2010 Great Falls Race Hector Picart photos
Sam Kane Brown Clawing after avoiding disaster!
My winning short boat run at Horseshoe Photo by Jack Carter
Paddlers in Dagger boats took all six podium positions in this year’s Great Falls Race, sweeping both the long boat and short boat classes in Green Boats and Nomads. The Great falls race is held annually as part of the Potomac Whitewater Festival, which is a fundraiser for American Whitewater, and is one of the longest running extreme kayak races, first held in 1993 . Great Falls on the Potomac River is a spectacular series of cataracts with a multitude of channels and drops that are runnable depending on the river level. This year’s race was held on the Maryland side of the falls,( the Potomac forms the border of Maryland and Virginia) which consists of Pummel Falls a tricky 15 ft drop at this level, pencil sharpener, a narrow twisting 2 step drop, and culminating with horseshoe, a 8 ft U shaped ledge which creates a very nasty hole. Racers had a qualifying run which cut the field to the top ten paddlers in each class, followed by the finals which had an extended course.
The overall champion this year was Geoff Calhoun, followed closely by Slalom Olympian Scott Parsons, and me in third. Geoff surprised everyone with his win since he hadn’t been on whitewater since October because of shoulder surgery and he made his decision to race minutes before the race started. Carnage was minimal this year except for Sam Kane's close call with Horseshoe which he avoided with a spectacular save.
Complete Results: http://www.potomacfest.com/results/2010/greatfallsrace
Olympian Scott Parsons showing his guns on his way to 2nd place Jack Carter photos
Thanks goes out to Risa Shimoda and all the other volunteers who organized the 2010 Potomac Whitewater Festival . Many thanks as well to Tom McEwan ( who had the first descent of Great Falls in 1978) and Nate Nahikian from Liquid Adventures Kayak School for organizing and timing the Great Falls Race.
See you on the river!