Ohiopyle Falls Race

In late September, we were talked into going up to Ohiopyle by Hank and Sally to run the lower section of Youghiogheny River on Saturday and then David let Hank talk him into the Ohiopyle Falls race on Sunday. The idea behind the race is to find a way to allow some competent boaters to run the falls which are normally off limits. The park police are OK with having the falls opened to boaters two days a year with some fairly tight supervision (and eveyone signing a waver).

We drove up Friday night and met Hank and Sally at the campground (where they had kindly set up our tent) around midnight. Saturday we ran the lower Yough (with Hank taking his wildwater boat out at the end of the loop for a pratice run of the falls before catching up with us around Dimple Rapids). Sunday we cleared out of the campground and joined the fray for the race. David decided after two practice runs that he had gotten his money's worth out of the day; while Hank held on for a chance to run in the race.

David's misty first run.

Hank's run in the morning mist.

Sally even ran into one of her students from several years ago, Maria Kallman, who had some awesome runs and won first place for Women and 7th overall.

After the practice runs, all the racers were given final instructions (that's when David learned he would be waiting a while for his slot in the race -- and decided he'd had enough fun).

Hank, however, was in the Wildwater class (because of the kind of boat he was paddling) which was the first group of racers. Unfortunately, his race run (on the right) was not as good as his practice runs. But he still came in 16th overall (out of 92) and 5th in his class.

You have to love the rainbow Sarah caught in these photos.