Boater Chick Festival is a great opportunity for women to get together and paddle and meet each other. I know several women who met at last year’s festival and who have kept in touch and are now regular paddling buddies. It’s a festival I like to support, yet with my busy schedule I had already scheduled a retreat on the same weekend for this year. Unfortunately, yet fortunately, my retreat ended up being canceled which gave me the opportunity to participate in the Boater Chick Fest. I contacted Anne Connolly, the organizer, to ask if she needed help and she said that she did need someone to lead the trip down the Nantahala on Saturday. I was happy to help and I was very psyched because there was a group of women who had attended my Intermediate Women’s Weeks in Mexico who were going to be there too. I really had a great time catching up with everyone!
We had a great day on the Nanty with nice weather and high water. After the river run I helped out with the beginner freestyle competition on the NOC wave. It was awesome to watch women venturing out on the wave. It’s a fast wave!
Little did I know that the organizers were plotting to get me there for dinner even if I wasn’t originally suppose to help out at the Festival. They had decided to honor me with the Boater Chick of the Year Award for oustanding contribution to the white water community and women in boating. I had no idea when they announced it after the raffle on Saturday night. It was very sweet and I’m very grateful.
The next day a group of us decided to run the Pigeon River at 3000 cfs (regular flow is 1200 cfs)! It was big water and some of the biggest water that some people in the group had seen! There was a bit of carnage — good learning opportunities 🙂 Like when I turned around and watched four people follow each other into a big hole on river right. A few of them decided to duke it out for best out-of-control rodeo ride in the hole. I’m not sure there was a clear winner… Still, everyone had a blast and was jazzed with the big water experience. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to catch up with women I’ve already padded with and meet new female paddlers that I hope to paddle with again! Thanks to the organizers of Boater Chick and to the Sunday Pigeon posse: Leila, Amy, Jenni, Jenn, Tracy, Mary Frances and our token boy boater Vander!! Turns out it was the right and perfect timing for my retreat to be canceled!! I love Divine Timing…