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Calaghan creek race bc at Steve Rogers Photography Blog

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Calaghan Creek Race 2011

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Wednesday, July 20. The Callaghan was too high to paddle. With the massive snowpack that fell during the winter of 2010/2011 and the dismal summer that we’ve been having in southwest BC it really looked like the Callaghan Race would have to diverted to a race on the upper Cheak because of high water – a bit of a bummer after all the training runs and the stoke that had been building for the few weeks prior to the event.

Just 2 days later the rain stopped, it stayed cloudy and it got very cool – Mother Nature realized how nice it would be to have a race on the Callaghan and basically turned off the taps, dropping the Callaghan down every day thereafter. While we were still uncertain what to do on Friday night, we got there on Saturday morning to see the level had dropped out to almost the same level as the race in 2010 – game on!

The morning started out with one of the best parts of the weekend – a massive group paddle down the river, with about 20-25 bodies on the water checking out the lower water level and cheering each other on.

Once 4pm rolled around, 8 teams decided to challenge the river and each other, with participants from all over BC and Alberta. This year we were graced with no carnage during the race with clean runs all around (well, clean runs were had by the racers….). Maxi and Ric, two summertime Whister locals, walked away with the win, absolutely smashing the winning time from the year before by about 30 seconds. Perhaps most impressive is the short time span between the winners and everyone who came after – some of these guys only ran the Callaghan 2 or 3 times prior to firing up the race. Congratulations to everyone who participated!

Here are the full results:

Maxi Kniewasser/Ric Moxon – 15:43
Sam Ricketts/Greg Dashper – 16:09
Mark Basso/Mikkel St. Jean-Duncan – 16:13
Matt Kompass/Andrew Slater – 17:07
Ali Marshall/Steve Arns – 18:00
Hector Darby Maclellan/Chris Ryman – 18:36
Adrian Kiernan/Jared Taylor – 18:37
Shane Kroeger/Paul Harwood – 19:19

I think it’s fair to say the 2nd Callaghan Race was a great success. Perfect weather, good flows, an excellent crew of participants, volunteers and spectators and of course a great after party made for a one hell of a day. What next year will hold in terms of weather and water is always a question (maybe it will be a bit lower for a change!), but there’s no doubt that the Callaghan Race is here to stay.

Calaghan Creek Race

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The Callaghan race this past Saturday was a resounding success! Despite some worries about water levels and an organizational hiccup days before the race the local community came together to throw a fantastic grass-roots event with beautiful summer weather, a perfect water level and a great turnout of both competitors and spectators. Water levels dropped from a high medium to a perfect medium just in time for the race making the course far more manageable than days before.

I went along to shoot some photos for the race and to generally hang out and boat with all the folk who turned up to celebrate the Creek.

Calagahan Creek is the defacto afterwork classic for Whistler locals and is a classic Southwest BC run that draws kayakers from across the globe to paddle it’s perfect waterfalls. Read Steve Arns’ of Liquid Lores description of the run

The race itself went really well – when the dust settled the team of Kurt Braunlich and Fred Norquist took the title down to Bellingham until next year – great work guys! The top three teams all finished within 30 seconds of one another. Also notable is Mark Basso’s finish with a broken and sinking boat from a small piton while still coming in third place and Maxi Kniewasser and Ric Moxon racing without posting a time after putting in a valliant effort to get to the start line in time but just coming in 5 minutes to late (we were all relieved that we didn’t have to compete against these monsters…).

Check out some shots below from the race. I experimented with using the new Fuji Instax 210 wide to grab some portrait and personality shots for the race. What a fun little toy that turned out to be. The others were taken off the Nikon D3S.

Here are the competitors times for the whole length of the Calaghan Creek ! Next time you paddle the creek and spend 3 hrs scouting it all bear in mind these times ! :-)

Fred Norquist – Kurt Braunlich – 16:55
Matt Kompass – Ben Hawthorne – 17:09
Mark Basso – Benjamin Hjørt – 17:23
Greg Dashper – Mikael Aubin – 17:29
Jakub Drnec – Matt Mackinnon – 18:17
Jordie Mackenzie – Bryce Shaw – 18:31
Spencer Cox – Sean Allen – 20:05
Ali Marshall – Steve Arns – 23:40
Jonas Grünewald – Leif Embertson – DNF

3rd Ben Hawthorne and Matt Kompass