Hooliganism

Saturday was a full day.  The FiBArk Festival is always biggest on Saturday to watch slalom, rodeo, and the Hooligan Race, where people build floats and they race the whitewater park in town.  At eight in the morning, Jeremy Rodgers and I set up a booth for USA Wildwater at the boat ramp.  At noon, we did a head to head sprint race between slalom runs.  At five, we did a wildwater demo for the crowd gathering to watch the Hooligan Race.  And then, four of us took a an inflatable Red Bull pillar from behind the FiBArk boathouse, and started with the Hooligans.

The head to head sprint was great to watch- the C-2 teams were very close, and only was decided when one team avoided running the other into the bridge piling just above the finish line.  I sprinted against Lara Adams, a C-1 W.  With a 10 second head start, I had a hard time catching her on the short course, but she stopped paddling about 10 yards before the finish, and I squeeked by.  The race was a good deomonstration of what wildwater is all about, and I think we should do more races like this.

While we were still in our paddling gear, Peter Lutter and Mackenzie Hatcher saw the Red Bull inflatable come lose and float down the river.  They grabbed it, and invited Teirney O’Sullivan and me to do the Hooligan Race with them.  We all swam down the river holding onto the rope handles, and managed to be second in our wave.  Which is not really the point of the Hooligan Race, but somehow we can’t let go of times and places…  We were all shivering when we came out of the water, but the day had ended with one of the most fun events of the festival.  All that  remains now is the 26 mile race tomorrow.

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