Sunday, October 03, 2004

Ohioplye Beatdown

I joined Mark Saturday night so that we would be ready Sunday morning to do our volunteer work at the Ohiopyle Over the Falls Festival. We put in our four four hours which mostly meant we sat around and talked to people while wearing our falls fest t-shirts over our sweat shirts (it was cold!). I, for the record, was too lazy and to self conscious to run the falls in front of the big crowd that had gathered. After his successful hand paddling run of the UY the previous day, Mark decided to go ahead and do it again. Below is his account of the run:

While thinking about it I got the image of the picture I wanted taken of me running the falls (they had a photographer taking shots right below the falls): boat completely vertical looking at the camera with my hand paddles making moose ears and a stupid expression on my face.

After getting in the boat and running the short, but pretty fun, entrance rapid I got to the large eddy above the falls and decided that it was pretty blind from up there (there’s a rapid right above the falls that hides the falls from the eddy above). So I waited and watched where another person went over the horizon line into the rapid above the falls. After getting the go signal I peeled out and went over the drop, I remembered from looking at the shore that I would want to maintain a little left angle and punch a hole just before going over the drop so I did that and the next thought I had was…..I need to make sure I get my shot.

So without any concern about the landing or running the drop correctly I stopped paddling (no boof or control stroke here) and just stuck my paddles next to my head and pushed the boat completely vertical! We got a video, and it’s a beautiful image, me sailing out into the air, paddles next to my head, and boat penciling in hard right into the curtain. Slamming into the water I went deeeepp….I had a moment to reflect and realize that I probably should have at least given a moments thought to how this plan was going to affect my landing…but too late now. I came out pretty much how I went in…vertical right under the curtain.

The hole below the falls began kicking me to river left and I felt a moment of calm so I decided to roll up, just as I was almost completely up I slipped under the second heavy section of water coming over the falls, feeling no unlike a being hit by a bag full of foam covered hammers this one imploded my spray skirt and ripped one of the hand paddles off of my hand. The boat instantly filled with water and I immediately disappeared into the foam. As I again went down I was laughing the whole way realizing how hilarious this must look from the shore. Based on the video I was down for about 13 seconds before the float bags in the back of the boat finally brought me back up to the surface, my first great mystery move, I may yet be a squirt boater!

This time luckily I was beyond the falls, with my one hand paddle and water laden boat I rolled up to many cheers. On the video you can hear one guy on the observation deck yelling “oh my god he’s still in his boat, he’s still in his boat!”. I got the pleasure of waving and laughing as people around cheered me as I SLOWLY paddled 60 gallons of water to shore. I even managed to get my other hand paddle back! So my first priority was…the shot! I had to see it! It was perfect I knew it would look awesome. So we waited until they had processed the pictures and we went to look. After about 20 minutes of going over all the pictures….and going over them again…..and again, I found out there was no shot…he had missed me! In all my glory (and I’m told the only hand paddler that day and one of two for the entire weekend) penciling into my certain beatdown it would have been beautiful! But alas it was not to be! I got a video so at least there’s graphic evidence of my beating complete with gasps from the crowd, but nothing to hang on the wall! Just my luck!


View the VIDEO here (warning: 14 MB)

Mark post run - still in his boat

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter code
low cost web hosting

Locations of visitors to this page