a little splash of water and realized Mark Wendolowski, after having his boat filled up with water, paddle to the bank, dump the water, paddle back in the race, has caught up to me. I know there was a good chance he would catch up, after all he is one of the best at this sport. Yet I was amazed at how little noise he made with his stroke, i never heard him catch up. Signs of a really good paddle stroke!

I stayed with Mark for 200 or so yds after the turnaround and then he took off. At that point i was really feeling cramped in the V10l, a surf ski about 2 sizes too small. (i could not stretch out my legs more than a 30deg knee bend). A few times paddling up-wind  i felt the instability of  being a boat too small  and my hamstrings where cramping.  I am looking forward to racing in a boat that actually fits me. Someday i suppose.  Yet, for now, the seat in the V10 is more comfortable than any racing kayak i have used so far!

Great weather, great turnout, great race. Lets do it again next week,

The final results follows

1. Joe Shaw
2. Jack Morse
3. Mark Wendolowski
4. John McCarthy
5. Mike Craft
6. Ed Dvorchick
7. Chris Kielb (late start)

The CT river from Holyoke Rows

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