That 6.35 miles down the American River with all its ripples and one rapid requiring whitewater skills presents the most challenging and exciting component of the annual race. Participants are expected to transfer from bicycle to boat at the Jim Jones Bridge for the final leg of the race. While most of them come with running and biking skills many of them have never paddled the river.
"When you go through bridge bays," instructs Dan Crandall of Current Adventures, "You'll want to drop over into that deep faster current along on that right shore."
Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips has conducted intensive kayak workouts with racers for the past several weeks building up to this weekend's race. The sessions have provided instruction on paddling technique and have turned troublesome San Juan Rapids into a speed bump for the participants.
"Are you ready to paddle tonight?" yells out Crandall from his kayak like a general addressing his troops in formation, as he paddles back and forth in front of a line of kayakers.
"We gotta about a week left. I want hear something out of you otherwise were just going to give up...Go home. Watch TV. Eat popcorn. Peppermint Patties. Drink milkshakes. All that good stuff you want to do, that you can do the day after the race."
Some paddlers have use these sessions to update their skills and get down a practice run for the event, while others are kayaking for the first time. The Current Adventure instructors in stride help each paddler with paddling fundamentals, boat handling abilities, and reading the river for the day of the race.
"Start being very aware on the lines on the river." said Crandall "Use landmarks look ahead. Every time you come around a corner, set a new course to the next corner, don't just be staring at the bow or the deck of your boat. You'll get lost. People will pass you. You'll end up in eddys going the wrong direction. The trolls will find you! So keep your chin up. It helps you breath. It helps you get more torso rotation and helps you keep looking ahead. Looking ahead is what makes you faster and keeps you on better lines."
At the end of course at Riverbend Park tired paddlers pull their kayaks across the finish lines with an understanding of the river and what is hand for this weekend's great race.
Current Adventure Kayak School ant Trips
PHONE: 530-333-9115 or Toll-Free: 888-452-9254
USPS:Current Adventures, P.O. Box 828, Lotus, CA 95651
owner Dan Crandall firstname.lastname@example.org