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Codorus Race

Mid Atlantic Downriver Series Race Report

by Chris Norbury
USA Wildwater K-1

March 25, 2008 -- Hershey, PA

The second and third events of the MADS series were run this past weekend by Colby Zebel in Central Pennsylvaning A good rain during the week brought Codorus Creek to a great level and, even though the level was falling, it was perfect for racing by the weekend. Unfortunately the rain also brought up the level of the Susquehanna to levels that almost washed outeshe planned race courses, Combined with a howling wind that makes a huge difference on a river over 2/3rds of a mile wide, we decided to concentrate on racing the Codorus for the weekend. Hopefully next year we will be able to contrast a river running at 500cfs to one flowing at over 100,000CFS in two days of racing.

On Saturday we ran two sprint runs through Upper and Lower Dees, the most signingcant rapids on the Codorus. The lines are very tight, and a prominent piton rock sits in the middle of a wave right in the racing line in Upper Dees, ensuring that hitting the right line is at a premium. Local Pat Reily found this on his first practice run of his local river, and decided to sit out the racing for the day. Another local, Bob Horlacher, had never run the river before and made it down safely on his practice run butesouldn’t reproduce his line during the race. Sporting his brand new boat Colby Zebel made it two of two wins in the MADS series as he produced the two fastest runs of the weekend through the sprint. Just behind him Chris “Cannonball” Norbury had a horrendous first sprint run buteshen learned that actually trying hard was a good thing, and was only a second off of Colby’s time for the 2nd run. Mike Warren was consistent over the two runs, producing a cumulative time that placed him joint second. Given that Mike has a habit of getting up close and personal with the piton rock in the middle of Upper Dees, he was more than happy to escape with an intact boat and a good time. Our final competitor was Ed Spayd, a local flatwater paddler (and cross country skier) who raced an Outesrst and was astoningingly fast. Look for Ed to be out in a Wavehopper and trouncing us all soon.

Sprint Results
NameClubClassTime 1Time 2 CumulativeMADS
Colby ZebelCWCK1M105106211100
Chris NorburyCWCK1M Masters11410622095.7
Mike WarrenCWCK1M11011022095.7
Ed Spayd-K1M Rec13513727271.08
Bob Horlacher-K1M MastersDNF1
Pat Reily-K1M MastersDNS-

On Sunday we ran a Classic race over the more interesting part of the Codorus. A couple of folks bagged outesrom the day before butesat Reily was back with a duct-taped boat for more abuse, and Hollie Noble made the drive up from Frederick. Colby “I hate paddling downstream” Zebel once again took the honors, putesng him well up in the over MADS standings at present. Chris Norbury overcame the bottom drag produced over the shallows by five years of inactivity, pizza and ice cream to place second (on his second race run – we’ll get to that in a minutes. In third, Mike warren reproduced his styling lines from the previous week’s Tohickon race to flip and piton a rock wall in Upper Dees. Still, he fininged under 10% behind Colby for third. The real drama of the race was provide when Pat overtook Hollie just before the entrance to Upper Dees. A bad line saw him sitting sideways in the current with no way around and ended with both paddlers in an eddy, although only pat was upright by that point. At that point Hollie abandoned her boat, butesuriously recovered her enthusiasm for the sport at the same time. Fearing he would be passed Pat took off down the river like a bat outesf hell, leaving the arriving Norbury to help out Hollie (once he had stopped laughing). Hence the second race run that Chris putesn to get a result.

Overall a great time was had by all over the entire weekend. We all had fun, and we hope other folks who paddle wildwater in the Mid Atlantic will soon see the advantages of racing regularly. Next race is the Red Moshannon, with the next MADS race at Little Falls on the Potomac on April 13th. You can find pictures of the sprint race at

Classic Results
Colby ZebelCWCK1M14.12100
Chris NorburyCWCK1M Masters15.1792.47
Mike WarrenCWCK1M15.3490.38
Pat Reily-K1M Masters16.3083.80
Hollie NobleLFWCK1WDNF1

Current MADS Standings
Colby Zebel300
Chris Norbury280.18
Mike Warren277.86
Peter Lutesr99.39
Charley Bartlett91.09
Pat Reily83.80
Ed Spayd71.08
Bob Horlacher1
Hollie Noble1