This year the annual race at the GLSKS took place on Saturday afternoon rather than Sunday morning. There are a few reasons for that including more people on the beach since their afternoon classes just ended, more participants because a lot of folks take off early on Sunday for the long drive, and less hung over coaches and participants that were unable to resist the siren call of the Dunes Saloon brewpub. This year featured coach/participant teams drawn from a hat, a relay format, and also a LeMans start. It also featured a gauntlet of high powered squirt gun wielding kids and a few adults with buckets.
As a dedicated blogger I decided to paddle off shore and set up for some action photos. The VOR and I were heading out for an afternoon paddle and wanted to get a good as well as a dry start. But enough babbling. You guys want some action photos and here you go. At the top of the post racers are receiving their instruction at the top of the hill. In the image above this 'graph they are off!
My friend RacinRick, fresh from a paddle around the Keweenaw peninsula, was one of the first to receive a dousing from the gauntlet line.
FivePieceRoy, likely numb from the waist down after a day of standing in the water teaching rolling, also got a good dousing.
Even Bill Thompson from Downwind Sports, organizer and sponsor of the event (as well as the successful 'Beers with Bill' Thursday night mixer) was abused as he paddled by on his paddleboard. Why you would douse the guy buying the beers is beyond me.
Ben Lawry, attemping to get a leg up on the race by jumping into a surf ski, was also cooled off by the youthful crowd. In addition to being a superb instructor Ben is the only Manchester City fan I've ever met.
Turnabout is fair play as well. Noted boat designer Steve Scherrer was gleefully dousing the racers. He forgot that old fighter pilots adage to make sure to keep 'checking your six'.
He was rewarded for his oversight with a few gallons of water in the back.
In the end everyone had fun. I'm not sure who won but it was a good time. This year there were 21 kids in the youth program, an excellent turnout. Once word of how much fun they had spreads, we would hope the number would double next year. Heck, I may even race next year. Or not.