KayakVagabond

the website of Greg Stamer

Archive for the ‘Racing’ Category

Random Animal?

Posted by Greg on March 18, 2013

All dressed up and ready to go!

 

The Everglades Challenge 2013 is done, results are at http://www.watertribe.com/Events/ChallengeResults.aspx.  I had a good run and was pleased to be the first solo class 2 (racing kayaks and canoes, no sail) to finish, and also led the class 1 (expedition kayaks/canoes with 1 meter sails).

Although my watertribe name is “KayakVagabond”, after the event a few people surprised me by calling me “Random Animal”.  Apparently this was coined by the highly skilled and competitive “IronBob”, who along with “TheJuice” finished first in their class in a double. I dueled with them frequently during the race. Apparently “Random Animal”  is a reference to someone new who shows up at an event and goes hard.  Hmmm — although I am much more deliberate than random, there’s worse things I have been called…. :^)

My boat and body held up just fine, although I was quick to arrange for a full massage soon after the race. Even with the massage, my lats and back muscles went into “rigamortis” a few days later and only recently have I felt like paddling again. I lost six pounds during the race even though I was eating Perpetuem every 15 minutes.

Everglades Challenge 2013

Posted by Greg on February 27, 2013

Bear Keeps a Nervous Eye -- He knows a trip is coming

“If you are not an expert paddler and/or sailor, do not enter this race. Even if you are a well-prepared expert you may DIE – yes, you may DIE. … ENTER AND PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK – And have Fun!” — Watertribe disclaimer

Press Release:
OVER 100 BOATS TO COMPETE IN WATERTRIBE EVERGLADES CHALLENGE AND ULTRA MARATHON
A 300-mile adventure race for small boats paddling and sailing from Tampa Bay to Key Largo in 8 days or less.

On Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 7a.m. over 100 small boats with over 125 experienced and intrepid mariners from around the country will launch from Fort De Soto County Park on Mullet Key just south of St. Petersburg, Florida to compete in one of two adventure races: The Everglades Challenge (EC2013) and the Ultra Marathon (UM2013).

The EC2013 is a 300-mile trek along Florida’s Gulf Coast ending in Key Largo and must be completed in eight days or less. The Ultra Marathon is about 62 miles and finishing at Cape Haze Marina in Englewood. These races are open to boats propelled by human and/or wind power only. No tows, no rides. Modern GPS tracking units allow race officials and anyone with internet access to follow each race participant in real time as they make their way along their chosen route.
“I designed the Everglades Challenge to be the toughest week long adventure/endurance race for small boats anywhere in the world,” said Steve Isaac, founder and “Chief” of the WaterTribe, which sponsors the Everglades Challenge.

DIY Footboard Upgrade

Posted by Greg on February 1, 2012

My latest DIY project was to create a full footboard to replace the skimpy original on my K1 (right).

This was a  relatively quick and inexpensive project.  First task was to make a cardboard pattern to determine the size and fit.  For the construction I used 1/2″ (12.7mm) thick birch plywood, but it’s stronger than it needs to be, 3/8″ (9.5mm)  thickness would be fine, and would save a little weight.

The only challenging part of the operation was to cut the slot for the tiller bar (rudder control) as this needs to be cut at the same angle as the slope of the footboard or the tiller will stick. My approach was to drill two holes at each end of the slot using an old-fashioned bit-brace (hand drill) with a bit the same diameter as the intended slot. To get the angle right, I placed a sliding T bevel set at 60 degrees on the stock and just eyeballed it as I drilled. A sabre saw with an adjustable base (set to 60 degrees) made quick work of cutting the waste from the slot.

There’s no such thing as a tippy boat…

Posted by Greg on January 6, 2012

 

… Only tippy paddlers.

 

At least that’s what I used to tell students …. before I tried a K1 sprint kayak.

So why a K1?  I’m working with computers again — great for cash flow and rebuilding bank accounts, but not so great for long trips and expeditions. However the silver lining is that there is plenty of time to train and complete in the local races, grow stronger, and learn some new skills. Also, my interest was piqued by what I have heard about these slender hulls.  Surf the web and you will discover comments such as “the K1 is the formula 1 of the kayaking world”,  “separates the men from the boys” , and “if you can paddle a K1 you can paddle anything!”.   While it’s best to treat what you read on the internet with healthy skepticism, that sounds like a challenge if I ever heard one!

I always find it rewarding to branch out into other aspects  of the diverse world of kayak-sport. Being a “beginner” again in a new discipline is humbling, keeps you grounded and you experience the thrill of rapidly learning and improving. That’s great fun if you have been doing something for years or if you feel your skills have plateaued.