Saturday, February 7, 2009

LaConner on a perfect day

Showing off my borrowed multicolor wing paddle to Mark Greengo and Wade Johnson. Paddling with a wing for the first time, it felt fast but Wade was faster in an identical boat, and a Euro blade.... hmmm... must be the horse, not the chariot...

I hit the Sound Rowers race in LaConner this morning. These guys know how to put on a show. from double racing shells to 4-oared whaleboats, surfskis, sea kayaks, and Costa del Mar sponsored racer, Don Kiesling on that amazing paddleboard. Much kudos to Sound Rowers for a great job, good people, good friends. Next event is the Lake Sammamish 6- or 13-miler (take your pick), 10am March 14. Check their site for details. Sound Rowers Rocks!

You know that really good tired feeling after you completely toast yourself in a workout? Combined with the massive frustration of wanting to do better? With the potential satisfaction of knowing with a little practice, next time will be awesome? Yeeeeahhhh, that feeling.

After seven miles of chasing Wade Johnson in his nearly-matching Eddyline Falcon S18 (his is white, mine is yellow), I watched him pull away at the finish and thump me by at least a couple minutes. And he was accompanied by none other than Steve Bennett in his $75 plastic Scirocco, who snuck through the favorable currents and passed unnoticed until it was too late.

The best part of the day was trying to keep up with the 4-oared whaleboat gig from Anacortes, 4 dudes on sliding seats, a coxswain with a huge wooden tiller in his hand. They were lauging and telling stories while I struggled just to stay in their wake. They almost ran over Wade at the turn buoy, but he was sweetly oblivious to them bearing down on him. Somehow the currents in the inner channel near the finish line favor smaller boats, so I was able to grab just enough eddy to pass them with about a mile to go.

Racing is an awesome confidence builder, skill developer, and community grower. Sure everyone competes, but the camaraderie is way more important. Except I have Steve Bennett in my head. 5 weeks to get ready...

Did I mention sound Rowers Rocks!?

Say hello to my little friend... I saw this guy hanging out by the Skagit River after the race. Likely waiting for a spawned-out salmon to float downstream.

After the race, Steve Bennett left his $75 used plastic boat upside down right behind my Falcon. This was evidence that my boat was in front of his at least once today. Best thing for him now is, he knows he's in my head. I'll be gunning for him until the day I beat him.


  1. Hello Bill - Sounds like quite a day out on the water, and what perfect weather! With your permission I would like to use the picture taken of you, Mark & Wade to use promoting next year's Sound Rowers event, on the La Conner Chamber website?
    Please let me know if this would be OK with you and good luck on Lake Sammamish.
    Marci Plank
    Executive Director
    La Conner Chamber of Commerce

  2. Thanks Marci, of course you're welcome to use the picture. What awesome weather you ordered up!