September rolled around and it was time for the annual Wye Island Regatta in Maryland.
I had been working out religiously in the Thunderbolt-X with the wing paddle incorporating everything Doug Bushnell had taught me and I was ready to put it all together. It was a little too soon to try the Thunderbolt-X in what could be choppy conditions on open water, so again I decided to paddle the trusty Cobra Viper kayak since I was more comfortable in it.
I cashed in some Holiday Inn points and went up to Easton, Maryland a day early to paddle on the water a bit and get some experience on the actual race water and I almost flipped over when a crab boat passed and its wake hit me broadside.
Uh oh. Tomorrow could be a long, long day for me I thought.
After some good relaxing in the hot tub at the Holiday Inn Express in Easton that night and a breakfast of bacon and eggs the next morning, I was ready to go.
Alas, the morning came and the water was as smooth as glass.
The starting cannon fired and we were off!
I kept up with the fastest kayaks for the first 1/2 of a mile or so, but then fell into a sort of no man’s land, well behind the longer, racing boats but well ahead of the recreational crafts. I raced pretty much the whole race alone in that position.
I paddled a strong race and came in first place in my division, a full 10 minutes ahead of the second place paddler. I was ecstatic to win my first solo race!
I produced a video from that race with some pop-up commentary so I’ll let the video tell the rest of the story.