March 31, 2012 – I visited the Jock River Race official site (http://www.jockriverrace.ca/) again today. I knew that they have decided that the lack of snow cover and no ensuing rainfall to speak of had forced them to move the date for the race ahead to today’s date. No indication this morning that the race might have been canceled so I’m off with my camera to see what interesting action I might be able to capture again this year.
11AM – Weather is a bit cool at the moment (+3C) but there is very little wind blowing and the sun is shining so it should be a pretty nice day for a race. The website warns that a few more rocks have begun to appear in the last couple of days so getting through without scraping bottom might be a challenge and racers might require a bit more technical skill today rather than just brute force and endurance :-).
I walked up and down the shoreline last night trying to decide where to set up for today’s race. Some of my previous shooting spots were high and dry this year. Because the water was quite a bit lower this year, I decided to position myself closer to the start of the race and, for the shots that follow, I would have probably been standing in a foot or two of water in other years, rather than enjoying firm, dry, riverbank underfoot, as I was this year.
I’ve included a couple of wide angle shots above of the river at this point to give my friends, who normally compete each year, an idea of what it looked like this year at the first significant narrowing below the start line.
It was not too long before the first competitors could be seen upriver. Then, things got a bit interesting, as both teams tried to be first through the small rapids.
After these two canoes got through, there were only a few instances where things got a bit congested at my little corner of the river, but no one capsized and no boats collided so it was rather uneventful :-(.
The following shots are of the competitors in the order that they went past my spot near the start of the race. I do not know the final standings since it was a staggered start. These images are posted here for information and enjoyment. Feel free to pass along the link to others. Full copyright rules apply.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Leon – TotalPhoto.ca – but I do know him and get along quite well with him i.e. if you are looking for photos taken by Leon of TotalPhoto, these are not them – 🙂 )
Also, feel free to click on any of the side bar links to see our photos of our travels in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean or places closer at home here in North America. For those who like the water to be a bit rougher, take a look at my uploads from the 2007 World Freestyle Kayak event at Beachburg, Ontario.
Hope everyone made it safely to the finish line – RON.
The last of the race entrants appear to be on their way into the Richmond fen and no Santa Claus on the horizon so time to pack up and head back to the cars.
Opps! Here comes another one. Probably a late starter.
One more still to come and then here comes the sweeper crew :-).
For those in the National Capital Commission area of Canada, YCCC.CA = The Y Canoe Camping Club.
With the last of the competitors past my point near the start line, I turned my attention to getting to the finish line. The race itself takes a little over an hour for the top competitors to complete. For the more leisurely competitors, the goal is to get to the finish line before the sweep boat. The sun was still shining, Spring was in the air, and this year’s sweep boat paddlers were in no hurry.
I arrived at the finish line with lots of time to spare. Even had time to take a look at the flow over the lower rapids where it would be tough to escape this year without a scratch or two on the hull.
A very large flock of geese caught everyone’s attention at about the time that the first boat was expected to come into sight and that got the binoculars busy in a hurry.
The competitors had a staggered start so the first across the finish line would not necessarily be the winner. I waited for the first few competitors to finish and then helped with shuttling participants back to the start line to pick up their cars. The weather continued to be fabulous.
The first Jock River race that I photographed was the 2009 event and so far I don’t have any photos of anyone falling out of their canoes during the Jock River events 🙁 .
Next year, I think I’ll look for another location – maybe the start line itself where someone invariably holds onto the rope and falls prey to the current.
That’s all for my photo uploads from this year’s 2012 Upper Jock River Canoe/Kayak race. Hope everyone got to the finish line safely and had a good day – Ron
Okay, one last shot for the 2012 event. The first of the three Spirits gets to the finish line :-).