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Homestake Creek Race – Great lines, Better Carnage

5 June 2008 No Comment

                   The Homestake Creek Race takes place on the class V Homestake Creek in Red Cliff Colorado. This race had its humble beginnings when Ken “Hobie” Hoeve, Dagger Product Manager, decided to have a race on one of his back yard creeks. The incentive to bring boaters out and participate, a keg of beer. This race brings in some of the top creek boaters in the nation and dishes out its fair share of beatdowns. The beer is still waiting for those at the end of the race.

This year Vail Resorts came through once again securing a release to ensure that 100 cubic feet per second would be charging through the channel. Though it seems that in the past few days Mother Nature has provided enough flow on its own with record snowfall amounts melting and creating burly levels on most creeks and rivers in the area.

Wednesday morning and afternoon, many of the racers went to fine tune their lines as yet another Colorado spring day provided a high level for the creek. There was no major carnage to speak of other than some skin left on rocks. Today however, as racers try to negotiate the course as quickly as possible, proved otherwise.

Everyone awoke to frigid temperatures in the 30’s with the sun shining harshly as it typically does in the Rockies. Driving to Homestake I was treated to great views of yet another type of geology. Upon arrival there were an impressive amount of vehicles and colors as racers took final laps before the race started. Spectators were treated to fine lines and some awful carnage, and the race had not even started. Once the race started the weather made a turn for the worst spraying racers and spectators with a variety of rain and sleet. One squall after the other could be seen coming over the ridges.

The first heat of races began sometime around 10:30AM. Racers were required to launch off of a challenging ramp into class II-III warm-up water before hitting the mank. Flow was estimated at about 180 cfs about 80 more than the usual race release, burly to say the least. Josh Bechtel and Jared Seiler from Team Pyranha demonstrated how not to launch off of the ramp pitoning hard and denting their boats. The two upper sections, the mankiest, most paddlers cleaned fairly well. Though there were a couple of banged elbows, boats and bruised egos from swims from a gnarly pour-over. One swim included Ruth Gordon from Team Jackson, who Ken “Hobie” Hoeve called out at the awards party to drink a “bootie beer,” and if she didn’t she might not find her freestyle boat tomorrow.

The most terrifying part of the race other than the mank upstream was where racers came flying into the Class V Leap of Faith. Very few racers cleaned this line through an entry slide, into a flake rock in the center, a guard hole on the right and a tight line through the left all above a 10 footer into a meaty slot hole only about 5 feet wide. This area throughout the day proved to be the most daunting and entertaining. One reason for this drop to be so entertaining was John Grace flying though the air like a monkey getting sick footie.

By far the quote of the day however was Tao Berman in response to Hobie. Hobie managed to get himself into quite a freezing mess and concluded he would not do the second run. Tao chastised Hobie and replied, “part of the art is managing your blood levels and knowing how to regulate hydration and body temperature, and that is how one truly succeeds.” The author may have changed such quote only fairly slightly.

Regardless, it proved to be an epic day with epic water levels and hardy weather rewarding the strong minded and quick reflexes. The final results are below. The race started with 8 women and 58 men, being narrowed down to 5 women and 35 men for the final run. I would like to congratulate the new parents of the race some new some old, Nikki Kelly who came out and represented finishing just behind Tanya Faux, and Scott Shipley who apparently is a father once again today. Scott raced extremely well against many of the worlds best gnar boaters, which was inspiring to see.

This evening Vail will host the opening ceremonies and tomorrow morning the majority of the events will commence including the Kayak Freestyle which yours truly will make a bid against some of the worlds top shredders. I’m feeling pretty good!

Womens Final Results
1.Tanya Faux
2.Nikki Kelly
3.Eleanor Perry
4.Adrienne Levknecht

Mens Final Results

1.Tao Berman
2.Todd Anderson
3.Andrew Holcombe
4.Geoff Calhoun
5.Pat Keller
6.Brad Ludden
7.Michelle Ramazza
8.Scott Shipley
9.Dave Fusilli
10.Jason Beakes
11.Tommy Hilleke
12.Fergus Coffey
13.Stenglein Jakobus
14.Eric Jackson
15.Jesse Shimrock
16.Bryan Kirk
17.Stephen Wright
18.Jared Seiler
19.Nick Troutman
20.Christian Cook
21.Austin Rothman
22.Graham Seiler
23.Kelsey Thompson
24.Casper Kalmthaut
25.Alex Mohn
26.Tino Specht
27Matt Fithian
28.Rush Sturges
29.Ryan Snodgrass
30.Corey Volt
31.Jake Greenbaum
32.Ben Brown

Homestake Creek Race 2008 from Christopher Wing on Vimeo.

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