The Vermont Paddlers Club

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New Haven Race

Sunday Apr 5, 2009
Participants:
Kayak: Many folks.
Organizer: Dave Packie and Ben Guttridge
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: high
Gauge (ft): 1000
Gauge (cfs): 1000
Author: Dave Packie

Well, the New Haven race went off! Scott G and I were there on Friday to run some practice laps and we found the river to be low boatable. We needed a bit of rain to bring things up for the event. Bristol got a solid 1/2 inch that night and on top of the snowpack in the Mtns., proved to be more then we needed. Upon arrival we found the level to be high on the Ledges, but just right for the lower New Haven. We ran the lower race first and had about 10 competitors. It was a great level for that run and despite one (or two) swims, fun was had by all. By 12:30 we were back at the Ledges. There was a great turn out of spectators. Clearwater Sports was there demoing boats, Fox 44 news was there and ran a 1 minute segment last night. We had 4 class 5 boaters interested in racing the upper. Safety was set, and we ran the 4 at close intervals as they felt most comfortable that way. The winning time was 8:33 by Justin Beckwith. One swim resulted in a boat being recued out of the toaster pool (thanks Ryan), no other incidents.

All in all, I feel the race was a huge logistical success. Mother Earth threw us some challenging conditions and I feel that Ben Guttridge from the UVMKayak Club and I made some good choices. Retrospectively, I think it important to be well prepared for river-based events, but also be prepared to shift-on-the-fly because as these events are tied to dynamic and ever changeing entities, the nature of the event has to be flexable w/o losing it's structure.

Thank you to ALL those who came, helped, watched, frooze, got soaked, and paddled. Special thanks go the Chris Weed! Ryan McCall! Paul Savard! VPC, UVMKC, ACA, Town of Bristol, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Ken Packie for carving the trophy, Barry from Clearwater. We have allready started planning for next year. We would like to provide more of an oppertunity for class 2-4 boaters and are aiming for more of a festival with a race. Hopefully the VPC will remain involved.

SYOTR.

Dave Packie

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