Paddling: Gonzales not in reach for this scribe

San Marcos Daily Record sports writer Tyler Mayforth portages Boat No. 56 around Rio Vista Falls (Photo by Gerald Castillo).

When Boat No. 4106 — nicknamed ‘FrednThemGuys’ — touched the Seadrift seawall to win the 51st Texas Water Safari after paddling 39 hours and 45 minutes, Boat No. 56 — nicknamed ‘Cirrhosis of the River’ — had already been off the river for 16 hours.

As Ian Rolls crossed the finish line Monday morning as one of the first solo boats, Emma Stubbings probably wouldn’t wake up for another few hours after a well-deserved rest. Rolls had been in a novice boat last year with Brad Ellis, a 30-year-old man from Dripping Springs, who died due to depleted electrolyte levels.

Once John Bugge completed the 260-mile paddle with Megan Yeager, in turn extending his record number of finishes in the Water Safari (34), I began debating on what I could have done differently through our time on the river.

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