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WWGP - Head To Head Race

Posted: 03.07.2014

Written By: Tyler Curtis

Once the Gladiator event was finished the giant migration of athletes started. Our next stop would take us to the province of Quebec and the Rouge River to compete in a Head to Head boater cross event. We all arrived to bleak rainy weather and traces of snow still on the ground. The spring rains had begun and in true Stakeout fashion it would be increasing the already flooded river to provide the perfect the Grand Prix venue.

To arrange the athletes in heats and provide a base for the points system to those who would be eliminated during the racing rounds the event started with a time trials. This was a great opportunity for the athletes to watch each other and figure out the fastest lines, plan B lines, and where you can pass or get passed on the course. The section for the race was on the Lower Rouge River in a rapid called ‘the gauntlet’. The race started with slow water which quickly turned itself into crashing waves and boils before making an S-bend, which of course had holes on each corner and finally into the big giant mess of crashing reactionaries and waves.  

I selected to paddle my Recon 90 for the event, which was great as it was very fast through the slack water and crashed through the waves extremely well. The issue with the larger volume is when a huge wave eats you and your angle and momentum gets turned in the wrong direction. It is a little tougher to turn a bigger boat. Perhaps I should have used my trusty Diesel 80 in the big water stuff. I guess I will know better for next time!

My time during my seating round was quite good. This would be the highlight of my day. In the first round of head to head we raced in groups of 6 paddlers and my run started with getting into a big boat jam and pushed into the first big crashing wave. After getting tossed like a stick I surfaced facing upstream, completely off line, and last in the pack. Of course you never know what can happen in a head-to-head race so I charged my way to the finish hoping for some group carnage to help me pass some others. This was not the case and my race day came to an end.

The great thing about this event was that I quickly had other paddlers join me on the shore as they were also knocked out of the rounds and we could sit back and watch the amazing collection of good lines and epic failures.

Another event was completed and the excitement for the next one could begin!