A year in Brussels here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Storming the eastern shore

The second weekend in October was another race weekend for me. It was my second time competing in the Storm the Eastern Shore race based out of Cape Charles Virginia.

STORM the Eastern Shore race 2008 Post
The second weekend of October was also the weekend for the second and final race for me this summer. I did the Storm again with the same team as a month ago for Untamed VA and last summer by the same race organizers. The race used many of the same locations as last year for such things as the boat to bike transitions, a few checkpoints and others. And because of the painfully flat terrain, it was quite hard to really make the race much different from the previous year. Also, the navigation in the orienteering sections was different from last year. And I would say much easier.

This time we had a much better start to the race. My teammates showed up on time and we got a half decent night sleep without me having to break into their house. We started in the boat, a nice short fat paddle that quickly lead into a long rough ride out in the open mud flats. Now I will complain about the looser that rented us our kayaks. He told us we had a nice green kayak with 2 cockpits (for our double kayak, we also had a single kayak - to make seats for 3), and showed it to me Friday at check-in. But Saturday morning at the race start he dropped us a bathtub with 1 giant cockpit. And no skirts for either boat. So the rough water out in the mud flats made for some wet kayakers. And we ad to keep bailing. And bailing! Our paddle took us right out to the barrier (and mosquito) islands for some orienteering.

Then we were back into the boats for a paddle across an exposed piece of water that scared Johnny Mapquest. So I came up with a navigating shortcut to get into some sheltered water. And I am quite proud of this decision. We were able to cut into some of the barrier islands through a couple meandering streams then a quick 100m portage over a muddy mosquitoe infested exposed mud flat. Not only did we miss the swells and whitewater, but we cut probably cut out about 0.5 km of paddling. Awesome. But we were followed. People know a good idea when they see one I suppose.

The paddle was also very cold because we were so wet without our skirts and the high winds kept us chilled. At the end of this paddle was a transition to bike, that had some hot outdoor showers. These showers were heavily used. The bike section was about 110km with an easy orienteering section about halfway through.

The most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time was near the end of this section. The route I chose to get to the checkpoints took us along the beach on the bay side of the Delmarva peninsula. 2 fingers above the horizon was a very full moon and some wispy clouds above the calm water. We had joined up with another team to find 3 checkpoints and without discussion we all paused to take in the scene. Thanks for the company team #6!

After finishing the bike section it was another orienteering section where I made a judgment error, but quickly recovered and found another shortcut. Sweet. Now, I remember making 2 judgment errors Saturday evening, but I cannot remember where or what... maybe that is for the best.They were minor errors but moves I would not want to make again.

We finished the race with a sub-1-hour paddle to a 2km portage. Knowing there would be a portage in this race I built a cart before the race. It was a catastrophic failure. Ah well, back to the drawing board.


Blogger Kristenn said...

Great race report OO! Sounds like a fun time! If you want to race on some hills you know where to find 'em! :)

10/31/2008 11:07 PM  

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