Sunday, June 1, 2014

The 2014 WWGP Swim Team

Before we move on to write about our summer trips I thought I'd write a post about the WWGP Swim Team. I (Natalie) got to watch and photograph every event and believe you me there was way more carnage than made it into the videos. Thus, I feel that it is my duty to get the word out. Who else will do it, and... isn't this what everyone really wants to know?

What follows is a list of the members of the swim team and their inaugural feats, to the best of my knowledge and memory. If I left you out, then you lucked out this time. If I wrote that you swam, and you didn't or I mixed you up with someone else then I give permission to slander me all you want in the comments section at the end of the post.

In order of joining membership, I present to you the one and the only 2014 WWGP swim team!

  • Joel Kowalski: Stakeout day before Stage 2. I'm not sure of the details but I think Kent Bretzlaf has some helmet cam footage of the rescue.
  • Lou Urwin: Stage 2: Big Water Boater Cross and Stage 4: Black Mass. Big Water Swirligrams.
  • Mattieu Dumoulin: Stage 2: Big Water Boater Cross. He's pretty embarrassed about this one, ask him about it sometime. If it weren't for this DNF I'm sure Mattieu would have been in the top 10!
  • Nick Troutman- Stage 3: Time trials practice. Nick earned himself captain of the swim team after getting stuck in a weir hole and leaping out of his boat in a superman front crawl above the sketch Stage 3 time trial. I saw this whole thing pan out and was very scared for Nick. Sketchy Sketchy Swim.
  • Tino Specht- Stage 3: Time trials practice. I think that Tino ran the bottom boof too far right and swam out of a pocket on the far right of the river. This was after Leif and I finished so I'm really not sure of the details here.
  • Hannah Kertesz- Stage 3 Time trials. I didn't even realize that Hannah swam until after the race was over. She was killing it on the top section of the course, but I think that something funky happened with a rock and a hole on the bottom drop.
  • Sandra Hyslop- Stage 3 Time trials. By now almost everyone has seen the photo of Sandra swimming the last drop of the slide. What you probably didn't know is that halfway down the slide the paddle got snagged and ripped out of her hand. Right above the last drop is a really funky hole thing. Without her paddle, Sandra flipped in the hole and wasn't quite able to get the hand roll in time. We are all glad that she made it through the drop unscathed. She actually got back up and ran a really smooth third lap after this little goof up.
  • Kalob Grady- Stage 4: Black Mass practice. Kalob lost his paddle while surfing. He made a few great hand rolls, but the big water waves and funky currents ended up taking him down.
  • Bren Orton- Stage 4: Black Mass practice. After watching Dane get in in the river right eddy above the Hawaii hole and then ferry across the river to Black Mass, Leif and Bren decided to do the same. This is actually quite a frightening maneuver. I decided to hike upstream and ferry across in the flatwater and so I didn't see the epic that went down. Leif went first and made the ferry. By the time he got to the other side, Bren was nowhere to be seen. Basically Bren's bow caught causing him to not quite make the ferry and he went straight into one of the gnarliest biggest holes I have ever seen: the curling wave at the top of the Hawaii rapid. Being a consummate playboater he was crammed into his boat with a large beach ball thing that wouldn't release when he wanted to swim. He finally made it out almost out of air. I think that it was quite the epic yet scary beat down. We are glad that it all turned out okay. He made it over to the wave and got some practice in. Bren also swam Stage 6: Giant Slalom due to a blown skirt or broken paddle or something.
  • Did someone swim the bridge rapid on the Mistassibi during stakeout?I know that Dane lost a paddle but made it through the rapid just fine. I have a nagging suspicion that someone swam this rapid, but I don't know anything for sure.
  • Leif Anderson- Stage 6: Giant Slalom. Blown skirt 
  • Ian Vogel- Stage 6: Giant Slalom. Blown skirt.
  • Marianne Saether- Stage 6: Giant Slalom. Either a blown skirt or a hole beat down, can't quite remember.
  • Martina Wegman- Stage 6: Giant Slalom. Blown skirt. Going out with a bang. Last swim of the event and a 1st place overall finish, way to go Martina!
  • I feel like I am missing another Stage 6 swim. Oh well...


Everybody swims.