Sky River Race

Boulder Drop 2009 001

The first weekend in August, a race on the Skykomish River was organized by Christian Knight and Paddler Magazine.  There were events all day- an upstream race in the morning, a downriver from Cable Drop to Big Eddy at noon, and a Boulder Drop sprint in the afternoon.  Christian advertised the race for boats under 13′, which meant that my wildwater boat was too long.  But I don’t own any boats shorter than that, and they let me race anyway (in my own class).

The upstream race went about as might be expected- I was the fastest by several minutes, but I my boat was much faster than any others raced.  The long downstream was a bit more interesting.  Christian wrote an article for Paddler after the event entitled “How Not To Lose A Race You Should Win,” (  in which he listed a number of strategies that might have helped.  His list was incomplete.  He needed to add “Don’t Pin in Boulder Drop.” Boulder Drop 2009 002I did.  I couldn’t move the boat, so I jumped into 4 feet of water, threw my boat on shore, ran back to the top of the rapid, and paddled through.  It all cost me about 5 minutes, and I lost to Tao Berman by about 17 seconds overall.  I also broke my boat by slamming into a house sized boulder near the bottom of Boulder Drop…

Check out the results at, and come out next year for a great race!

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One Comment on “Sky River Race”

  1. Chris N Says:

    Sounds like a potentially great Nationals race to me. Thanks for the link!

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