Share |

Friday, May 4, 2001 -- Albright, WV
Cheat Canyon Downriver Race (iPO Event Id#: 3066)
Story by Chris Norbury
Photo by Marty Lamp

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [2001 Big Sandy Results]

[T-shirt Contest Winners] [1999 Coverage] [2000 Coverage]

Race Report for the Cheat Canyon and Big Sandy downriver races (Note: Due to low water, the Big Sandy race was held on the Cheat Narrows.)

Pete & Tim Daly
Pete and Tim Daly get it downriver
It was the first weekend in May, and that means a weekend of racing. Many kudos to Rick Gusic and Andrew McEwan for their races on the Cheat Canyon and Narrows respectively. Both races were well attended and competitive, and well supplied with prizes. All we need next year is some more water!

On Friday evening the Cheat Canyon race kicked off almost on time, whilst Andrew McEwan and Simon Beardmore were still pushing their transport to the limit (around 35mph I believe) on the road to Albright. A small group consisting of Jess Whittemore, Heinz Roethenmund and Steve Kauffman paddled away from everyone else. Steve eventually kicked away from weekend warrior Heinz at the end, with Jess in third. Human Lung Bob Vernon took 6th and first in the "rec boat" category, ahead of two wavehoppers, and closely followed by Chara O'Brien who won the women's class along with the admiration of many who followed her to the finishing line. 58 people finished, showing that even at this low level you couldn't stay lost on the Cheat forever

Race Pic
Tips up? Maybe for skiing, eh?
On Saturday and Sunday morning a few people broke the traditional rules by doing a practice run of the Narrows. Fortunately Andrew and Simon showed up on time for this race, as Andrew was organizing. Some tired bodies dragged themselves out of bed after Cheat Fest for a beautiful morning on what should have been a relatively easy course. Halfway down the course Calamity, and a large crowd of playboaters was waiting, however. First casualty was Chara O'Brien, who flipped and parted company with her boat (been there, done that), but still recovered to win the women's race from Terry Peterson in a wavehopper. Next up was Simon "far to laid back to buy a skirt that fits" Beardmore, who flipped and eventually had to empty his boat after his skirt popped. In additional Chris Norbury experienced his second eyeware failure in two weeks - better get this sorted before some more important races next month! Andrew mcEwan took the honors overall from a rapidly improving Steve Kauffman, with Heinz just behind in third. Matt Muir made the long drive from Ohio, then cunningly broke his wildwater boat to make sure he dethroned reigning plastic boat champion Rob Hammond. Great prizes, made by Andrew's mom, were distributed afterwards.

Race Pic
A veritable traffic jam
That is the last race of the spring. Keep your eyes and ears out for any other races - such as the Upper Yough race in July, Wildwater Open Canoe Nationals on the Lower Yough, the week of the end of July and start of August, Wildwater Nationals on the Pigeon the first weekend in August, then back to the MADS series in September with a race at Bloomington (looking for an organizer - only need 2 people with a watch each). Best of luck to those locals traveling to Europe this summer, particularly Steve Kauffman who will be going for the first time.

My personal thanks to Bob Vernon and Chuck Stump for their help above and beyond with our tire difficulties on Friday night - I owe you guys big time.