Sunday, July 25, 2010

1st Annual Lake Tahoe Sharkfest

Last weekend we had the opportunity to volunteer as kayak swim support for the first annual Lake Tahoe Sharkfest put on by Envirosports. It was a perfect day for this event, the sun was out, the weather was hot, the water was warm, and  there was no wind. It could not have been a more beautiful day or location.

We felt very lucky to be a part of this event. We love supporting the athletes, cheering them on, giving them encouragement and helping them out when needed and the athletes always show so much appreciation for our being there. It feels good to watch the last swimmer cross the finish line, especially when it was someone who had been struggling, you can feel their determination and their sense of accomplishment and it is hard not to cheer your loudest for them.

This was the fourth event that we have volunteered for with Envirosports. Some races go so smoothly that you feel as if you are just a front row spectator at the event. Other races may have your addrenaline pumping.  We have had races where not a single swimmer needed assistance and others where I have had up to 3 swimmers hanging on to the bow of my boat at one time and it seemed that once a swimmer either got picked up by the jet ski or decided to continue, I had a new one coming to hang on. A few times I have had to paddle to pick up a swimmer with swimmers already hanging on to my bow. You never know what is going to happen, you just need to be ready for anything.

The swimmers gathered behind the lead kayaker,
waiting for the Coast Guard boat to blow it's horn, signaling the start of the race

And they're off!

The pack is starting to thin out. We took sweep to make sure that there were no swimmers left behind.  The beginning of the race is where a lot of swimmers either drop out or need a minute to hang on while you give them a pep talk and once they regroup they are ready to continue.  This race was an easy one.  All of the swimmers were well prepared for open water.  There were no swimmers needing rests and no drop outs, each and every swimmer made it to the finish line on their own power!

The final swimmer crossing the finish line among much cheering from the crowd and the swim support crew! Total time: 1:07:52
A great day!

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