Charles City Challenge 2019

 In Events

– Hannah Ray J
The initial weather forecast called for a rainy weekend. As the 8th Annual Charles City Challenge event neared, the weather forecast changed its tune and the rain held off for another day!

I arrived a day early to help set up for the event. Placing the targets for in river races, getting oranges for the Orange Race and placing the stage in the perfect spot! I also hosted a trash pick up at the park Friday afternoon with visiting paddlers and local citizens joining together to pick up the riverside. Some of the most interesting trophy trash pieces found were; barbed wire, a foam snowflake, an oil jug, and a 20 dollar bill found by Tom!

Saturday am, the day of the event, was bustling with people and paddlers. Placing the finishing touches on the event set up, organizing the participant sign ups, and getting the quiver laid out for the fun filled day.

The overcast but rain-free day started off with boater cross and SUP cross. Men and Women navigated the course in a mass start event with targets placed to test their river skills.

Hannah Ray J 1st, Sidney Bendzick 2nd, Sheryl Swicontek 3rd
Jason Tharp 1st, Tim Bendzick 2nd

Next up in the action was the freestyle kayak rodeo. Followed by the river surf comp. Surfers staged in the eddy at DD Wave in a jam style session. Utilizing their rides to catch the wave and surf it up for the crowd!

Surf Comp Results

Hannah Ray J 1st, Emara Perreault 2nd, Emily Perreault 3rd
1st Kris Perreault, 2nd Klayten Perreault & Tim Bendzick

Following the river surf comp was the Orange Race! A mass start, head to head downriver 2 person team sprint on the paddlers’ craft of choice. Teammate A starts above the whitewater course, then races downstream through Double D Wave and Tew Shanez, eddying out on river left to meet their teammate waiting on the river bank. Once teammate A reaches teammate B, they may exit their craft and devour 1 orange between them as fast as they can. Once cleared that the orange is gone, teammate B may jump in their craft above Tew Shanez and race to the finish target below Exit Exam. The scramble of bodies, boards and boats is quite the scene!

After the river competitions, participants gathered at the main stage for award hardware and the prize drawing! Sheryl Swicontek was one of the lucky winners called early on in the drawing. She chose the Badfish WAVO as her prize and promptly took it out for a surf on DD Wave!

Concluding the day, I hosted the annual river surf clinic with a handful of eager-to-surf students. The Badfish IRS and WAVO were the favorite boards of choice. Everyone was able to catch DD wave with varying amounts of success; celebrating each surfers progress with cheers and smiles all around.

-Hannah

PC: Marty Colbert

Charles City Challenge 2019

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