Blackburn Challenge Wrap-Up

Couldn’t ask for better weather. Cloudy and not too hot, wind really of no consequence. I’ll cover the race from most crazy to least crazy, just the highlights. The full spreadsheet of race results go to Cape Ann Rowing Club Web site here.

First up, the Stand Up Paddle. Local Bay Viewer, Gloucester Will Rich put down a time of 3 hours 57 minutes last year. Less than 4 hours all the way around Cape Ann. Standing up. That is crushing it. So this year he cut that down to 3:37:45 on a SUP. That is officially the most crazy.

Next up, the boats that should not be on an ocean with waves. Sliding seat racers, single and doubles as well as some of the high performance kayaks (HPK) look like they would be insane to paddle with any chop. Place rubber duck in any of them and they would flip in 10 seconds. But Daniel Gorriaran and Scott Whitney posted the best time in a sliding seat racing double at 2:19:54. Are you serious? (But not a Blackburn record. 2009 a sliding seat racing double did it in 2:15. Not sure if that is the overall record. A BC historian could comment and I will correct.)

And last but not least, Rubber Duck. Well, totally improving each year. Here are her times the past four years: 2009 DNS “did not start”, she had bronchitis. Quack. 2010; 5:30 there was beer left in the keg, that was fun. 2011; 5:22 Ed, the duck, and I stop at Andrews Point for a beer and also finished before the keg is done. Cool. 2012; 4:49 OK, cutting off enough time to get under 5 hours and I didn’t fall in the water getting out. The best part is Rubber Duck paddled past Jimmy T before the DogBar Breakwater. I am sure it wasn’t because he saw the rubber one pass him but he definitely picked it up in the last two miles in the harbor but the rubbery one held him off finishing just 25 seconds ahead of him. Mister Tarantino was in a Banks Dory that was more than a few hundred pounds heavier than Rubber Duck’s kayak but pwnd is pwned.

Next year Rubber Duck goes under 4:30 heading for under four hours by 2015. Gotta set goals.

As always the Cape Ann Rowing Club did a superb job officiating and taking care of every racer’s needs, even a slow whiny duck. Best pulled pork ever.  See you next year on the Essex River. Time for a nap.

ps. Only 362 days (unconfirmed July 13, 2013) until the 27th Blackburn Challenge. Start your training now!

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