Recap: 2013 Wind River Festival

Paddlers gather just below the Finish Line

The Wind River Festival can be described as CHAOS. Chaos in the form of a mass start as paddlers leave the Starting Line together, and rally downstream all at once. Such was the case the last few years, and one could only continue the tradition in 2013.

The Upper Wind River is considered Class IV/IV+, depending on water levels. It is generally a six mile run, that begins in the flatwater near Carson, Washington, and quickly picks up its pace as its rapids become continuous. Rapids feature boulder gardens, boofs, big water, and sometimes, sticky holes. It’s an active stretch of river, and the perfect location for a race.

Keeping with tradition, the Upper Wind River Festival features short and long boat kayak races, as well as cataraft and raft races. The race itself begins at Stabler, and finishes about 2.5-3 miles downstream in the flats below “Climax”. The first race of the Western Whitewater Championship Series, it is unique. It is a mass start, and is absolute CHAOS, as paddlers from across the Northwest show up to test their skills.

Wind River Safety Meeting

Over thirty paddlers gathered for the racer’s meeting, learning the do’s and dont’s, and doing their last-minute stretches.

K1 Men’s Short Boat Start

Cards were drawn, declaring start order with Aces, 2 and 3’s starting downstream from Jacks, Queens and Kings. Paddler’s lined up facing the bank, forcing paddlers to start switch. This led to an interesting men’s start, with over half the field back-paddling for the first hundred yards. The Men’s race was a fight until the end between 25 paddlers, with Dan Rubado coming across the line in first, quickly followed by Trevor Sheehan, and Laurence Rosen.

Short Boat Men making their way through the Horn

Short Boat Men making their way through the Horn

The women’s start of 9 paddlers was much more calm, save for the Dynamic Duo captained by Nicole Mansfield and Katrina Van Wijk. The countdown was given and on go, the ruckus began!

 

Myself paddling hard through the Horn

Raft and cataraft races followed with Zach Collier of NW Rafting winning the cat race, and Tim Brink of ORT and his team, winning the R2 event.

Tim Brink and Jeffrey Steeler of ORT make their way through Ram’s Horn

Special Thanks to ORT and Next Adventure for Organizing the event, and for the scrumptious post-event BBQ and activities!

The scene at the takeout

The scene at the takeout

Final Results: 

Men’s Short Boat (minute.second):

1. DAN RUBADO 22

2. TREVOR SHEEHAN 22.18

3. LAURENCE ROSEN 22.26

4. LEWIS HOOKER 22.41

5. JOSH OBERLEAS 22.53

6. LEIF ANDERSON 22.58

7. TIM THORTON 23.03

8. JESSE BECKER Not recorded

9. HARRISON REA  23.15

10. NATE MERRILL 23.19

11. NATHAN HERBECK 23.45

12. MICHAEL FREEMAN 23.24

13. PATRICK HIGGINS 24.15

14. ANDREW TAYLOR 24.27

15. BEN ROBERTS PRENEL 24.58

16. DAVID WELLS 25

17. SPENCER MANK 25.48

18. EDWARD (TED) WALZ 25.59

INGMAR PROKOP Not recorded

EVAN SMITH Not recorded

LUCAS RIETMAN Not recorded

PAUL GILLINGHAM Not recorded

EZRA TEAL Not recorded

JAMIE ALBERT Not recorded

JACK O’MALLEY Not recorded

Women’s K1 Short Boat (minute.second):

1. KIMBERLY BECKER 22.34

2. HEATHER HERBECK 24.09

3. ERIN CLANCEY 24.34

4. ELIZABETH TOBEY 25.59

5. DOVE MILLER 27.19

JONI RANDALL Not recorded

ANNA HERRING Not recorded

KATRINA VANWIJK & NICOLE MANSFIELD 22.35 (DISQUALIFIED FROM TOP 3 RANK DUE TO BOAT LENGTH)

Men’s Long Boat (minute.second):

1. TRAVIS COWLES 21.34

2. JOE STUMPFEL 21.54

3. NATE BELL Time not recorded

Women’s Long Boat (minute.second):

1. CHRISTIE EASTMAN 22.55

2. SUSAN HOLLINGSWORTH Time not recorded

Men’s Cataraft (minute.second): 

1. ZACH COLLIER 27.32

2. BOB HUNT AND DAVID ALLEN 30.03

Men’s R2 Raft (minute.second):

1. JAMIE CRONE AND TIM BRINK 26.04

2. JEFFERY STEEHLER AND GREG BABIKOFF 28.20

3. TODD COLLINS AND DAVID SACQUETY 28.51

4. BRYAN CARRINGTON AND DAVID SUTHERLAND 29.11

5. JOHN WATKINS AND TIM WEAVER 30.57

6. MARTIN AND DEREK KAMAHOAHOA 31.57

7. PETER GRIEVES AND SCOTT MICHAEL 32.00

8. MATT LINDLAND AND BRUCE REED 37.50

See you on the river,

 

Kim Becker

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About Kim

Kim Becker is a professional whitewater kayaker with a passion for any form of river play. A Bend, Oregon native, she grew up paddling (11 years ago!), and will always have a soft spot in her heart for the Deschutes River. She is 2010 and 2011 Women's Champion of the Western Whitewater Championship Race Series. She paddles for Wave Sport Kayaks, AT Paddles, Kokatat Watersports Wear, Snap Dragon Designs, and FiveTen.