Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jim Rada Memorial Race

Jim Rada Memorial Race
Location: Presque Isle river camping
Date: 5-2-09

The Rada Race is truly a special time of year. This race was started to remember a man who pioneered many of the rivers we paddle today. Jim Rada, a teacher who loved the outdoors and being on the water. His passion for paddling lives on still to this day through the paddlers of today, bringing together people from all over to celebrate the joy of paddling.

Rada Race competitors

This year was the largest turn out yet! With 11 competitors and many more spectators, there was plenty of entertainment to go around. Manabezho falls definitely served up some interesting entertainment, everything from an unintentional back deck roll off the lip to a Dynamic Duo run off the falls...

John McConville pitbike racing

Getting back to the races, there were 2 events. A timed race from the bottom of the first big slide down to the bottom of Manabezho falls. Top 5 from that did a head to head from the base of the falls down Zome flume and into Lake Superior. The Head to Head was definitely my favorite event, with Nate Herbeck, Jorge Stinebock, Andy McMurray, Chris Baer, Nathan Borth and myself all battling it out for 1st. Not even 1 second into the race Andy and I were both trying to pop each others skirts. Getting that out of our systems we charged over the first ledge... Making our way into Zome flume I went for the pass on Chris but took a bamboo paddle blade to the chest keeping me from moving up in the world. Before to long it was all over and Jorge was in the lead by a mile! I think he had a better start than most of us, congrads on the win Jorge. All said and done we started popping each others skirts and tipping each other over. Must have had 7 swimmers floating into Lake Superior at one point! After a lot of swimming and jumping into the river everyone made it back up for another group run down the last mile.

Nathan Borth and John McConville Dynamic Duo Manabezho Falls

Its days like this that will bring me back to these root beer colored rivers for years to come. As if the day shouldn't get any better, Nathan and I ran the entire last mile of the Press in a Dynamic Duo. Big thanks to Neal Schroeter at Whitecap Kayak for letting us borrow that amazing boat for the afternoon. I was super nervous about taking a 2 person kayak over a 22 foot waterfall. Definitely didn't want to land flat or pencil in due to the shallow landing. After running the first few rapids we both felt super comfortable and confident in the boats ability to handle the task at hand. So we fired it up and stomped her down with a perfect 45 degree entry. Talk about redefining the meaning of team work, both Nathan and I were ecstatic after our amazing run over the falls. Down through Zome flume and into the lake for another perfect day on the Presque Isle. Ending the night with storys from the day around a big warm fire, I sleep well looking forward to the next day to come... the Black

~John McConville

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