Errors in timing most often occur because a racer’s bib was folded in such a way that it was impossible to read correctly. If you spot an error or have a comment or question, please e-mail Kevin (kevin-at-cheat.org). We will try to sort it out.
The Cheat River Festival weekend kicks off with one of the largest, if not the largest, mass start downriver races in the country known as the Cheat River “Massacre-ence”. The Race organizes its start about one mile downriver of the town of Albright, West Virginia, at the meeting booth for Laurel Highlands Outfitters. The pre-race meeting and safety talk happens on the river bank before racers gather up their boats and head on out on the water. All of the paddlers join in a mass start around 5:20pm.
The race course traverses about 10 miles through the Cheat Canyon, dropping at a maximum gradient of 40 feet per mile. All the famous (and infamous) rapids are paddled, including Decision, Big Nasty, High Falls and Coliseum. The front of the pack usually reaches the finish line, Jenkinsburg Bridge, in about 1 hour, depending on water levels while the back of the pack, the slower boats, usually finish up around 1:45 minutes. After the race, paddlers meet back at Wilderness Voyagers in Albright for the Post-Race Party and awards.
The 17th annual “Massacre-ence” kayak race on the Cheat River, WV kicked off the Cheat River Festival on Friday May 4, 2012. The race is one of the largest, if not the largest, mass start kayak races in the country. This year, the water level was above average (3.9 feet) providing one of the higher levels that this race was run. First place went to Geoff Calhoun who smoked his competition by 6 ½ minutes with a time of 56 minutes over the 10 mile course through the Cheat Canyon. See below for the complete results. Although the higher water level kept some competitors off the river, there were still 143 boats and 155 boaters plus safety boaters in the water. A good time was had by all, even those that decided to participate in the carnage! To see pictures and video of the race, check out Dale Briggs Footage on facebook or dbriggs27 on You Tube.
Special thanks to Rick Gusic, long time coordinator of the race, and Kevin Ryan of the Friends of the Cheat who stepped forward to run the race after Rick got called away on business. Of course, the real thanks has to go to all the volunteers and sponsors too many to mention. The true winner of the event is Friends of the Cheat who uses all the proceeds of this event to improve water quality in the Cheat River.