Words by Werner Paddles, Renick Woods and Matt Parker. Photos c/o Gorge Performance.
First, big congratulations to local paddler Cyril Burgierre, Apparently it was like he was shot from a gun at the start line and as you’ll read below, it was a race for 2nd place from the onset. Great work and congrats on your training and results.
The Willamette race turned out to be an all-out drag race, between 50-or-so entrants through our favorite neighborhood in Oregon; Lake Oswego. Parker, “I knew it would be a battle, but I didn't know the pack trying to catch Cyril would be as skilled and determined as they were!”
With the number one spot well off and out of reach, spots 2 through 6 turned into the most heated in the race. Matt Parker took the early lead of the draft train followed by fellow Werner Team mates, Dustin Sousley and , Scott Van Vande Vusse and Renick.
Woods. “After a fast start and trip around the island marking one end section of the course, we made our way to the S turn buoys. Going into the first buoy Parker and Dustin began to jockey for the 1st place position. With some bumping going on Scott and I sat back and made our moves after the second buoy. “
Friends and Team mates can still compete hard! Check out below, Parker (shirtless) Sousley (black jersey) banging hard around the buoy turn.
Woods. “With the draft train split Scott pulled in behind Dustin, and I behind Matt. Instead of a single line we were now in a draft square. Now it was a straight shot to the other end point of the race, a bridge. About another 4 or 5 minutes in the draft line formed back up, this time Matt in front, then me, Dustin and Scott. Another minute or two I made a move and pulled out of the train and into 2nd putting a board length or two between me and Matt. I knew if I were going to make a strong move now would be the time. So I dug deep, tried to calm my breathing and pulled hard to get to the bridge first. I made it to the bridge and out with the lead in front of the train, but knew they were on my heels. Matt pulled up on my right, and he and I traded off 2nd and 3rd by nose lengths for the next half mile or so. Next out of the corner of my left I saw Scott creeping up.
I maintained a striking distance till we round the island and were heading to the finish. Matt, Scott, and Dustin all added a little extra, just enough I couldn't catch them. Dustin took 2nd, Scott 3rd, Matt 4th and I 6th. “
Parker. “Effectively; Team Werner NW duked out 2-6th places for 6.7 miles of buoy turns and bridge-piling turns in front of the huge gallery.”
You can check all the racer results for the event HERE.
Congrats to the entire Team, even more so though than these great results we really appreciate the fun and excitement you are pumping into the community. Thanks again to the folks at Gorge Performance for hosting such a great event.
Above-Matt Parker. Team Werner Paddles and Paddle Board Specialist.