Monday, May 06, 2013

1st Ever Lester River Kayak Race 2013


One reason I love Duluth is the fact there are a whole host of adventurous activities that go on "IN" the city limits.  Ice Climbing, Mountain Biking, Skiing, XC skiing, Hiking, Climbing and of course Whitewater Kayaking.....yup whitewater kayaking.

Talk to any hard core kayaker in the area and they will tell you that the city itself hosts some amazing steep creeking, and when the water is up the paddlers are charging.

So it was really cool to hear that some of the more veteran paddlers decided to hold a Steep Creek race on the Lester River.  Not your typical race, this course had multiple 20 foot plus drops, some technical rapids and even the "flat water" would challenge most neophyte paddlers.

Zimny and Decker and the crew did it right.  Permits, insurance, safety boaters and even a last minute course change signaled that this was not a bunch of rookies looking to shred the gnar.  These guys were dialed and it showed.  With 19 racers heading down what can only be called an "extreme" course they ended the day with zero trips to the hospital and no trips to the morgue.

As a photographer it was a dream.  You could not have a more scenic river and a more interesting subject matter.

Thanks to the paddling crew for the awesome event and congrats for pulling it off.  If I were a jealous man, I would say I am most jealous of the folks that were able to paddle that stuff as I will NEVER be in that crowd!

That said, though what a cool crew, the whitewater gang gets huge props in my book.  They play hard, throw down on the river, party hard and hang tight....

Busted nose

Nate Heydt goes Swooooshhhhhhh!

Yup, look closely.  There is a kayaker under there.
If you swim, you drink....out of your river bootie! Ross Herr and Chris Baer getting their stomachs ready.
Thumping the deeps...just another Dtown urban paddling gem


Rich Hoeg said...

Sorry I missed the race, but I did take a video of some kayakers shooting the same waterfall at the Deeps 8 days ago. Here is the link:

Anonymous said...

I'm planing a trip at Duluth and I would like to exercise White Water Kayaking at Lester River. Can you help me where to find a school?