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2012 FIBArk Downriver Races

by Michael Hyde

June 19, 2012 -- Salida, CO

It has been an unquestionably rough year for water here in Colorado. A lot of folks will point at “Global Warming”, but in truth it is just another drought year that hits about every 11 to 13 years. If you’re from here and grew up here, you would know this. Be that as it may, when you get lemons; you make the best lemonade possible. That is what happened with the 2012 Fibark Boat Races. Low water, rocks, hard to read channels, and hot air with a blessed tail wind made for some very fine racing. The finish times were probably some of the longest on record, but it took nothing away from what these athletes did this past Sunday. The numbers were a little down for the participants, but that did not dissuade those who came ready to race.

There was a battle to be had in the 26-mile. Andy Corra, Gary Lacy, Jeremy Rogers, and this darned Dutch kid upstart; Victor den Haan. Old and older and young and younger, this is a sport where age and youth don’t account for as much as wisdom, knowledge and years of training do. However, the will to win trumps all.

It is always interesting to see the mass start, boats and people can be broken easily. But as this race shook out and those of us who waited at the finish line saw it unfold, there were surprises to be had. Andy Corra came across the line first in Cotopaxi with a 2:51:00 time. He was followed by (wait a minute, can this be right?) the upstart Dutchman, Victor den Haan at 3:01:41! Gary Lacy rounded out the top 3 finishers at 3:02:58. C1M National Champion, Pieter Kabzan won the C1M with a time of 3:20:26.06, which in a C-boat at this level was huge and impressive. His poor knees are probably still hurting.

Earlier, in the 10-mile Downriver Race

Bill Griffith of Denver, Colorado had the top finish in a Dagger “Green Boat”. Bill got a pretty good jump at the start of the race as the race director let loose both the DR boats and the SUP board racers at the same time (not so sure if that was the best idea – but it was great for carnage watching). 11 year old Henry Hyde worked his way through that mess and cranked up the paddle to break away from the herd and press Bill Griffith. It was a hard pull for Henry and he managed to keep Bill in view, but Bill had a about a 4 or 5 minute jump. In the end, Bill won the Rec Boat class and Henry won the Race Boat class with a time of 1:26:20.

Click here for the complete results