The Green Race Part 2: Race Day Saturday!

November 9, 2009
From Green Race Saturday

Once again the Green Race comes and once again I am blown away by how cool it is. Just think, a thousand people walked in more than an hour to watch a 130 or so paddlers giver a go for almost no prizes, no money, no chics, and very very little fame. Its all about a perfect weekend giving it everything you got, hanging with friends, and enjoying the whole thing. The weekend began with folks rolling in for the race. My house was full. Old friends, new friends, some spoke english some didn’t, but everyone enjoyed a perfect November weekend in the mountains of North Carolina.

From Green Race Saturday

This event is actually becoming a full on real life tradition. Someday soon there is going to be someone that races on the Green that is younger than the race itself and in extreme racing thats a very big statement. In the photo above you see Polk Dieters (Green Race Vet) with his son Scout checking out his lines for the future.

This year we had all the action and still hardly any injuries (knock on wood). We had the classic nightmares of paddlers of the Green… Numero uno, Swimming over the drop. We also had nightmare numero dos going over upside down. Throw in a couple backwards runs and a few swims, and pitons and you have an action packed day of whitewater racing. The most severe injuries were imparted by the rocks on shore to the asses of folks trying to navigate the throngs watching the festivities, and the punishing blows to the egos of a few of us racers. Nothing a little ice, ibu, and alcohol won’t take care of, as far as I know.

From Green Race Saturday

From Green Race Saturday

From Green Race Saturday

For me race day is a blurr of organizing friends and racers, making sure my spray skirt is in the van and remembering that I am actually racing. We all line up for the photo and then all of the sudden its all about you and the river. Everybody else is focused on their runs and you are left with your thoughts while you gear up and walk down to the river. The thoughts for each of us range from hopes to realities and hopes to fears. The walk to the river is quiet and a little lonely. The paddle down to the start line is focused. We are all feeling ourselves out, warming up, and trying to quiet the nerves. The funny thing is that once I got near the start line my butterflies started to go away. There were 50 paddlers fluttering around the starting rocks so the banter was quick and excited. Its a good feeling. We are all ready to go.

From Green Race Saturday

Little did we know that it would be the “Speed Trap” that would be dishing out the punishment.
It may not have been as scary or dreaded but spinning around caught in the corner of the Trap was a nightmare for all of us racers and this year it was in high form. It created a couple swims, crushed a few race dreams, and sapped the will out of a few that had to deal with its grip I know I watched several paddlers go from slight disappointment, to focus, to desperation as their attempts to exit the “trap” failed. Ross Herr even celebrated after getting past this obstacle.

From Green Race Saturday

Once you have finished your race run there is an amazing rush that goes through you. It takes a minute or two to get past the exhaustion of the race but soon the adrenaline pushes past and everyone is smiling and patting you on the back as you walk up through the crowd to Gorilla. Folks are offering you beers and all your buds are just as jacked as you are. Its a awesome feeling.

The paddle out from the race is something that is hard to explain. If you are doing the hike its like that except we are all pretty psyched to be paddling together. The loneness of paddling the race on your own is gone and everyone is just having a good time. A new tradition has been born in the last few years and thats the Southern Cross at Sunshine rapid. Pick a buddy and cross paths. One goes left and one goes right.

From there on out its all smiles, jokes, and happiness. And then theres a party.
The photos may just speak for themselves.

From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday
From Green Race Saturday

Congrats to all the racers.  What a showing.  No we have to say that on Green Race day there was somebody spanking the monkey every minute for nearly 3 hours.  Wow you all rock!   Andrew you are an animal. Adriene you have set a new standard for women paddlers on this river. Same goes for you Sprinkle and thanks to all the folks that paddle the LL boats. I think we are on to something. 3 out of the top 4 is damn good. Next time maybe we get that top spot in men’s as well.

Thanks to Johnny Floor and the Wrong Crowd and DJ Clay? for the awesome music.

Huge huge huge thanks to Woody, Sarah, Tim, John, Jason, Chelsea, Cribbs, Perry, and many many others for making this event happen.
And thanks Boyce the Stinger is fast.

From Green Race Saturday

Here is the whole slide show of my favorite shots.
Shane


Green Race Week: Part 1: Practice and folks at the House

November 9, 2009

Wow wow wow! Once again what an event. Each year I come into the week thinking its not really gonna change every year but this year was even more incredible than I imagined. I had a full house of friends coming in for the race including a friend I haven’t seen for over 20 years that I used to paddle with in a Dancer, Mirage, and Quest. I also had Team France, Team Jackson, and Team Michigan in the house. It was a great weekend. Here are a handful of shots I hope to get more up this evening.
Shane

Here is a link if you don’t see a slideshow.
http://picasaweb.google.com/shanebenedict2/GreenRaceWeekendPart1LastPracticeRunsAndTheHouse?feat=directlink


The Green Race is coming…so lets make a new Liquidlogic race boat!

November 5, 2009
With just a couple weeks before the Green Race Woody and I decided to make another version of the Remix 100.  We are calling it the Remix Stinger.  A boat designed to go as fast as possible down the Green.  I met up with a group of our fastest racers and talked about what sort of changes we would like to make.  We paddled the 100 and a few other raceboats to compare styles and performance and we came up with a plan.  The Remix 100 was arguably the fastest of the race boats in a straight line but it is a little more challenging to maintain your line.  So we decided to attack two areas of the boat.  One I wanted to make it significantly faster and see if we could handle it, and two I wanted it to track better but not limit the ability to turn as needed.
Here are the finished boats after two 14 hour days for Woody and I of molding and outfitting with the help of John Grace, and Eric “Butter Grab Handle” Hurd.  Notice 6’4″ Woody Callaway standing next to the 12’5″ Remix Stinger.  The stats are 12’5″ long, and 23.5″ wide, and somewhere around 100 gallons would be my guess.  As far as design changes go.   I added 9″ inches of length in just the stern end of the boat so in reality you could say that its like adding 18″ of length to the boat because usually you would add length both bow and stern for balance but what we wanted for this boat was the speed of a long stern but the maneuverability of the shorter bow moving through the drops.    I also worked on the entry of the bow through the water by tucking the chines under the bow a little more on this version of the boat.  The idea behind the pintail and tucked bow chines was to make this version track harder while moving through the cross currents and hammering across the short flat sections of the race section on the Green.  Basically we wanted to make a boat that had the potential to go faster than anything has gone before on the Green.  After some serious calculations I think this boat is 9.654% faster than anything else on the river.  :)
I really like the fact that this boat was made for one single purpose to go fast on the Green and after doing the work to make it happen the first water that all of these boats will touch is the Green. I have to tell you I was a little nervous when we first slid into the water.  I knew the boat would be fast but you never know for certain how it will perform in in the rapids.  So there were lots of questions going through my head as I slid into the water.   The questions of speed was answered immediately by how far the boat glided out away from shore.  As we moved downstream John and I smiled about the speed and got more and more confident with each rapid about how the boat handled.  By the end we all bombed off Sunshine and raced all the way out to the takeout.
Here are all the photos.