Paddling: Last One There is a Soggy Egg

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, July 1995

Paddling: Last One There is a Soggy Egg
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and Alison Osius)

Churning across the flatwater speed course at Ellen Trout Lake in Lufkin, Texas, last April, two-time Olympian Traci Phillips earned the title "fastest kayak paddler in America" for the third consecutive year. Conceived of five years ago to bring some sex appeal to whitewater paddling's wallflower cousin, the Champion International Canoe/Kayak Knockout employs a short, 200-meter course and a novel format. The last boats across the finish line in each heat are "knocked out" of the competition. The heats whittle the field down to four boats, which then "dash for cash" in the final round. Phillips's times improved from 42.61 seconds in the quarterfinals to 39.45 in the finals, in which the 32-year-old Honolulu native beat DeAnne Hemmens by more than a second. In the men's single kayak event, Peter Newton, a gold medalist twice over in the 1995 Pan Am Games, defeated 1992 Olympic teammate Mike Herbert.

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