Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The 2011 FIBArk Hooligan Race

As promised yesterday and Monday, when I talked about other aspects of the FIBArk whitewater festival in Salida, Colorado, and my participation in it, I am posting today about the Hooligan Race. The Hooligan Race is open to anything that floats. Anything. Except a boat, that is.

Hooligans pick a theme for their homemade craft, dress up in costume, and try to put on a good show for the hoards of onlookers lining the banks. The winner is not determined by whose craft is the fastest, or even the most durable (many don't survive the race). It's the team that puts on the best show for the crowd.

Necks start craning each time the announcer shouts, "Hooligans in the water!" to signal that another heat of homemade craft are starting their scramble through the downtown whitewater park. Below are some photos of creative rafts in the race. First is a fire brigade, followed by a jail break on a mattress and a giant caterpillar.

The next two photos show Boris the spider and the giant river rat ("river rat" being a term for anyone who loves paddling whitewater).

The next two photos show how things can go wrong. First, a replica of the space shuttle is breaking up in the standing wave feature of the whitewater park. Second, a raft has crashed into the bridge support, and the paddlers are going to have to abandon ship.

Lastly, here's the hands-down favorite of the crowd, which set a new pyrotechnic "high bar" for race competitors: The Natural Disasters.

And the final FIBArk event that I attended was the VIP Brunch on Sunday for board members and VIPs such as myself. After stuffing ourselves and sipping on beermosas (versus mimosas - made of beer and orange juice) made from product provided by the main sponsor, New Belgium Brewing, my husband and I got in the car to head home to Colorado Springs. Here's a final photo of me with the Parade Director, Donna Rhoads. What a fun weekend!


Ruben Briseno said...

hey i was on the boat in the second picture crashing in the the F Street said it shows what can go wrong, but we had that planned!!!!

Patty said...

Well Ruben... In that same picture, I’m the one in the water... Yes the small black helmet to the right... I guess I was not in that planning which meant for us to hit the F St. Bridge since I was the only one to jump to safety! lol. Yeah that crash really messed us up. One crew member dislocated his should, and another got a bad concussion. All others got many brushes, and drank a ton of river water. The member who got the concussion floated down river about 2 miles before being pulled out by a hippy chick. (I still wonder how the FIBark safety people did not notice him as he floated past them attached to the large raft we made??? Luckily we all made it... we all had fun... But next year, will be one where I will be watching happily on the shore!

If anyone is seeking a coach... Ruben is available for hire next year!

Bianna Tennant said...

I am with you guys! Next year I will be on the side with my case of beer watching.... oh and letting people know to look out for that bridge as they did to me. As you can see I didnt really listen too well cause I am the one sitting on the boat watching everyone Good times guys;)

Anonymous said...

That looks like it was SO much fun! Thanks for sharing, Beth!

Beth Groundwater said...

LOL, Ruben! So that was all part of your show for the crowd, huh.

Though, maybe I should believe Patty instead. So sorry to hear about the dislocated shoulder and the guy with a concussion. Thank goodness he got pulled out! And after what you said, I'm not so sure I'd hire Ruben as a coach. ;-)

Next maybe we ALL can be sharing those beers on the shore next year. I'm in!

Beth Groundwater said...

PS. If any of you who are in the photo want a larger version of it, my hubby the photographer would be glad to send you one. Just contact me at my website, to let me know your email address.