I just got done competing at the Northwest Creeking Competition. It's the biggest and most fun event to race at on the west coast.
I'm not just saying that because I won all three races. By far the most fun race to compete in was at Canyon Creek. The water was high! During practice there were three swimmers out of the same hole.
There was an eight person mass start above the gorge. Mass start races are very difficult to have a fair start because there is always a faster current, and eight people can't all start on it. After the start I found myself 2nd to last. I had a bad start as my position in the lineup was out of the fastest current, and in shallower water. This was my mistake as I should have more aggressively jockeyed for position before the race started.
I was hoping that I would have enough time to pass the 6 people ahead of me in the course of the 10 minute race. But I wasn't certain because I knew Darren was real fast, and currently he was in the lead. After each pass I would catch up to another racer and wait for them to make a small mistake that would give me the opportunity to make my pass.
About half way through the race I passed third place and caught up to Darren, who was leading the race. My plan was to wait for him to make a mistake, or tap his stern near an eddy to spin him out. The only problem with my plan was that he wasn't making any mistakes, and wasn't giving me the right opportunity to spin him out. I realized that I couldn't count on him making a mistake for me to make my pass. So after we exited a rapid and entered a small pool I figured I would attempt my pass sprinting through the flat-water. I successfully completed the pass just as we entered the next rapid.
Now I just needed to have clean lines and the race was mine.
Thanks to all the race organizers and sponsors that made made this event happen!