The three Bainbridge tough guys 2014
A big shout out to Kristian Tollefson, Kevin Olney and Jeff Maloney. These three were bold enough to do the long course at Bainbridge today, and they did it well. I opted for the short course with Ted, and we were rewarded with about 10 miles of upwind and against the current paddling….not my best idea.
It'd be great if we could get more whatcom paddlers to show up for this one. I know it's a tough one to pull, either getting up early, or camping, not to mention the ferry dollars, but it's a pretty fun low key event with homemade bread and jelly.
MARC ROBERTA WHITLOCK
Not selling it, Steve :) All those negatives for bread and jelly?
It's pretty good jelly.
You forgot ribbons. Ribbons for everyone!
Yep “bread and jelly” not quite doing it justice, Steve. :) There was after all, really yummy homemade chowder and incredible mushroom soup that Race Director, Steve Bennett made as well. The things we do for food.
But re: the race itself, Steve S, so glad you, Kevin, Christian, and Ted made it down for the race (and Jeff coming up). Nice to finally meet you in person, Steve. Congrats to all. I'm always surprised that more of the Bham crew don't come down for this race, as it really is one of the premier open water races – and quintessential PNW experiences – especially on a day like today with Mt Rainier looming large (better view from my backward facing rowers perspective) and the parade of ferry boats, sailboats, yachts, etc, etc. Though it was a grueling slog up the east side of the island, due to the north wind and a big almost full moon driven 12' tide, which started surging against us half marathoners right at the start, the constant waves (unfortunately, quartering off my starboard bow unless I headed deeper into the channel) and constant boat traffic were really good practice. As it was an upwind, up-current battle for about 12 miles, not sure if I would have been better off in the ski or my rowing shell – but it was a great race.
I also had the honor of doing most of the race with Dean Williams Sr's daughter and grandson, who together did the race in their late Dads honor in a dugout canoe – as was Deans' tradition. Dean, Jr did the full marathon in Shane Baker's OC1. They all came down from Chillawac, BC to do the race and honor their dad/granddad. Watching Dean's daughter and her young teenage son handle their dugout – through the tumultuous waters was really a sight to behold. I somehow felt Deans presence smiling down on his family. (and they really kept me on my toes and very focused on staying ahead of them, but in sight, as I did not want to be out in the middle of Puget Sound by myself. (Ted and Steve were way ahead and rest of short coursers much farther back).
So, Whatcompaddlers, please do consider doing the Bainbridge Marathon or half-marathon next year (and years to come). Like Steve S said, I think you'll find it well worth the gas, long drive, and ferry fare – and Faye Bainbridge Park is a nice place to camp if you come down Friday night. Joost has often done this race and should vouch for its merit. Joost, we missed you today.
See you all next weekend,
A great race. If memory serves, Dean killed it.
And speaking of Dean, even Dean Bumstead made a guest appearance, as he and his family were on Bainbridge for his sons sailing regatta. He didn't have time to do the official course, but of course, brought his ski and said he got some good rides in.
A gorgeous place to spend a stunning Sept day.
I'd be worth going down to sample Steve's amazing mushroom soup - well I was really hungry after that slog……thank you Steve Bennett for putting that on, it was really enjoyable.
Maybe we should think about a Sound Rowers cookbook?