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race or meet intermediate paddlers 1 day
Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny
Saturday, April 12, 2003
length: 10.0km, 1 day
difficulty: intermediate

leader: none
organizer: Ganaraska Conservation Authority
participants: Harold Higdon, Karonne Lansel,

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Harold and I spent a warm and sunny spring day doing the "Float Your Fanny Down the Ganny" race. Fast cold water but not deep, constant twists and turns, lots of small drops and class 1 rapids. One portage around a dam. We were doing great up till then, having passed 5 other canoes, which means we'd advanced by at least 6 minutes, since only 1 canoe per minute was allowed to start. Considering our canoe was equipped with 3 keels (!!!), I'd call that an accomplishment. (We couldn't turn, so we just went over whatever - or whoever - was in front of us.)

At the dam, apparently most of the canoes pull out and don't finish the race. But that didn't make sense to us - we may not be winners, but we're finishers! So on we went, blissfully unaware we'd be running a series of class 3 waterfalls in the last section before the finish line. Suddenly, it was like we were Christians thrown into the lions' den. Entertainment for the thousands of spectators lining the banks and shouting conflicting advice on which way to go.

We hadn't done any scouting, but there was no turning back now, so we went over blind. Did alright on the first few, then bonked vertically on a rock. Very impressive angle. Took a nice bite out of the nose of Harold's canoe - glad it was his old fibreglass one. Scrambling to regain our seats as the crowd exclaimed "Oohaah!" we sat poised for a moment, then managed to shimmy off the rock. Took on a lot of water and nearly capsized, but with a supreme effort succeeded in pulling back upright. The crowd went wild! We were really giving them their money's worth! We pulled over to the bank and emptied out, then lined down the last two tricky drops and paddled across the finish line. I believe we finished legally, but we didn't bother to check.

Then we discovered there was no shuttle to get back to our car at the put-in, so after our glorious adventures we had to go around begging for a ride. Death-defying heroes one minute - bums the next! What a day! We had a great time anyway, and plan to do it again next year. Only next time we'll scout those falls!

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