Monday, April 16, 2007

Presque Isle Jim Rada Memorial Race Weekend

Midwest spring creeking kicked off this year for me with the first annual Presque Isle Jim Rada Memorial Race. Thanks to Kiffy for organizing it and everyone who showed up for making it an awesome weekend! The race was on the final mile of the Presque Isle in the upper peninsula of Michigan, which consists of three sets of falls seperated by some flatwater. There were 12 participants and a handful of other paddlers and spectators.

I believe the level was between 6.5 and 7 feet

The First - Nawadaha Falls

The Second - Manido Falls

The Grand Finale - Manabezho Falls

The race times were recorded when you landed Manabezho - a good riverwide 20 footer. Taylor AKA Hansel (he's so hot right now) took home an awesome hockey trophy, trophies with kayaks are hard to come by, and Rada loved hockey so it was quite fitting actually. The race went well except for two pitons off of manabezho. Jesse AKA Zoolander crushed the front of his solo with no major injuries. Brian wasn't so lucky... he lost momentum at the lip of the drop causing him to pencil sharply down. Although some other people had taken this same line and seemed to go in at pretty steep angles, he wasn't so lucky and ended up pitoning and breaking his leg and ankle. This necessitated a difficult extrication up and out of a steep gorge. We all are hoping for a speedy and full recovery for ya' Brian!


The next day quite a few people headed over to the Black River also in the U.P. This is a real gem with lots of good falls and some fun rapids. The river was high - somewhere around 650 cfs.

A few of the boys ponder Birth Canal and a meaty Gorge Falls

At this level most people shyed away from Gorge Falls but one brave boater gave it a go and was successful.

I didn't have my camera in my boat this day so I didn't get many other pictures, but had a good time watching a few runs of Rainbow Falls with mixed results. Here a couple paddlers ponder it at a more moderate level.

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