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Friday, April 30, 1999 -- Albright
Cheat River Massacre-ence
Story and Photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set4] [Results]

Cheat Race
Andrew McEwan left little doubt, and a lot of racers
With temperatures in the 70's and not a cloud in the sky, almost 50 boaters gathered for a friendly race down one of the most classic rivers in our state, the mighty Cheat. The Cheat was arguably somewhat shy of mighty, running about 2.25 feet, but it proved to be a great racing level. The flat water was a little slower, and the rapids a little smaller, but with that came more rocks to navigate around. It all added up to at least an hour's worth of concentrated paddling through one of the most beautiful canyons we could ever have the privilege of floating through.

The great aspect of this race is the mass start. Wildwater boats, wavehoppers, canoes, thrillseekers, playboats, and even tandems, it doesn't matter, they all take off at the same time. They started directly below the old bridge, and the finish line was 12 miles downstream at the next bridge, just upstream of where the Big Sandy joins the Cheat.

Cheat Race
Seeing a bridge never felt so good!
Perhaps surprising no one, Andrew McEwan(1:01:40) started in the middle of the pack, but kept a solid pace clear through the finish to win by nearly 5 minutes! Ted Newton(1:06:28) was by no means drifting as he paddled his Wildwater boat to a second place finish.

Jan Steckel(1:23:55) was the womans overall winner, and she paddled her slalom boat to a 29th overall finish. In the wavehopper division, Chris Iezzoni(1:09:50) took the checkered flag, and was an impressive fourth place overall. Brian Homberg(1:13:35) was the second place wavehopper finisher.

Cheat Race
What's your boat doin' down there, Rob?
Tim Friday(1:17:18) was the first slalom class boater to finish, with the Ohiopyle legend Rocky Rockwell(1:18:12) keeping things close. Steve Frazier(1:29:37) won the canoe class, and proved that sometimes one blade is faster than two.

Many thanks to Rob Voorhees for putting together a fine event that was organized from start to finish, and for having a van full of West Virginia Brewing Company's finest waiting at the take out. What better way to spend a Friday evening in West Virginia...