Saturday, June 18, 2011

06/18/2011 - Mississippi State Game Kayak Races

Header image is a photomerge showing the low profile of Deer Island with many dead pine tree trunks still standing. There were a lot of Deer flies over on Deer Island.

1) About 30-40 kayakers head toward the race line buoys to wait for the start of the first race. Conditions were not the best for racing.

2) The race route took us along the shoreline close to the bridge in the background, turn around and come back to the start point, then do the same loop a second time for a total distance of a little less than 3 miles. The second race was only 1 loop down to the bridge and back. For more photos of the two races, see Jan Dastugue's photos. Long Race, Short Race.

3) The Ocean Springs Kayak Festival was held in conjunction with the Mississippi State Games. Kayak training sessions were available. Kayaks were also available for rent. These kayaks were lined up for a training session later in the day.

4) Kim Reinike started the kayak races in this area 20 years ago. Kim sits in a sharp looking Epic V8 surfski.

5) The kayak races were held at Fort Maurepas park in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

6) Left to right: Myself, Maggie and Rich did good in the medal department representing the Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak Club. Surprisingly, I crossed the finish line first in the long race. The super fast surf ski participants were struggling to stay upright so their speed suffered. Their capsizes led me to victory. The Hobie Adventure is a fast kayak and it has a distinct advantage because I both pedal and paddle at the same time.

7) There were plenty of rental kayaks out in the waters off Ocean Springs.

8) I later pedaled over to look at a few of the casinos along the beach.

9) Since I was already at Ocean Springs, Deer Island kept beckoning me to kayak over for a visit, so despite being tired from racing, I made the 2 mile trek across Biloxi Bay. There were signs of serious erosion along some the shoreline. There used to be soil up to where the root branches go horizontal. Do you see the ducks in this photo? 

10) There were many osprey eagle nests atop the dead pine trees. Hurricanes take their toll on barrier island trees. For every live pine tree there must have been ten dead ones.

11) Thanks to Jan Dastugue who took this photo, here I am about to cross the finish line in first place in the Hobie Adventure kayak.

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