Pyranha Logo
facebook twitter vimeo




First Narrows Race

Exactly three years to the day I watched my first Green Race I found myself in the Gallimore parking lot with my 10 foot purple Pyranha Mountain 300 listening to Jason Hale shout out his renown pre-race messages. It was amazing to see so many great boaters who have helped form the history of the Green, and humbling as well.
I had one goal for the day: to finish the race. After shoulder surgery in January, I had started running Gorilla in August only to aggravate the joint again. I had put in close to 40 runs of Gorilla when the week before the race I made the discovery that I had lost enough range of motion that I couldn’t sweep my paddle out to roll on my right side.
I swam out of the bottom of Gorilla two days in a row after a perfect season. It was devastating and brought a lot of self doubt and humiliation.
I knew I had put the time in and could run every line on the river forward and backwards.
Knowing that Tommy Hillike would be setting live bait at the bottom of Gorilla added that extra bit of confidence. I was going to come up one way or another.
At 12:52, I jetted out from the pool above Frankenstein and was off. It was amazing, my focus was clear, lungs and muscles burning, I set up for the notch. My strategy was to go left of center off the launch pad to miss speed trap at the bottom but I went a little too deep in the notch. My line off the pad was great, but when I flipped at the bottom and set up to roll, I realized my boat was FULL of water. As the live bait crew grabbed me, it became apparent I had a skirt implosion somewhere between the notch and the trough. They helped me bail my boat, plopped me back in, and I tore off to finish the race with a less than ideal time of 7:20.
After hours and hours of training, I was disappointed with the implosion, but at the same time, considered myself fortunate that I was able to finish and be a part of such a cool event.
The biggest part of me wanted to hike back up and get a redo…. but I guess I’ll have to wait till next year.