Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Robe Race '08

I. The Story, In 250 Words or Less
II. The Results
III. The Photo Dump
IV. The Robe Gnome


I. The Story, In 250 Words or Less

The 1st annual Robe Canyon Downriver Race! All the elements came together & conspired to make our inaugural race successful. 18 racers & scads of volunteers & spectators gathered at Granite Falls under bluebird skies to make it happen. Watching the flow from 5.3 ft to 4.low the day before the race was a bit of a nail-biter .. but Fri/Sat's warm temps helped to stabilize the flow right at a low, but worthy, 5 ft. The day's events went off without a hitch -- no carnage, no terror, fast times, & plenty of sunburn, good times & beer for all. The Robe Gnomes remained more or less at bay. We started out of a eddy at the lip of Tunnel rapid & didn’t stop til after Conversation, on a beach where our timekeepers awaited -- a length of about 5 miles.

Once we'd all made it to the take-out & shuttles had been completed, about 30 people crammed into the back room at Omega Pizza for the after-party. Amanda B. & the timekeeping crew had kept course times a secret, opting to announce times & crown the champeens at the party.

The winners would each walk away with a super cool satin Boxing Robe (robe, get it?), as well as bragging rights for a year. The robes will be embroidered with the winners' names, & next year, will be passed on to the winners of The Robe Race '09. A new tradition is born!


II. The Results

The spread between 1st & last place was but 10 minutes. The winning time, posted by McKibbin & Hawthorne, was 33 minutes, 10 seconds! Congrats dudes & savor the sweet taste of sweet sweetness!

Rob McKibbin & Ben Hawthorne 33:10
Chris Tretwold & Ryan Bradley 34:08
John Minerich & Shane Robinson 34:43
Scott Waidelich & Nick Hinds 36:01
Erik Schertzl & Bryan Smith 36:10
Todd Gillman & Andrew Oberhardt 36:39
Jon Dufay & Brad Xanthopoulos 38:30
Ryan Terry & Matt Thomas 42:37
Jeff Bowman & Morgan Hutchings 43:46 (Robe Gnome Award)


III. The Photo Dump

Many friends have submitted photos. Due to space & time constraints, I had to just kind of pick a handful from each. Still though, there's a LOT of pics!

Andrew Oberhardt & Shane Robinson, stoked.

Organizing the shore support & timekeeping detail pre-race

Building out the team list

Most of the racers posing for group portrait at the start line

McKibbin, confident

Brad X. & Jon Dufay, not as confident as McKibbin .. but pretty sure

Devin & Hale, exhuberant

JP running Tunnel rapid

The winning team outta the gate

Glory Boof #1

Bottom of Tunnel rapid, with GB1 in foreground


3rd place finishers, Robe regulars, Shane Robinson & Johnny Utard

If there's a radar in the area, this guy's probably way under it, stompin' shit out. There's no vision like Schertlvision.

Ben H., impervious shoulders @ Little Miss Sunshine

Nick Hinds' 2nd time on The Robe

BradX @ Lil Miss

Matt "Effigy" Thomas made the trip up from Medford, OR .. & that's cool. Lise-Anne's shot of him ...

& Owen's shot of him ...

Awesome shot of 2nd place finisher Ryan Bradley on the newly-opened right line on Lil Miss

Shane Robinson, globetrotter

Me on Lil Miss (thanks Owen)

Me & Drew in the runout

boogie water

boogie water

Utah & Shane in the boogie water leading into Hotel California

Sequence of me in the manky river-right channel of Hotel Cali lead-in

Love this backlit shot of B.Smith & Schertzl in the main ledge of Hotel Cali .. nice one, Kennet.

Doof Boof

Effigy running the meat @ Catcher's Mitt

Utah, backender

"The 20-foot Waterfall" is neither

Effingham @ takeout

Then we drank beer!

Kyle Kovalick, the voice of Robe Race '08, doing emcee duty at Omega Pizza

Ammen & Stephanie Jordan .. finish line timekeepers. thanks guys!!!

Hilary N. caught in the act.


Half of winning team, Ben H., donning The Robe. His partner had to take off before the awards ceremony. This robe (& Rob's) will be embroidered with the winners' names & will be passed onto the next winners each year.

For even more stories/photos from our contributors, please follow the links below! Plunge Pool from Owen Callahan; EJ Etherington's Flickr Set; Chris Joosse's blog; Chris Tretwold & B'ham Whitewater.


IV. The Robe Gnome

Our crew is ruthless about giving each other shit. It's an equal opportunity kind of thing, but when it comes to talkin' smack about kayaking, hiking out of runs, getting destroyed in rapids, being nancies, etc., certain friends tend to take more than they actually dish out. On Robe in particular, any time someone has a bad line or swims, somehow it ends up always being blamed on the pranksterish "Robe Gnomes" that presumably lurk around some of the more notorious rapids waiting for unsuspecting victims. I don't remember exactly how the term got coined or by whom, but it definitely had something to do with Shertzl & me. It was always "Hey Shertl, beware, I hear the Robe Gnomes are feisty today!" .. or "Whoa man! That was UGLY!" "Shut it Gillman, the Robe Gnome got a hold of my stern & pulled me back into the Mitt .." something along those lines.

So, while at the post-race party, that brilliant, inebriated Ryan Terry ("RT") produced a great idea -- A prize in honor of The Robe Gnomes who get the better of the DFL team, and, of course, in honor of the DFL team itself.

So, starting with Jeff & Morgan, each year, Newt The Robe Gnome will go home with the DFL team, will spend the year with the team, & will hopefully become better friends by this time next year. The DFL team will have to take a "family portrait" & have it printed for inclusion in the photo album that will accompany the Gnome to the Race each year.

Yes, we are serious.

Ladies & gentlemen, meet Newt The Robe Gnome.


Anonymous said...

Looks Like Mr. Clean (who is over 40) made all you youngters take of the robe and bend over!

FYI: I have paddled robe - put in to take out - in less time than it took most of you to change your diapers after the race.

My adivce - start jogging a bit and do some freaking pushups and pull ups before next years race or be prepared for more out of breath humiliation .

your pal and competitor,


Anonymous said...

Correction: that is take OFF the robe and bend over.

Anonymous said...

Super fun day on the river, Ive been waiting a while to route that run like that. Im glad the race wasn't only from T1 to Landslide, but, I also wonder if counting the portage on peoples times is going be the best/safest option for future races.

Love the Robe "trophy."

Nice work on the Gnome R.T.

Stoked for next year.

Quote of the day: (refering to the length of the robe race, compared to other races) Anybody can fake it for 5 minutes, dude. -Jon D.


Todd Gillman said...

B-rock, I don't think you've earned the right to shit-talk the entire field of competitors who actually SHOWED UP to race. Need I remind everyone that you flaked out a week before race day so that you could go sea kayaking with yr college buddies & their wives? That's some questionable behavior amigo.

Having said that, Brock *is* right though -- we are totally gonna kick yr asses next year.

Chris, counting the portage is part of the race mostly because it's an inherent part of navigating The Robe Canyon from start to finish .. & because efficient portaging as a team is an actual skill that can be developed & applied outside of race day.

Bryan Smith said...

This was one of the better kayaking events I have been involved with in a long time. Huge thanks to Todd for making this happen and to all the folks who showed! The endurance and team components of the race made it a tad different than other races out there. From the race to the "Robe" ceremony, to the "Robe Gnome" this was a huge success for the Northwest paddling scene. Great to have everyone out on the river on the same day and celebrating the sport we all embrace. It was my first time on Robe in 2 1/2 years. So much fun to bomb it 4 feet of Shertzel's stern. !

Anonymous said...

I wanna see a close-up of Effigy's O'face on Owen's Sunshine pic of him. Silly Effers!

Also the 20 ft Waterfall pic is actually Garbage. Todd, maybe that would help your race time next year...yano...to get those rapids straight in yer cabeza.

Brock gets the award for most shit talked before & after the race without *actually* paddling in the race.

RT said he found another Robe Gnome in his tighty-whities.

Special thanks to all the non-racing participants. It would NOT have happened without you all.

I {heart} The Robe...and all it's Gnomes.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Shurdle. What do i win? - besides everyone's affection of course

It did look like a fine event and I am real bummed to have missed out. I really was paddling the stout reactionary whirlpools off the Shaw island topography. You all should try sea kayaking. It may make you fatser.

Whats everyone's paddling plans this weekend? Anyone motivating to BC. Bryan - is the box still in?

over out


Anonymous said...

Brawk...this race has your name all over it brother. Motivating to BC is a good idea. After all...BC is pretty sweet.


Anonymous said...

Good times for sure, looking forward to next year. I'd call river level closer to 4.85 though.


Anonymous said...

Or maybe closer to 4.87...???

Anonymous said...

No way. It was deffinitely 4.927 that day. I could tell that before I even got to the gage.

Anonymous said...

Another Robe race link.