Green Race winner Isaac Levinson drops in. Photo: Ashley Woodring
Phew, another one under the belt.
Green Race 2011 did not disappoint. 150 start times and 1000+ spectators meant that someone was flying off of Gorilla every single minute for two and a half hours! The crowds were roaring, and all of the heavy hitters were out swinging with blistering fast times.
Isaac Levinson, a 2012 Olympic hopeful, put together an incredible run, and walked away with his first title, while Adriene Levknecht fought her way to her 4th consecutive women’s title, finishing 10th overall and hurting a lot of the guys’ feelings! See the full results here.
Check out this awesome video montage of the race by Pilot Collective Media:
Aside from the top tier of competitors, there were also over 30 first-time racers. These people form a critical part of the DNA that makes up the Green Race. The pre-race motivational speech by Jason Hale was another great one. Looking around the circle of paddlers standing proudly with their boats, I could see the adrenaline seeping out of everyone’s pores, but none moreso than the first timers. While the top guys get to walk straight to the river, warm up and race immediately, these Green Race virgins stew in their own thoughts for another two hours before getting their shot at the class V course.
Louis Geltman from Hood River OR, and Severin Haberling from Switzerland were two dark horses who upset quite a few locals! Louis finished joint 5th in a tie with Pat Keller, and Severin came in a very respectable 8th place. You know that with that good of a first year result, these guys will certainly be back, and will pose threats to the title in years to come.
Another topic of discussion after the 2011 Green Race was the unprecedented amount of carnage that occurred. While it is an inherently unpredictable medium, and the best paddlers do have bad lines on occasion, there were some paddlers racing who shouldn’t have. It was scary to watch, and begs the question… should there be qualifying for the Green Race? I don’t know what the answer is, but I don’t want to see anyone get hurt out there as a result of pride or peer pressure.
Here is another video by Pilot Collective of the Green Race crashes:
In spite of the bad lines (and I certainly added a few to the mix), the event ended safely for all, and everyone celebrated around the campfire and dancefloor at Wilderness Cove Campground.
Time to start training for 2012!