Published on March 19th, 2020 | by Matt Dumoulin
The 8th Annual Daddy’s Creek Go Fast Day took place on Saturday, January 18, 2020. The temperatures were warmer and the flows better than several of the years past. As always, the stoke was as high. With a free flow event scheduled for sometime in January, everyone is checking the Daddy’s Creek Go Fast Day Facebook page in anticipation of the official “Go Time” post. When it hits, you bust out the group text and rally the crew. This 6.8-mile section of quality class 4 starts off slow, but it builds from class 2 to class 3, then it turns the corner and enters the canyon where the starting line is found. From there, massive boulders and spectacular towering cliff walls direct you into technical rapids and clean boofs. Several longer pools demand that racers have the right fitness level to put their heads down and sprint if they want to be competitive. That fitness paid off for Jackson Adventures paddler Nick Troutman who claimed first in the longboat division with a time of 15:33, over the roughly two-mile course. Local hero Jim Janney was only 22 seconds behind the pro. There were 12 people racing longboats. Lucien Scott bested local legend Clay Wright with a time of 16:52 to take the top spot out of 13 short boat competitors. Sarah Reis and Meryl Stark each took home trophies in the ladies’ long and short boat classes. We also saw the youngest racer to date, 10-year-old Loukas Slattery. But the best part may have been the numerous spectators lining the big rapids like Fang and Rocking Chair, cheering racers on with throw ropes in hand, ready to help if needed. As has become the norm, there were many first-timers to Daddys Creek taking advantage of race day safety to get their personal first descents.
With the after party right next to the river and the put-in, it makes for an easy gathering point to announce the race winners and award the lucky people who took home the mountain of raffle prizes that fund this event each year. Separately, Jackson Adventures graciously donated a new Nirvana to be raffled with the proceeds benefiting Catoosa Wildlife Management Area which Daddy’s Creek flows through; thus proving paddler stewardship and showing the rangers that we appreciate the recently expanded paddler access.
We all paddle because we love it, but some people give back to the paddling community more than others. The organizers, Karl Whipp and Ashley Teel, with support from LaDawn Wolfe & Bruce Foster, put in more hours than most people could imagine to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. Thanks guys! See you next year.