Wow! What a great day of racing on the Gauley---
As another race day is put into the history books, I am still reveling in the afterglow of a another amazing Gauley event... What a day it was! The Festival weekend was a full on high water event. The Meadow jumped up to over 4,200 cfs in a matter of hours which reeked havoc with levels on the Gauley that friday. Commercial trips and private boaters were caught on the upper with very high flows. More rain on saturday bumped the Meadow back up again to over 3,200. I must admit, I was anxious about the flows for race day and watched the Meadow gauge like a hawk as it began to slowly drop. Sunday night with the rig loaded for an early morning start it was clear that we would be lucky this race day with a flow of 2,000 from the dam and 1,800 in the Meadow! One river- one race- two levels= Perfect!
As the sun came peakiing over the mountain down to the tailwaters cars and boats began to gather. Many familiar faces made it feel like a reunion to me, and quite a few 1st time Gauley Racers joined the group. It was nice to have some new faces in the crowd. After our registration a quick meeting and we came up with a revised start order- ALL kayaks would start together. (Thanks Geoff) This would simplify the start for sure and make it more of a race. . . and it did! Over 30 kayaks started together this day. Raft teams came out in good numbers too- with four womens teams, three mens teams and a mixed team. The kayak field was led by Mark Hamilton who posted a time of 53:23. Less than a minute back was Geoff Calhoun. The next 3 kayaks driven by Chris Hipgrave, Jason Beakes and Sam Stewart came in within 15 seconds of each other! The women were led this year by Adriene Levknecht with a time of 56:59. Less than a minute back was Katrina Van Wijk at 57:44. The raft team catagory was going to a heated race for sure- and this year a new overall winner was crowned. A mixed team from ACE named "Kick Ass" came out on top this race day with the fastest overall time of 1:04:24. The Women's Team Winner was "Red Lady" with a time of 1:09:16. Great job Raft Teams! A little celebrating was called for at Sweet's after the race.... and then it was off to the Burrito Bar for some fine food, cold beverages, beautiful sunset and music. Campfire Stories will spread through the paddling community in the coming weeks about our race on the Gauley this year- spread the word and lets pump it up for 2014!! Have a great fall paddling season and racing season with the Russel Fork and the Green. Thanks for making the Gauley race a success again this year -
Photo Gallery - Sweet's Falls
High Water Gauley Releases this Fall-
As you may or may not know, there will be additional days of flow on the Gauley this Fall, including several days of approximately 5,000cfs. This is big news so we wanted to get you the info we have on it. The actual release schedule is available on the Hunting District Corps of Engineers page for water levels - and here is a quick link to that for you to check out - Release Schedule 2013
Happy Paddling ~