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Winter Training in the USA/Red River Racing Team's Flood Recovery Benefit

From: BenKvanli@aol.com.
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 04:24:02 EST
Subject: Winter Training in the USA/The Red River Racing Team's Flood Recovery Benefit


Yes! We want to come back after the greatest flood here of modern times. So just in time for Christmas, we will be hosting a silent auction, slalom, rodeo, and dinner on the warm, clear San Marcos River to benefit the Red River Racing Team on Saturday, December 19, 1998. The flood wiped out two of our slalom courses, our van, several personal vehicles, swept away some boats, etc. So, we have a lot of catching up to do, and we need some help.

Some of you may be surprised to find that there is any significant paddling here in Texas, yet despite our limitations, we have grown to be a large paddling community, and we are only just beginning. We want to come back to do more. Please lend us a hand in doing so. Our fundraiser will be at our newly built rodeo hole, and slalom course, on a warm, spring fed river that has never dried up as long as man has recorded its history, in the heart of what is now a major metropolitan area (San Antonio - Austin). Slalom, and rodeo are new to most here (as is kayaking), so our top atheletes, and instructors will be offering free workshops to folks immediately before the competitions, on equipment, outfitting, safety, and of course, the elements of these paddling disciplines. As added attractions the slalom will be held in town and the rodeo will be held at night with illumination from beneath the water. Also, we have invited many of the region's outdoor equiptment retailers to come and help us to promote our sport and support the flood victims.

This disaster has really humbled and brought together a big part of our paddling community here in Texas. We revel in the power of the water in our sport, but don't often consider that it can take away our family and friends or our homes in a heartbeat. On that fateful Saturday morning when the rivers here rose tens of thousands of CFS in only minutes, we were fortunate in that we had a kayak clinic, a slalom clinic, a river cleanup, and a swiftwater rescue class all going on ahead of the flood, and yet, we all escaped serious injuries. The miraculous, and dramatic stories of good fortune in surviving abound here now, but as we clean up the debris that has been left behind, the long-term consequences of losing most everything are starting to occur.

Despite all of this, in the last break in the rain we built an excellent slalom course on the Guadalupe River which is dam controlled (Normally-i.e. It flooded despite the dams!), and is now running at 3000 cfs. We do have a lot of water. The dam controlled rivers and the springs will be pumping all winter long, and when it rains at all we have even more whitewater for just getting away to play on several nearby rivers. I am still wearing a shorty in training, even in the plastic boat! It has been getting up to 80 degrees almost every day, and getting down to about 60 at night. So the paddling is great if you are looking for a place to thaw out that won't cost you very much. Additionally, we will be doing an instructional training camp after Christmas on the long New Year's weekend that you are welcome to. It will include a mock-rodeo on New Year's Eve, and the finale will be a Slalom Race at Hueco Springs Rapid.

If you would now like to show your support for paddlesports and our Jr. Olympic Program here or if you'd like to attend one of the upcoming events then please contact me at:

or you can address donations to

Also, our web page should be redone by next week, so check us out or just look for pics. of flood carnage at Red River Racing Team.

Thank you,
Ben Kvanli
1996 Olympian K-1
Head Coach
The Red River Racing Team

Contact: webmaster.