Launch Cost: $20 race fee
Destination: Gator Bait Reservoir Regatta Kayak Race on Barnett Reservoir.
Distance: 9 miles (round trip).
Paddle time: 1 hr, 40 minutes.
Weather: Sunny. No waves. Very little wind. Temperature was hot to searing.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.
|Header image of the racers gathering on the water waiting on the start of the race.|
|Decided to drive up to Jackson, MS to participate in the first ever Gator Bait Reservoir Kayak Race.|
|By the start time at 9:30 am, the temperatures had already gotten hot. 20-30 kayakers signed up to race.|
|Slick conditions meant no wind - hot, hot, hot.|
|Bang! The racers are on their way.|
This being the first running of this race, there were a few problems. Buoys were black making them hard to see. The Buoys were so far apart that racers didn't know where to go. The race start was split up into two waves - recreational kayaks and racing kayaks and that apparently caused some confusion. I started off with the recreational kayaks because that is how my Hobie Adventure (wide and plastic) has always been classified in other races.
I took over the lead before reaching the 2nd of 3 buoys. After rounding the last buoy, I took off toward what I though was the bridge we went under just after the start. It turned out to be the Dam and I was way off course. Sadly, people follow the leader...hehehe. After going about a mile and a quarter in the wrong direction, I finally figured it out and headed toward the correct bridge.
Despite my bonehead error, (which is quite visible on the GPS track), an hour and 40 minutes later I was the first kayak across the finish line. Yeah! Later, after cooling off, I had some good fish, listened to live music, and chatted with fellow racers. There were a lot of race volunteers to be commended. Quite a lot of work went into this putting this race together and it showed. David Moore and David Christopher get a big round of applause.
All the awards were eventually given out and my name was never called. Hmmm, isn't my kayak bib number on the top line of your finisher list? Don't I win something? After getting with the awards presenter, it was determined that I must have done another bonehead thing by starting with the recreational kayak group. Based on my type of kayak, which he classified in the Racing Class, I took 2nd place. It was all confusing to me and there were others who had similar confusions. Running a kayak race, especially for the first time, can be a challenge. I'm just happy to support anyone hosting a kayak race and was thrilled to average 5.2 - 5.3 mph for almost two hours in those hot conditions. Life is good as the heart pounds blood through the body.
For Race Results: Click Here.