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Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Callaghan Race Recap

Wednesday, July 20. The Callaghan was too high to paddle. With the massive snowpack that fell during the winter of 2010/2011 and the dismal summer that we've been having in southwest BC it really looked like the Callaghan Race would have to diverted to a race on the upper Cheak because of high water - a bit of a bummer after all the training runs and the stoke that had been building for the few weeks prior to the event.

Just 2 days later the rain stopped, it stayed cloudy and it got very cool - Mother Nature realized how nice it would be to have a race on the Callaghan and basically turned off the taps, dropping the Callaghan down every day thereafter. While we were still uncertain what to do on Friday night, we got there on Saturday morning to see the level had dropped out to almost the same level as the race in 2010 - game on!

The morning started out with one of the best parts of the weekend - a massive group paddle down the river, with about 20-25 bodies on the water checking out the lower water level and cheering each other on.

Once 4pm rolled around, 8 teams decided to challenge the river and each other, with participants from all over BC and Alberta. This year we were graced with no carnage during the race with clean runs all around (well, clean runs were had by the racers....). Maxi and Ric, two summertime Whister locals, walked away with the win, absolutely smashing the winning time from the year before by about 30 seconds. Perhaps most impressive is the short time span between the winners and everyone who came after - some of these guys only ran the Callaghan 2 or 3 times prior to firing up the race. Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Here are the full results:

Maxi Kniewasser/Ric Moxon - 15:43
Sam Ricketts/Greg Dashper - 16:09
Mark Basso/Mikkel St. Jean-Duncan - 16:13
Matt Kompass/Andrew Slater - 17:07
Ali Marshall/Steve Arns - 18:00
Hector Darby Maclellan/Chris Ryman - 18:36
Adrian Kiernan/Jared Taylor - 18:37
Shane Kroeger/Paul Harwood - 19:19

I think it's fair to say the 2nd Callaghan Race was a great success. Perfect weather, good flows, an excellent crew of participants, volunteers and spectators and of course a great after party made for a one hell of a day. What next year will hold in terms of weather and water is always a question (maybe it will be a bit lower for a change!), but there's no doubt that the Callaghan Race is here to stay.

See you next July!

A special thanks goes out to the safety crew who paddled down the river to set up at the waterfalls, to Steve Rogers for the awesome photos, to Dave Sitar for running the finish line timing and to Western Canoe and Kayak for the generous donation of a gift certificate which was given to Dave as a thank-you for missing out on the action on the river.

Sam Ricketts leads the first team in the race over the falls.

Hector and Chris keeping it tight.

Mikkel and Mark rolling in to the rapid after the falls - this one has a huge hole at the bottom!

Safety man James Mole takes it a little more down the gut than ideal...

Ric Moxon.

Greg Dashper with a lofty boof over the falls.

Adrian and Jared.


Maxi and Ric en route to a win.

Maxi and Ric, fired up with the winners ribbons, and the winners whiskey shot.

The times were good after the race - everyone checking their times.

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