Ran the Piscataquis River Canoe and Kayak Race yesterday in a tandem kayak with Jeff Sands. The tandem we paddled was an (I-kid-you-not) hybrid of 2 kayaks spliced together by Jeff, who apparently is not afraid to get creative with fiberglass. (As anyone serious about paddling probably knows, the neverending quest for the “perfect boat” knows no bounds). I paddled in the bow, which was the front half of a wildwater tandem. Jeff was in the stern which was taken from the back half of a women’s flatwater racer. (The joke is that my half of the boat was a dog in the flatwater and that the back behaved badly in the whitewater!) Actually, we felt fast and ran a very efficient race over the 8 mile course of mostly flatwater mixed with a few Class I rapids. Even so, nemesis Fred Ludwig, paddling in a wildwater single, edged us by 8 seconds and claimed first place with a time of 43:15.
It is an interesting exercise to ponder all the ways we might have gotten those 8 seconds back but probably more productive to just remember those 8 seconds and use it as motivation to get ready for the next time!