09-14-2007, 01:47 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Sumner, WA
1st Annual Washington - Canada Endurance Race!
There's going to be an endurance race/poker run from Port Angeles Wa, to Victoria BC and back on Friday, 9/28 - I know this is very last minute but I just ran across it at the 'other' site yesterday and talked to the promoter about it.
It's 21 miles each way, with a mandatory stop on the Canada side for rest/customs. It's only $40 to compete (plus $10 for a t-shirt!) - all the details are at www.straitthunder.com - there's a personal watercraft link that has all the information, forms, etc.
Hope to meet some of you there!
10-02-2007, 01:22 PM #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
- Sumner, WA
What a Blast!
I wanted to post this in the Racing Section, so that everyone had a chance to see it - hopefully I can help plant the seed for more riders to come out next year and take part!
First - A huge thanks to Roger, Chris, and everyone else involved in putting this event on for us - I don't know what it takes to plan and promote a race, but it doesn't look easy, and I thought Roger did a great job of keeping his wits about him when things were hopping on Friday morning.
As a first time racer, I didn't really know what to expect, and I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. Not that I couldn't make it over and back, but the unknown stuff always gets your mind heading in a direction that's worse than reality. I thought Roger did a great job of helping keep everyone from being 'tight' and not adding to the pressure of the challenge facing all of us. I didn't have that feeling of intimidation (until Larry and Jerry Ham showed up!), and felt like I fit in with the group that was getting ready to run.
As an aside, my brother Kasey and I were riding my 2003 GPRs, and as the field launched, it was clear we might be at a disadvantage - everyone else was riding a Sea-Doo or Kawasaki Ultra 250 (except for 1 rider, on a Honda, but he started late and we didn't even see him until Canada).
The race started at 11:30am, and we all raced out of the harbor into the Strait - transitioning from fairly smooth water into a white capped, windy, choppy slog. We had decided at our rider meeting to start out fast, group together to find our way over and make sure we didn't lose anyone, and then sprint back from Victoria, winner take all. So after we got a couple of miles out, I throttled back and tried to watch Larry Ham's technique for navigating.
One thing I noticed immediately was that Jerry and Larry sit down - basically the whole time. I was up on my feet and jumping, bumping, bouncing up and over everything, and they were just cruising along, saving energy and fuel. Initially, I took the approach of jumping everything, and trying to fly over the rough stuff - hey, that doesn't work! So much better to navigate through the waves, and find the troughs......
As I approached the other side, I realized that I wasn't exactly sure where I was going - I wasn't too worried, since we were all supposed to be bunching up together, but the Island was close, and I was kind of by myself (in between the 1st four boats, and in front of the rest). Roger rode up next to me on his borrowed GTX, and instantly I felt great - hey, the promoter knows where we're going! I'll just follow him to the harbor.....
This is where things get a little messed up. Roger was looking for the breakwater, and we passed it. The first 4 boats realized they went to the wrong spot, and came and met up with us. All 6 of us travelled together to the right harbor, and found 2 of the other riders there. 3 riders were still not with us, and we couldn't see them anywhere. After a bunch of phone calls, and a couple of trips up to the main harbor, Roger got all of us into the right place for a small break before our return trip to Port Angeles.
After we had a chance to regroup and recharge, we set out for the return trip at 2pm. As soon as we cleared the breakwater, the surf hit - hard. I think the toughest part of the entire return trip was the first 200 yards! Between the near constant spray in my face, and the height of the waves, I was just happy to get out into open water!
After that, it was ON. I personally was trying to keep my bearings, and track how many boats were in front of me. I could see one to my left, about 100 yards up; other than that, nothing at first. Although I could see 2 channel markers way up on my right (of course, that was the 1st and 2nd place boat, so far out already that I couldn't see the spray from the skis anymore).....
Little by little, I managed to navigate back much more smoothly than the crossing; using the tip from Larry Ham about cutting the troughs, I was able to maintain a much smoother pace. I caught and passed the ski to my left about a mile from the harbor, and started thinking about 3rd place.....
Then I got pitched.
I had taken a sweeping path past a channel marker that I thought I had to stay outside of, and as I turned back to my right to enter the harbor, I caught the perfect mix of big crossing wave, tired arms and legs, and anticipation of being finished. Off I went; it took me a couple of minutes to get back to my ski and climb back on. It's amazing how much energy it takes to swim all of 30 or 40 feet when you're soaking wet, heavy and already tired......
Once I got restarted, I hit the gas, tried to stand up as I passed the dock so I looked like a racer, and rode to the beach as the fourth rider back! Equally relieved to be back, and pissed that I didn't take third, I took my helmet off, and tried to explain what we all had just been through to my wife and the folks on the shore.......
In summary, I would do this again in a heartbeat - I met some great folks, got a taste of racing, had a ton of fun, some laughs, and hopefully made some new friends. I hope Roger and the gang do this again next year; I also hope that the conversations I overheard between the Hams and Chris? will lead to some other racing opportunities here in Washington, as well! Supercourse, anyone?
Thanks again guys, for an experience I'll never forget!
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