The last race of the 2012 season was the Wye Island Regatta. I decided to race with my Thunderbolt-X kayak on the open water, which meant I would jump two classes higher in competition…the highest level at which I had ever competed.
Rough weather was expected that afternoon so the race organizers decided to shorten the race as an out-and-back on the protected side of the island rather than having us paddle the full 13+ miles around the island.
I paddled out as quickly as I could and as I turned around the last buoy to head back in I almost overturned because I had gotten used to adjusting for the wind blowing from my left so when I made the turn, the wind blowing from my right caught me off guard. I made one giant bracing stroked that saved me and just then I noticed a guy on an Epic surf ski trying to remount his craft because he obviously just fought the same battle with the wind that I did and lost.
I had a good run and crossed the finished line in second place, some 80 seconds behind the winner.
My log shows that I recorded an average speed of 6.2mph with a top speed of 7mph.
I was satisfied with my finish and also thrilled that I actually beat an Epic surf ski that year.
My stern camera failed early in that race for some reason and I wished I had GoPro.