24 miles in a Mystery

I paddled the Mystery in the Knoxville Three Rivers Regatta last weekend.  24 miles in 4:15:36, placing 11/30 overall and 4/7 in the HPK division.  This race used the Sound Rowers system which placed the Mystery in the fastest (High Performance) kayak division.  That combined with no age groupings resulted in me competing against all the rock stars in very fast (but ugly) elite skis.  When compared to boats with a similarly aged motor, the Mystery did quite well. 

I found the Mystery to be the perfect boat for this type of race.  I was comfortable in the foam seat and felt secure dealing with light chop and a few boat wakes in the open water.  Since there were no sharp turns, I used the smallest (Short) rudder blade. 

The only issue that I had was the tendency for the bow to pick up weeds.  Prior to the race, I had noticed this tendency, so I made it a habit to just avoid them.  In Tennessee, there had been a lot of rain so there were areas where a lot of grass, twigs and other debris floating in the river that were unavoidable.  Multiple times during the race, I had to stop and paddle backwards to clear 1-2” diameter bundles of grass from the bow.  None of my other race boats have this tendency, but their bows are not as vertical at the waterline.  This week I will be reshaping the Mystery’s bow a bit to give it more taper starting just above the waterline.    

Feeling strong at the 6 mile mark.  Note the smile.

Also at the 6 mile mark.

Approaching the 18 mile mark.  Note the "wake" from the anchored safety kayak that took the picture.  There was 2+ knots of current.

Also at the 18 mile mark.  My smile is completely goneafter paddling several miles into that current.  Also note the weeds on the bow.

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RE: 24 miles in a Mystery

   Not a mystery but I've been able to clear weeds from a "plumb" bow by rocking my trunk fore and aft. Of course I may have more mass than you younger more fit paddlers.

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