Saturday, April 17, 2010

04/17/2010 - BluzCruz Kayak Race

Launch: Madison Parish Port
Finish: Downtown Vicksburg
To see or download the GPS track to this kayak race, Click Here.

Header Image

1) The BluzCruz Kayak Race (22 Miles) down the mighty Mississippi River. This photo, taken at Madison Port is where everyone was preparing for race launch after being shuttled from Vicksburg- about 50 boats total.

2) The US Coast Guard SHUT DOWN about 20 miles of the Mississippi River to all boat traffic and 2 miles of the Yazoo River for the race. The only boats moving on the water were support boats. Many praises to the Coast Guard and support vessels! My thanks also go to the organizers and volunteers.

3) Racers beginning to line up for the start of the race.

4) The wide Mississippi River. If you click on the thumbnail, you might be able to detect a small speck in the middle of the photo - that is the nearest racer to the front of me. It was difficult to tell where the fastest current was in a river this wide and with vast distances between kayakers, it was hard to follow the person in front. Near the turn up the Yazoo River, the kayaker minutes ahead of me misjudged the turn (he also didn't have anyone to follow), and the river current ended up pushing him beyond the turn causing him to fight to go upstream to reach the Yazoo river entrance. I ended up minutes ahead of him. A planned GPS track uploaded to the GPS saved me from making the same mistake.

5) Despite the slick waters, when passing channel markers, one realized how fast the water was flowing (3-5 mph).

6) This is the finish area in Downtown Vicksburg (taken after the event was over). Behind the trees is the boat ramp where racers exited the Yazoo River.

7) Waters levels are still high as seen here with trees in the Yazoo River.

8) A few of the racers who had energy left were seen meandering through the streets of downtown Vicksburg enjoying Riverfest which is much like the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival except Riverfest features live music in the evening.

9) This is a photomerge of the levee wall full of huge painted murals. The finish to the kayak race was behind this wall. You may have to scroll to see all this photo after clicking on the thumbnail image. Vicksburg has done a great job with their river side attractions. The race weather was perfect - this was a nice event.

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