Race Report by Tim Quarles
Where there’s smoke, is there fire? As a kid, I always imagined I could escape a forest fire by grabbing a boat and heading out on the water. It didn’t matter that driving away from the smoke and flames was more practical, escaping to the water seemed like the adventurous thing to do.
Due to smoky skies for the latest TNR, the decision was made to forego the scheduled Jug Island Time Trial for some fun courses with varying options. We could say it was meant to be a sort of TNR Lite, so that paddlers could ease up a bit (although I know this is a foreign concept to many of you). There were three courses to choose from: a paddle/swim to Jug Island, a paddle only out and back to the Belcarra light or 4-laps around the tiki buoys in the cove.
Bob took the win in the paddle/swim event and with great humility exclaimed “well it’s not like I’m that good at swimming, but it just seems that everyone else sucks!” Russ followed up with a strong 2 nd place (he must be a half decent swimmer) followed by Shane/Linda and Alex in the double. Shane mentioned that they’d picked up some weeds on the rudder on the return trip and decided against another swim to clear them; “we’ll take the 3 rd place thanks” he said.
In the paddle only race it was Julia and Silke taking it home in the double class twenty seconds ahead of Andrew Hubbard. Another double with Steve and Martin Juranovics crossed the line next ahead of Dave Morris.
For the SUPs, the majority did the short buoy turn course with visiting elite paddler Zane Schweitzer taking the win, followed very closely by Mike and Evan. I doubt that Zane wanted to work that hard but he was being pushed hard by the crew the whole way. Zane had just completed a fantastic clinic providing all kinds of race tips for our group: “It’s all in the hips” was the main theme he emphasized for us to take away.
Based on the post-race banter, I’m not sure if anyone actually took it easy, but is that a surprise? And while this poor air quality might have persuaded some to stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise, fifty-two adventurous souls showed up to paddle. No matter whether you took it easy or raced hard, congrats to those of you who escaped to the water for this lite version of TNR.
Please note: The Indian Arm Challenge is coming up, so get online and register early! This event features 32 km of fantastic scenery and can be enjoyed at touring or race pace depending on your training/fitness. Note that the relay option is available for all craft and is a nice 16km alternative to the whole race (includes a free boat ride to or from Granite Falls) …all you need is a partner!