"Werner TEAM paddler Mike Darbeyshire, Vancouver, CA (Winner Kamalka Sprint Races), filled up the tank and joined fellow PNW Werner Paddlers Renick Woods and Matt Parker for a unique 12-mile river/slough race. The start was only wide enough for 6-man heats to lineup; but that didn't stop a bald eagle from taking in the action and subsequently "buzzing" Renick Woods to within 5-feet (photo below) (Here is a video, from Renick, of the whole race with a great shot of the eagle.)
A murky, shallow course, Matt Parker had an aggressive encounter with an invisible root ball under the last of about 15 bridges passed under. Despite the fall and only small cuts, he held a slight lead over the strong sprint racer Darbeyshire. The race finished with Matt Parker in 2nd, Mike Darbeyshire in 3rd, and Renick in 4th... even despite the eagle."
Thanks for the great report Matt. For note thanks to Sean Thomas, using Werner as well, who took 2nd in the 12-6 class. Congrats to all involved and thank you for all your support out there!