This weekend marked the first official race of the 2011 calendar year, here in Austin. The Race was called “The COLDorado Classic” and was put on by Austin Paddle Sports, and The Rowing Dock, here in Austin. Why COLDorado? Lady Bird Lake (where we raced), is on the Lower Colorado River, and quite frankly we expected it to be cold. It wasn’t though and I surely won’t complain about that.
Given the short notice and the harsher than normal winter here in Austin, most people didn’t have a chance to train or prepare for a race. Since many of us could count on 1 hand how many times they have paddled since Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure how many would show up and race.
Luckily, the stoke for this sport in our city cannot be quenched. The conditions were cool and misty but we still had a great turnout. I wouldn’t even know how to estimate total numbers at the event, but I am told we had 36 registered riders, which is about double what I expected.
There seemed to be 3 groups of people present. The first group consisted of those that were experienced racers, who were on race boards. The second group consisted of those who were experienced paddlers, but using all around style boards. The third group was made up of people that were new to the sport, who were just there to have some fun and experience racing for the first time. A few of them even rented boards to compete.
As for the winners, we had 2 on the mens side. Peter Ching won the overall and First in the Over 12’6 class. Reid Harrell came in Second Overall, and First in the 12’6 and under class. Peter is a very experienced paddler, but he had his hands full on this day. Reid finished the 3 mile course just around 2-3 board lengths behind Peter (according to Eyewitnesses). That is impressive, considering Reed was giving up 2.5 feet of board to his more experienced competitor.
Tammy Harbison and Jennifer Kidd placed 1st and 2nd for the women’s division. We didn’t have any women in the over 12’6 category, so Andy gave prizes to the top 6. More results below.
SUP Gladiator and CenTex SUP Team Rider, David Bain finished 2nd in the 12’6 class, on his prototype Riviera 404, Danny Ching Hollow Carbon Fiber board. If you haven’t ridden on one of those yet, you should give it a try. It is a whole new experience. The board weighs in around 13LBS.
In addition to the 404, most of the other major race board manufacturers were also represented. Joe Bark had 3 of his boards in this race. Lahui Kai had at least 3-4. Tahoe SUP had 5-6 in the race. I also saw one Naish Glide, one Starboard K15, and one Hovie Comet. This is a stark contrast to last summer when we had only 3-5 legitimate race boards total, at our SUP Jam Race (and one of those was Slater Trout’s). Looks like it is definitely heating up for this coming summers event.
This event was actually about much more than a race. While racing can be a blast, most of us actually came out to support the Flatwater Foundation, which is the Charity the event was set up to raise money for. If you are not familiar with the Flatwater Foundation, they are the same organization that puts on the “Dam That Cancer” event, which is a 21 mile Dam to Dam Paddle here in Austin, which raises money for families dealing with cancer.
Special Thanks to Andy and Reid at Austin Paddle Sports, along with the folks at the Rowing Dock, for putting on a great event.
Official Results (updated)
1st Reid Harrell 33:30
2nd David Bain 37:10
3rd Timmy Valero 38:40
1st Peter Ching 33:20
2nd Buck Ashcraft 34:15
3rd Chris Culp 36:45
Women’s- there were no gal’s on 14’s so…
1st Tammy Harbison 42:45
2nd Jennifer Kidd 47:30
3rd Angela Irby 48:10
4th Jennell Vollmer 49:20
5th Lori Long 52:10
6th Linda Schreiver 53:45
More Photos from the event