So.... another Race Day on the Gauley has come and gone, and once again it was an amazing race! We got lucky on the weather, the sun even made an appearance just as folks gathered to pick up their bibs and get ready to start. It was an omen for the day. The turnout was fantastic - thanks for setting aside a day to come and enjoy a day on the Gauley… at full throttle. Though this race has been going on for 20 years (amazing to me) in many ways it hasn’t changed. It is still a gathering of folks that love the Gauley River. It is something that is truly an icon to paddlers; once you have been there it keeps calling you back. No matter where you are in the world you can still feel it calling you… That is the common thread that connects us all. Whether you are kayaking, C1-ing, rafting or river boarding we are all connected by the river which is the real magic of the Gauley. Thanks for coming out and keeping the race alive------
We had some real competition out there, and people were paddling again for the “Gauley Cup”. Geoff Calhoun came out ahead this day for the fastest man on the Gauley paddling his Wildwater boat. Geoff is no stranger to the Gauley nor to winning this race, though his time of 46:50 was possibly his fastest ever! The second overall man is also no stranger here and was back after not racing the Gauley for 10 years. Steve Kaufmann posted a great time, and managed to stay upright at Sweet’s despite his sprayskirt blowing off… nice job! Our overall fastest woman on the Gauley this year was a newcomer to the race- Katrina Van Wijk from Ontario. Katrina had a time of 57:10 which was only 8 seconds ahead of our second overall woman- Adriene Levknecht from Asheville, NC! That is a very tight race for a 9 mile course-
The 6 person Raft Team category was strong this year, and once again a men’s team piloted by Josh Sapio came away with the Cup. His Team “El Presidente” posted a time of 1:02:00 and this is their 3rd time winning the race here. Right behind them, literally just 16 seconds back was “Team Clausen”. Great Race! In the Women’s 6 person Raft Team category we had 3 teams this year which was awesome. The team that led the field was from Canada, “Ladies of the Ottawa River” with a great time of 1:06:22. Not far behind them was another ladies team, formerly known as the NARR Girls… this year they changed the name to be incognito… nice race “Purple Poontang”!
We had a nice variety of boats and paddlers out there, some winners in other catagories were Mark Hamilton in Slalom, Hank Wilkinson in Playboat and Louise Jull in Women’s Playboat.
Special thanks and a BIG Shoutout to our sponsors that come through to keep us going: ENEL Green Power, NOC, Pies & Pints, Waterstone Outdoors, NRS, ACE Adventure Gear, ACE Adventure Resort, AT Paddles, Quality Inn, Jancare, Songer and Boxley. We appreciate all of your support and are already looking ahead to 2013!
Race photos at Sweet's are sweet! To get digital copies of your images contact Rick at:
Click Here for Race Results
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