A few minutes after the turn around at the island Alan Lipp's four man outrigger canoe made contact with us. These guys go great upwind, and as they went by, all five of us attempted to ride their wash. Which is a very bumpy ride but a good draft out of the direct headwind, so worth it for the most part (drafting out of category is allowed at this race) other then the jeering from coming from the bleachers of the green beast.
As we churned up lake, Olney decided it was time to make his move and surged left into the wind. I instinctively covered this move, but the timing felt a bit too early as we still had three miles to go so I let him go. But Klein reacted a bit more and jumped on his wash, but when the canoe found another gear he attempted to switch back and ended up colliding with Christianson in the bumpy wash who managed to stay upright. Klein was less fortunate and took a swim that sent his ski sideways directly back into myself and Scoggins.
Klein quickly remounted, and Olney and Scoggins paused and dogged his ski while he did so. But the damage was done and Christianson and I were now 20 seconds upwind and within two miles of the finish. Kirk and I let up a little bit on the pace and let the canoe wash slip away as we eyed each other. A nerve wracking thing to do as you risk the other two or three racers coming back into contact, but at the same time who wants to tow someone else to the line? It reminded me of the cat and mouse end game so common from my cycling days.
There is absolutely nothing worse then mishandling an opportunity to win, so when I glanced back and saw them closing fast, I decided to throttle up and see what Kirk and the others had.