Tue - June 12, 2007

3 Top Solo Paddlers in Texas Water Safari 2007 - Part II

Let's look at the performance of the top three solo paddlers and two top 6 person boats in the 2007 Texas Water Safari. The plots show time difference between different boats along the 260 mile race course.

Texas Water Safari 2007 winner times

Texas Water Safari - West Hansen

Texas Water Safari - Carter Johnson

Texas Water Safari - cowboys

Carter against long boats

red line - the time difference between the leading 6 person boat #71 with West Hansen (finishing time: 34:09) and the second overall Carter Johnson on a surfski

purple line - the time difference between the 6 person boat #807 (finishing time: 34:09, 3rd overal) and Carter Johnson

The #71 boat took a lead in the race after Luling and was continuously increasing distance to their competitors. Carter had amazingly fast finish on open water of the San Antonio Bay. He paddled 15+ miles in 2:36 hours reducing the gap to the leading boat by almost half hour.

Carter was paddling about 20 minutes behind the 6 person boat #807 on San Marcos and Guadelupe till Hochheim. Somewhere between Hochheim and Cheapside he caught them and stayed with them for the next 50 miles till Victoria, and then paddled ahead increasing his advantage to 44 minutes at Seadrift.

Texas Water Safari 2007 winner times

Cottonseed Rapid - Carter Johnson surfski

Carter against other solo boats

green line - the time difference between Carter and Jerry Rhaburn (C1 canoe, finishing in 37:07, 4th overall)

blue line - the time difference between Carter and Tommy Yonley (solo unlimited finishing in 38:04, 6th overall)

Carter was leading all time, but on the San Marcos all three top solos were paddling quite close together with time differences below 15 minutes and just a few minutes at Gonzales. However, after Gonzales, Carter started to paddle away. Jerry Rhaburn stayed not farther than 30 minutes behind Carter till the last checkpoint at Salt Water Barier. What a great performance for C1! Then, Carter smelt salt water and sprinted to finish.

The Carter's performance was truly incredible. I wonder how much of the safari course he managed to paddle before the race. Texas paddlers had much better knowledge of the river. However, it is not the first time when an out-of-state paddler is launching at San Marcos and winning the solo unlimited class beating all locals, e.g., James "Devo" Devoglaer in 2001, Phil Gumbert in 2003, Ardie Olson in 2005.

If you look at live coverage of the race it is worth to notice how little time these top boats spent at checkpoints: from 0 to 6 minutes!

Well, these are just numbers... I hope to hear some stories and comments.

The above pictures of paddlers at Cottonseed come from Bob Brooks photo gallery. You can click any of them to see a full size version. Visit Bob's Texas Water Safari web site for more information about the race history and records, tips, guides, pictures and stories.

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Posted at 11:25 AM    

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