This year safari has high water and fast rivers. Several records are broken, but also many boats were damaged and dropped out of the race. The race was won by 6 person boat
(West Hansen, Richard Steppe, Wade Binion, Pete Binion, Armin Lopez, Amado Cruz) in 34:09 hours (the record time from 1997: 29:46).
However, as a soloist I was looking mostly at solo boats. Here are the first three solo racers finishing at Seadrift on Sunday night:
safari experience: 10 completed safaris in 1997-2006 in C-2 (two class wins), mixed and unlimited class, first solo race in 2007, paddled Spencer Eagle (solo unlimited)
finished in 38:04, 2nd solo unlimited, 6th overall
The 4th solo paddler was Ardie Olsen in 42:27. I am not sure what boat he paddled, but in 2005 he won the solo unlimited class in a sea kayak (Seda Impulse) in 49:25. It's likely that he paddle a sea kayak again. So, we did not see too many Texas specialized solo unlimited boats among top finishers.
The above pictures come from Bob Brooks photo gallery. You can click any of them to see a full size version. The safari course is not all white water as these pictures may suggest, but the two most popular spots to photograph the race are Rio Vista (now a white water park) and Cottonseed Rapid.
In the second part of this post I am looking at time differences between the first three solo paddlers along the 260 mile race course.