In these last 15 miles, Carter really accelerated and caught up almost half hour to the winning 6-person boat - see the plots of time differences in my earlier post. In the first picture you can see some details of the Huki Sx-1 surfski outfitting for the Safari.
My sister who lives in Texas was nice enough to put together some photos for me. The captions below them tell the story from her first time experience watching. It was a brutal event. Glad to be back in the salt water finally. I really missed having Sally's extra engine to get me by.
I will not down play the race at all, it was a BRUTE!!. With 100’s degree temps, 15+ portages, log jams, rocks, dams, sweepers, more mud than Florida Bay, snakes, alligators, 300 lb gars and wild boars as well as some stiff competition, it may be truly the worlds toughest canoe/kayak race. Like the WaterTribe, there are no distracting boat rules and regulations either as well as no mandatory layovers. The race is coordinated to perfection.
My only comment is that there is a great comfort and inner peace knowing that you will not die of hypothermia and directly in path behind you on the river are 100's of boats coming to help you out if you get into trouble. This comfort does not compare to the shear terror of being alone in Florida Bay or off the coast of the Everglades at 3:00am in a small craft advisory, where if you mess you, you may just fall off the face of the earth.
What impressed me most was how good Carter looked Tuesday morning. I didn't finish until 2:30AM June 12 and am still not all out of the river. Tuesday morning Carter and Tommy were sprint racing each other and swapping boats, not looking like they had just finished the TWS.
Carter was faster in either boat. He is one hell of a paddler, a really nice person too.