The Wind River Festival can be described as CHAOS. Chaos in the form of a mass start as paddlers leave the Starting Line together, and rally downstream all at once. Such was the case the last few years, and one could only continue the tradition in 2013.
The Upper Wind River is considered Class IV/IV+, depending on water levels. It is generally a six mile run, that begins in the flatwater near Carson, Washington, and quickly picks up its pace as its rapids become continuous. Rapids feature boulder gardens, boofs, big water, and sometimes, sticky holes. It’s an active stretch of river, and the perfect location for a race.
Keeping with tradition, the Upper Wind River Festival features short and long boat kayak races, as well as cataraft and raft races. The race itself begins at Stabler, and finishes about 2.5-3 miles downstream in the flats below “Climax”. The first race of the Western Whitewater Championship Series, it is unique. It is a mass start, and is absolute CHAOS,Â as paddlers from across the Northwest show up to test their skills.
Over thirty paddlers gathered for the racerâ€™s meeting, learning the do’s and dont’s, and doing their last-minute stretches.
Cards were drawn, declaring start order with Aces, 2 and 3â€™s starting downstream from Jacks, Queens and Kings. Paddlerâ€™s lined up facing the bank, forcing paddlers to start switch. This led to an interesting menâ€™s start, with over half the field back-paddling for the first hundred yards. The Menâ€™s race was a fight until the end between 25 paddlers, with Dan Rubado coming across the line in first, quickly followed by Trevor Sheehan, and Laurence Rosen.
The womenâ€™s start of 9 paddlers was much more calm, save for the Dynamic Duo captained by Nicole Mansfield and Katrina Van Wijk. The countdown was given and on go, the ruckus began!
Raft and cataraft races followed with Zach Collier of NW Rafting winning the cat race, and Tim Brink of ORT and his team, winning the R2 event.
Special Thanks to ORT and Next Adventure for Organizing the event, and for the scrumptious post-event BBQ and activities!
Men’s Short BoatÂ (minute.second):
1. DAN RUBADO 22
2. TREVOR SHEEHAN 22.18
3. LAURENCE ROSEN 22.26
4. LEWIS HOOKER 22.41
5. JOSH OBERLEAS 22.53
6. LEIF ANDERSON 22.58
7. TIM THORTON 23.03
8. JESSE BECKER Not recorded
9. HARRISON REA Â 23.15
10. NATE MERRILL 23.19
11. NATHAN HERBECK 23.45
12. MICHAEL FREEMAN 23.24
13. PATRICK HIGGINS 24.15
14. ANDREW TAYLOR 24.27
15. BEN ROBERTS PRENEL 24.58
16. DAVID WELLS 25
17. SPENCER MANK 25.48
18. EDWARD (TED) WALZ 25.59
INGMAR PROKOP Not recorded
EVAN SMITH Not recorded
LUCAS RIETMAN Not recorded
PAUL GILLINGHAM Not recorded
EZRA TEAL Not recorded
JAMIE ALBERT Not recorded
JACK O’MALLEY Not recorded
Women’s K1 Short BoatÂ (minute.second):
1. KIMBERLY BECKER 22.34
2. HEATHER HERBECK 24.09
3. ERIN CLANCEY 24.34
4. ELIZABETH TOBEY 25.59
5. DOVE MILLER 27.19
JONI RANDALL Not recorded
ANNA HERRING Not recorded
KATRINA VANWIJK &Â NICOLE MANSFIELD 22.35 (DISQUALIFIED FROM TOP 3 RANKÂ DUE TO BOAT LENGTH)
Men’s Long BoatÂ (minute.second):
1. TRAVIS COWLES 21.34
2. JOE STUMPFEL 21.54
3. NATE BELL Time not recorded
Women’s Long BoatÂ (minute.second):
1. CHRISTIE EASTMAN 22.55
2. SUSAN HOLLINGSWORTH Time not recorded
Men’s CataraftÂ (minute.second):Â
1. ZACH COLLIER 27.32
2. BOB HUNT AND DAVID ALLEN 30.03
Men’s R2 Raft (minute.second):
1. JAMIE CRONE AND TIM BRINK 26.04
2. JEFFERY STEEHLER AND GREG BABIKOFF 28.20
3. TODD COLLINS AND DAVID SACQUETY 28.51
4. BRYAN CARRINGTON AND DAVID SUTHERLAND 29.11
5. JOHN WATKINS AND TIM WEAVER 30.57
6. MARTIN AND DEREK KAMAHOAHOA 31.57
7. PETER GRIEVES AND SCOTT MICHAEL 32.00
8. MATT LINDLAND AND BRUCE REED 37.50
See you on the river,