July 23, 2003. Kansas City, MO.
Last year Missouri River 340 Race I paddled in a somewhat relaxed mode in my safari boat, Spencer X-treme canoe. I completed the race in 78:20 hours after the interesting sprint finish.
In April this year I analyzed my paddling fleet trying to objectively select a boat for the MR-340 Race. With the race goal to finish in 72 hours or less it was not surprising to find the Kruger's Sea Wind canoe at the top of my ranking mostly due to the comfort of that boat for a long distance paddling.
3 months later and after two 50 mile races (Wyoming Outback Challenge and Kansas River Gritty Fitty) in Thunderbolt-X kayak ... I can add a few points to the Thunderbolt's comfort rating. If I reformulate the race goal to the finishing under 60 hours I would change scores for comfort (1 to 5 points) and speed (1 to 10 points). Then, the Thunderbolt goes to the top of my rating. It does not mean that the Thunderbolt has advantage over any fast sea kayak for that long race, but it is the most comfortable from my kayaks and the only one which I have been paddling for last 6 months.
So, I have decided to take Thunderbolt for the 2007 MR-340. I am not sure how it will work. I will just try to paddle from checkpoint to checkpoint and take whatever rest I need. I am taking my camera with me and I will have something to write about.