Day 2 and 3: Prep -> Race
Friday was a long but relatively relaxing day and in hindsight it helped with our preparation for the race! We gathered troops at 11am, went to the race site for the first time, rigged our canoes, collected race merchandise and had some great local chowder. All you can eat chowder at The Big River Grill. Remember that name everyone!
So, Saturday hey. Race day. For me, this day started deceptively slow. Due to the expected race start time of around 2pm for the men crews, at 8:30am, I was taking it nice and slow at breakfast, watching the PD Chicks get ready for racing. Except we were supposed to leave our hotel 30 minutes after them and would be there at their race start. So coffee, rush rush!
With almost 60 women and mixed crews at the start line at Stevenson WA, it was quite a majestic sight. With strong wind pushing everyone forward, our two PD Chicks crews got off to a great start among a strong field with a lot of unlimited OC6s. But our girls held their own. One of our crews even beat some unlimited boats across the line! The PD Orange were 1st in their division and PD Black were 6th. Not to be outdone, our PD men beat 5 unlimited OC6 crews across the line, and also came first in their division!
About the race itself: Almost 34km (21 miles) of racing – challenging, technical and fun, in a spectacular location! So many great waves to ride and get good, I think everyone learnt a lot about catching waves and paddling through this race.
Race results: PD Orange chicks: 41st over the line, 1st in division. PD Black chicks: 56th over the line, 6th in division. PD men: 23rd over the line, 1st in their division. We were racing in the heavier boat division (spec, as opposed to unlimited), and the majority of the canoes ahead of ours were unlimited canoes.
Well done Pacific Dragons!