Some events have money, others schwag or even a stained glass. The annual Robe Race in Washington has a bathrobe and a gnome.
It’s the former that you want. The coveted Robe robe passes from winner to winner each year, and is a sure sign of your manliness or womanliness each morning when you look in the mirror. The gnome? You want to avoid it like the plague. It’s the prize for the slowest team, which usually means a swim.
Not that this year’s gnome-winners Chris Tretwold and Ryan Bradley should be chagrinned about receiving the troll-like trophy. While their combined time was affected by a swim, so was that of three other teams, thanks to a whopping flow of 5.8 on the gauge. That means a quarter of the 16 teams entered had at least one swim…pretty stout stats that owe themselves to an even stouter flow.
Established in 2008 by veteran hairboater Todd Gillman (who raced this year with Bryan Smith), this year’s race, while beefier than usual, had everything the previous two events had, from carnage to clean lines, as well as a roadside awards party.
As for the robe itself, this year reigning champs Ben Hawthorne and Rob McKibbin had to hand it over to the team of Brian Fletcher and Aaron Johnson, whose time of 27:56 bested the previous champs by 49 seconds – about how long some racers were caught in hydraulics.
“The flows were higher than we expected, which was great because 5.8 might be the best Robe level out there,” says racer Fred Norquist. “And we got to race on it!”
*(s) signifies swim
(1) Aaron Johnson / Brian Fletcher (27:56)
(2) Rob McKibbin / Ben Hawthorne (28:45)
(3) Kurt Braunlich / Louis Geltman (29:07)
(4) Jon Prentice / Darren Albright (30:38)
(5) Sean Bozkewycz / Adrian Kiernan (31:59)
(6) Bryan Smith / Todd Gillman (32:52)
(7) Hale Hannaway / Jon Dufay (33:58)
(8) Brad Xanthopoulos / Marco Colella (34:23)
(9) Jonathan Ehlinger / Andrew Oberhardt (36:10)
(10) Scott Waidelich / Nick Hinds (36:41)(S)
(11) Steve Arns / Matt Kompass (36:50)
(12) Fred Norquist / Niko Peha (38:03)(S)
(13) Ken Olivier / Sam the Kiwi (40:27)
(14) Shane Robinson / Brock Gavery (40:54)(S)
(15) Don Beveridge / Darcy Gaechter (41:30)
(16) Chris Tretwold / Ryan Bradley (55:15)(S)
More Info and Photos: Kokatat Blog