Parents Unleashed 2019: Stage 4, Technical Creeking on the Basse Cache

After finishing up the technical freestyle, boater cross and big wave trick competitions, Unleashed moved on to wrap up the event with a technical creeking section. The plan was to head up and do an Unleashed event on the Nielson River just before the Nielson race, but after running the course it was apparent that the river level was just a tad too low and the rapids not quite up to snuff for a giant slalom race. But we all ran it anyway. Andi got stuffed under a log in the class two, Josh almost dislocated his shoulder, Billy (from Quebec) broke his elbow and Darby hurt her shoulder. It was a rough evening for many. I had a pretty good time on the run - it had been a long time I ran something I didn't know like the back of my hand, so the novelty was great. Darby was pissed because she had just rehabilitated her shoulder and this meant that she probably wasn't going to race in the morning. Kind of a bummer.

SEND crew setting up gates

Contemplation while the course was closed.

Anyways, the call was made that night to run the Basse Cache in the morning, so we all packed up and drove about an hour or so to the new destination. It was supposed to rain all night, but it only really drizzled, so the river didn't rise as much as hoped, but it was still good to go and the SEND crew set up some pretty challenging gates. The race course itself was fairly short, with a little lead in rapid, followed by a moderate rapid with a gate, followed by the crux rapid that had a fairly challenging upstream gate that a lot of racers missed in both or at least one of their laps. Lastly, there was a sticky hole just before cruising into the finish.

Hayden studying his lines.

Dane picking out gate positions

The course was closed until 11 for setting up the gates. I snuck in one practice lap before the racers meeting at 12. I wasn't able to get another practice in before my race because I also wanted to watch a few people. The race was run very efficiently. We all got two tries, and your best run counted. If you missed a gate, you got a 50 second penalty, if you hit a gate you got two seconds to your time.

Leif had to go back for the upstream gate on his first lap, so it was slow, but on his second lap he was able to get it more direct, so he got a decent time (ended up in XX). My first lap was an epic failure. During my practice lap I didn't know what side to go around the first gate so I did it on the wrong side. During the race, I over corrected and ended up doing some rock splats and spin outs in some eddies, followed by an epic wall struggle with safety David Silk jumping in to help flip me over. I then got trounced in the sticky hole and swam. I didn't know until afterwards, but David Silk ended up swimming the stick hole with me. Anyways, I shook this off and had a great second lap, nailing the upstream gate. I was a little slow on the ferry from gate two to three (played it a little too conservative for a fast time) and ended up ahead of all the guys who missed a gate, but behind the guys who made the gates (I think I ended up in 16th out of 21 who raced). Overall, I was really happy with my second lap. Below is a video edit showing the carnage followed by the redemption and here is a link to Seth Ashworth's shit talk video. We will be posting some live commentary from the races, but it might be awhile until this happens due to internet data constraints.

Here are the result times and places for  the top 18 paddlers
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At the end of the day, Leif and I both had a great time competing with each other. What I especially liked about this event and this group of competitors was that everyone made the competition fun. No one brought their egos with them and the group was genuinely really nice. When someone didn't do as well as they were probably hoping to do, they didn't make a big deal of it and were still really fun to hang out with afterwards. It was really refreshing to just have a fun time paddling with everyone and I feel like a made a few new friends and got to know some other friends a little better. The SEND boys did a really exceptional job at wrangling all of us athletes, making decisions, communicating clearly and running all the events professionally and efficiently. It takes a lot of effort to pull something like this off and they worked their assess off.

Here is the official SEND recap video:

Here are some photos of folks Leif took while we all waited around for gates to be set.
Waiting around for gates to be set.

Luke Pomeroy

Quinton Kennedy

Garrett Madlock

Michael Ferraro

Tom Dunphy

Arthur Paulus

Ben Sandeman

After the event, we rallied to Quebec City and had a great little cozy after party It turns out that Arthur is a pretty badass foosball player and I was lucky enough to be his partner and whoop Dane and Kalob's ass.

Now I am super excited to go home and see my little guy, who (with the help of Joletta, his daycare momma) sent me this picture on Mother's Day.

Mother's day present from Davis back at home.

If you came upon this blog first and are curious about the other stages, here are the links to those write-ups:

Stage 1: Big Wave Freestyle
Stage 2: Big Water Boater Cross
Stage 3: Technical Freestyle
Stage 4: Technical Creeking (this blog)

Here is a Boof and Destroy edit recap of the entire event.  Leif and I make a few cameos.  Thanks guys!


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