Rowing season arrives at The Rock House – PCPatriot

These eleven people participated in a kayak/spring race at Rock House Marina on Saturday, May 21 (Photo by Juliana Payne)

Written by William Payne

for the patriot

Last Friday night, the boy and I loaded our paddleboards into the family truck in preparation for the race scheduled for the next morning at Rock House Marina.

By stacking our 14-foot paddle boards one on top of the other, we can move both watercraft within the vehicle…mostly.

The front ends of both panels pressed against the windshield, but the rear ends still extended a foot past the rear doors forcing them to open partially. Bungee cord prevents doors from banging.

James Patrick Hudson Payne, (aka The Boy), I was planning to use this paddleboard competition as training for the next fiveThe tenth Gusto’s annual event with GRAPeJAM, which will also take place on Saturday, June 25, 2022, also at the Rock House Marina.

GRAPeJAM stands for Pulaski Junior Appalachian Great Musicians. As in the past, GRAPeJAM will receive a check thanks to the generosity of Gusto’s sponsors. Next, GRAPeJAM will play some tunes for those who have gathered for Gusto.

This year’s race sponsors are: Insurance Agency Glenn, MOVA Technologies, Foothills Chiropractic, Travis Team, First Community Bank, Gilmer, Sadler, Ingram, Sutherland & Hutton Law Firm and Rocky Acres Property Mgmt.

By 10:30 on Saturday, May 21, race organizer Michael Fallach told the ten runners-to-be and one kayaker who had lined up at Peak Creek to get ready to set off. At the signal, all the contestants began whipping their oars back and forth, so as to sprint over the water as fast as humanly possible.

Brian Hartmann, winner of the second annual Gusto paddleboard race, took the lead early on, but instead of rounding the first buoy and heading to the top of Peak Creek, he made his way toward Claytor Lake.

Realizing his mistake, Hartmann corrected his course and headed upstream, but not before I could take advantage of his fatal mistake and take the initiative. This was very refreshing, as I had never before been in the lead in any previous paddleboard races… including mine!

did not last.

Hartmann grabbed me from the Conrad Brother berth and drove me past. I tried riding his tail for a while, just to get past his vigil, but I couldn’t keep up. This was not unexpected at all. Brian Hartmann has competed in all four previous Gusto paddleboard races and has done my best every time.

Besides, I was still 2nd, and if I continued rowing steadily without stopping, I could probably finish in 2nd…or maybe Hartmann pulled out for some reason (maybe a muscle cramp?) and I’d totally win this thing!

About a mile upstream, I almost ran on a 4-foot rattlesnake that was making its way across the creek. Then I crossed under the bridge of the old Route 100.

Another quarter of a mile upstream and the stream crosses under Interstate 81, where several tons of steel and rubber pass overhead creating a frightening echo of river-level traffic.

After the bridge there is a shallow section that gets deeper as it approaches the great rock wall that forms the far edge of the creek.

At this point, I didn’t know where anyone else was except for race leader Brian Hartman, who, despite my best efforts, extended his lead to me by a few more yards. The last time I checked, I had some distance on the nearest rear racer, but I really couldn’t figure it out. Turning around and looking back is a good way to waste time, energy and possibly fall off your board so why bother?

The other thing is I was already paddling as fast as I could, so all I really could do was keep a steady pace and hopefully that would be enough to prevent those who were late for me.

Furthermore, Peak Creek takes on a brutal appearance. Steep forest levees rise on each side of the riverbed and there are no more structures of any kind left. The stream, which flows against you, becomes more visible and the rock formations below the surface become more visible as the depth of the creek decreases.

About two and a half miles upstream, a bright orange buoy marked the midpoint of the five-mile race. Three competitors, including a kayaker, chose to compete in the two-mile race, which runs to the bridge before directing the contestants to Rock House.

As I approached the buoy, I became acutely aware of another paddleboard rider who was pulling off my board. As in cycling, the drafting makes it easy to walk the frontier that follows from behind. He was about a mile behind me before we turned around on the buoy.

I started downstream, rowed as hard as I could, but somehow this guy managed to row faster and I found myself stopping his action.

It worked…until it didn’t and my competitor, whose name is Chris Bohusky, started dropping out. I couldn’t do anything about it, except to keep rowing and hopefully I can hold on to third.

Powhowsky then raced off Hartmann until he eventually overtook him by about half a mile from the finish.

While paddling the last quarter mile, I became more aware than ever that there was another rider just a few meters behind me. The idea of ​​getting 4th instead of 3rd, after rowing as hard as I could in the last hour, started causing me a lot of distress. This caused me to row so hard that I almost lost my balance and fell inside. But I didn’t and I managed to hold the third place.

I’ve come third in four paddle races now and I can live with that. The boy, AKA James Patrick Hudson Paine, came in at sevenThe tenth A place that was also good, as seven is his favorite number.

Alice Angel, finished at 8The tenth But first in the women’s competition. Alice also won the fastest female award last year 4The tenth Annual Gusto.

Chris Bohusky, a Rolf player from Blacksburg, won a paddleboard race last Saturday (Rollers specialize in deep tissue massage).

“It was a really fun race,” Bohusky said. “Thank you for a great race. It was very inspiring to have people out there experiencing it. So thank you. I liked it. Liked a lot.”

“Good race as always,” said second-placed Brian Hartmann. “I’m looking forward to doing the Gusto party on June 25th. See you there!”

Unlike in years past, Gusto will be held at the Rock House Marina on Peak Creek. Previous Gusto paddle board races have been held at Gatewood Park.

In essence, this Gusto will be held downstream of the original stream and this time, attendees can enjoy a sit-down meal afterwards and listen to some music as well.

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