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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chili con CARNAGE at the Paddle For Humanity

I was stoked to compete in the Paddle For Humanity this past weekend at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point. All of the usual suspects were there blazing through the six mile course making it look easy (the poster child for that is Christina Zur who paddles like she's sleep walking while she goes zipping by...  her technique, truthfully, is mesmerizing). I huffed and puffed it and finished in an hour and ten minutes. Couple of observations about that: 

Nice turn out, nice race, nice day.
1. Wow, get off your race board for a week (I was up in Santa Barbara corralling rambuctious seniors on a school campout) and you are going to feel it. I swear I was pulling a gill net behind me out there.

2. I'll take credit for a little progress- my first completely open water race was the Chainsaw Massacre not quite a year ago. That race was 6.5 miles the Paddle For Humanity was just under that (6.45 on my GPS). My time at the Chainsaw 1:33, my time at the Paddle For Humanity 1:10.... hmmm is it possible? Am I getting faster?

The morbidly fascinating part of the race was the finish which involved surfing the small 2' Doho rollers into the closeout section. That section sucked up and whomped onto the cobble encrusted sand- it was like watching a train wreck. Except we were wrecking three thousand dollar carbon fiber race boards. The crowd loved it, the ding guys loved it... I loved it. Check out some damage:

Carnage asada...
The WHOMP getting ready to do its thing.
See that little cobblestone bank? That's the cheese grater. The cheese grater had magic attractive qualities for loose boards.

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