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This year’s Lilydipper Games featured four races:
The Solo Stern Race – The Rules: One paddler, facing the bow. Either sitting on the stern seat in a tandem, or kneeling in the stern of a solo. Out around the marker and back. First boat stern to touch the beach wins.
The Bow Only Race – The Rules: One paddler, facing the bow. Either seated on the bow seat in a tandem, or kneeling in the bow in a solo. Out around the marker and back. First boat to touch the beach wins.
The Tandem Nathan-esque Race – The Rules: Two paddlers. In a tandem the paddlers must sit bowman facing the bow, stern paddler facing the stern. In a solo the paddlers must sit back-to-back sharing the center seat facing in opposite directions. Out around the marker and back. First boat to touch the beach wins.
The Stand and Deliver Poling Competition – The Rules: Pole out past the buoy, make a 360 boat turn, perform a stunt or maneuver of your choosing and head for the finish line. Each participant begins with 500 points, 30 points deducted for every 30 seconds of elapsed time and an independent panel of judges awarding bonus points for style and difficulty of the stunt performance.
The easiest of the Lilydipper Games races, the Solo Stern Race brought out the competitive side of Joel; a side I have been warned about eliciting. Having spent the winter months secretly practicing his Lilydipper skills in Florida Bay Joel was not to be denied 1st place on the medals stand. Even the yellow flag brought on by Laura’s capsize at the starting gate couldn’t damped Joel’s competitive spirit.
But the McCrea boys were not far behind, and were in fact plainly aiming for the 2nd place award, generously provided by new minted Duckheads Lowell and Doreen.
The most challenging of the Lilydipper Games, the Bow Only Race involved an added degree of difficulty this year with the decree that only single bladed paddles could be used in the paddling races.
The start of the Bow race saw Joel off to a quick lead, which vanished after 15 feet when his canoe came to a sudden stop. It seems that “somehow” the bitter end of Joel’s stern painter had come loose and become wedged under a spectator’s foot.
Meanwhile youth and stamina was gaining an insurmountable lead over age and (lack of) guile, as a lead pack of Generation II Duckheads rounded the buoy marker cleanly and made for the finish line.
The McCrea Boys lost some ground as they spent a few critical moments bulldozing Joel off course when he finally caught up, and with Lauren Wilhelm now leading the field,
Tyler and Cooper again battled it out for 2nd place. Cooper, having chosen the Dagger Tupelo as his race boat, had interpreted the instructions “…kneeling in the bow of a solo” to mean kneeling as far forward as possible. With knees wedged into the stem of the Tupelo the bow was nearly submerged. And, crossing the finish line, a lot more than nearly.
The most awkward of the Lilydipper Games, the Tandem Race requires teamwork and coordination. A rearview mirror wouldn’t hurt either. Kathy, coveting the first prize of a custom NT paddle, spurred Joel into action with a promise to model her camouflage bikini in return for a winning race, and Tyler, having been bested by his brother in the two previous races, teamed with his 2005 partner Emily to again defeat the parental units.
The final event of the 2006 Lilydipper Games was a new addition, the poling competition. This event, being the brainchild of CWDH, required considerable description and instruction. Description and instruction from CWDH tend to serve only to further confuse matters, so Tom provided a demonstration, poling the Curtis Ladybug and performing a Ballenchine-esque Sissonne that nearly resulted in a Topher-esque Renverse.
The demonstration having made the requirements clear the first heat of Diane, Tyler and Laura lined up for the start.
Several things were quickly apparent – Brian’s creation of a pole with small paddle blades at either end offered Diane a distinct advantage in speed rounding the buoy and making her 360 degree boat turn. And Diane’s stunt of wiggling around suggestively like an epileptic exotic dancer scored the highest cumulative points from the three judge panel.
At the end of the first heat the scoring stood:
Diane – 331 points
Laura – 267 points
Tyler – 266 points
The second heat was the “Youth Heat”, with Nikki and Tim taking on Cooper. Here it became apparent that the time element far outweighed the bonus points for a well performed stunt, as Nikki and Tim both earned the highest scores possible for their stunt maneuvers and were still trounced by Cooper’s elapsed time.
Scoring on the 2nd heat:
Cooper – 274 points
Nikki – 75 points
Tim – 75 points
The last heat was the “Novice Poler’s” competition, with Peach, Shar and Emily proving that peer pressure can overcome anyone’s better judgment. A highly competitive heat, Peaches and Emily finished within 10 seconds of each other and the addition of stunt scoring points saw them tied at 273 apiece, necessitating a rock-paper-scissors tie breaker.
Peaches – 273 points
Shar – 214 points
Emily – 273 points (tie breaker winner)
Somehow, in the chaos of totaling points and awarding win, place and show rankings it was overlooked that Cooper’s had in fact edged out Peach and Emily by a single hard won point, 274 to 273, denying the McCrea boys a clean sweep of 2nd place in every event of the 2006 Lilydipper Races.
There were of course other events and activities at Trap Pond, including a delightful night paddle up the feeder stream under a full moon on Friday night, concluding with a 2:30am gab fest ‘round the campfire aided by JSaults Holy Hand Grenade, many circumnavigations of the pond on the newly completed Trap Pond bike trail, numerous thirst-quenching forays to the Squatter Bar, the first Hennessy hammock in Duckheaddom (happy birthday Cooper), David Pauza returning to camp on Saturday morning to find his Bluewater Freedom littered with cigarette butts and smelling faintly of dog urine and, best of all, the usual sight of 20 solo canoes waiting at the water’s edge for pond and feeder stream explorations.
The trip and the games were a rousing success. My apologies to anyone who arrived on Sunday to compete in the games – next year you’ll have to come for the weekend.
Full Cast of Character: Mike McCrea, Diane Hollingsworth, Tyler McCrea, Cooper McCrea, Tom Wilhelm, Jane Michalski, Lauren Wilhelm, Nikki Wilhelm, Mobey Wilhelm, Brian Sill, Anne Sill, Connie Sill, Eddied Sill, Joel Beckwith, Kathy Carpenter, Theresa Alexaander, Paris Hale, Laura Totis, Buck Totis, Vic Chenowith, Jim Obert, Kathy Poff, Emily Obert, David Pauza, Maria Salvato, Victoria Pauza, Bill Schaeffer, Joan Schaeffer, Lowell Stevens, Doreen Stevens, Jim Saults, Dave Warner, Terri Warner, Melissa Warner, Tim Warner, Vitas Eidukevicius, Mary Eidukevicius, Joe Steiner, Pam Gunter.
Missing, but there in spirit(s): Doc, Topher, Tana, Molly & Ruthie
Albums of Lilydipper Photos:
Kayak Motor Kit
Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs
The Kayak Wing