Saturday, August 1st, 2015, circa 11 o’clock in the morning. 21 intrepid ladies deftly slipped into the currents of the Ocoee and stunned every soul on the river with the excellent lines they picked. For those of us first-timers, Ocoee veterans stood by our sides and offered keen advice and constant cheerleading. Talk about the spirit of community–we formed a vast yet cohesive team of ladies, navigating the river not as individuals, but as friends. The smiles, the teamwork and the mutual support were outstanding! Shannon, of course, would have only smiled upon this…maybe that’s where all of that lovely sunshine was coming from!
We are pleased and grateful to announce that we raised another $265 for the Shannon Christy Memorial Fund, bringing the series total to $1,665! Thank you all for helping to keep Shannon’s legacy alive by paying forward your love of kayaking, so that other women and girls will one day have access to this amazing sport. As always, we can’t thank our sponsors Dagger, Werner and Kokatat enough for the boat, paddle and dry top which will go to our raffle winners, to be picked at the end of the series! We shelled out some schwag in the day raffle, and we also awarded the famous Werner gold medal/bottle opener to she-who-worked-the-river-and-exemplified-the-true-spirit-of-the-series. It was truly a challenge to pick just one medalist for this weekend’s event, but after careful consideration, the medal went to Debby “Tablesaw” McRae, who rocked two amazing combat rolls on her personal first descent! Congratulations Debby!
It’s certainly bittersweet to recognize the Ocoee paddle as the penultimate installment of the Ladies Southeast Paddling Series! We’ve had an incredible six days of paddling throughout the summer, and look forward to Ladies on the Lower Gauley on September 18. Personally, I wish summer could go on forever and there could be infinite installments to the series. Alas, even as I head back to school at the end of the month, I think you ladies could grant this wish for me by keeping on paddling, keeping on smiling, and keeping on being your lovely selves. It’s been such a joy to paddle with and get to know all of you!
That said, the fun’s not over yet! Don’t miss our final installment:
September 18 – Lower Gauley River – Laura Farrell, Adriene Levknecht, Maria Noakes leading
Remember that you can check out each event on Facebook. Here a few photos from the Ocoee: