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Mokelumne River Races


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2017 – September 16th and 17th - 800 cfs

Sat & Sun

The weather was warm and clear holding just a slight breeze in the air. Even though it was a bumper year of rain creating a new rock formation at the put-in we only received 800 cfs for this year’s races. 19 racers navigated the downriver race on Saturday with a new course record set this year. 51 slalom racers made a total of 102 runs in 4 hours and 15 minutes. An awesome group of volunteers made the event a success yet another time.

The course was set-up with some amount of the normal bruises and abrasions on Friday with time to spare. Some anxious times were had for the new race directors as the water did not arrive as expected but finally started flowing around 4 well after setup. Race central convened to the grassy lawn of the Jackson Lodge for a treasure trove of grilled meats, other edibles, and assorted drinkables. Saturday was a beautiful, warm, and sunny day. The water came up exactly on schedule to the relief of the organizers so that boaters could practice the course all day and some participated in the downriver race. Albert claimed a new record time of 19:12 even though the course had been lengthened 10 feet. Sunday was a repeat of the weather filled with slalom racing with nearly 60 boaters negotiating the course for a total of almost 150 runs. Boaters were heard cursing gates 5 and the 8, 9, to 10 combo out of the total of 20 gates. After the course take-down the traditional feast of watermelon cooled everyone down for the awards ceremony and traditional picture.

2017 Course Action
Action on the course

Photos from the 2017 races

Race Directors: Ed Roseboom and Willis McNeal

2016 – October 1st and 2nd - 1100 cfs

Sat & Sun

After no races in 2015, the Mokelumne River did not disappoint for the 36th annual Moke Races. The weather was warm and clear with just a slight sprinkle of rain during tear-down after the races. We were graced with around 1100 cfs for this year’s races.

We had a great group of people for the Friday course set-up fun, followed by a feast of grilled meats, homemade dishes, and an enormous amount of brownies. Saturday was a beautiful, warm, and sunny day. Boaters practiced the course all day and some participated in the downriver race. We were even joined by a group of SUPers this year. Sunday was a day filled with slalom racing with nearly 60 boaters negotiating the course. We added yet another gate this year for a total of 20. This made the course long while maintaining the usual technical nature.

Photos from the 2016 races

Race Director: James Schubert


The 2015 races were canceled due to lack of water. A large fire above the Electra Run would have prevented the races in any cases.

2014 – September 13th & 14th – 750 cfs

Sat & Sun

The Mokelumne River did not disappoint for the 36th annual Moke Races. The weather was hot, but clear and the water was perfect. We were graced with around 750 cfs for this year’s races.

Several folks joined in for the Friday course set-up fun, followed by a feast of grilled meats, homemade dishes, and maybe a slice of pie or two. Saturday proved to be quite warm and sunny. Boaters practiced the course all day and some participated in the downriver race. Sunday was as busy as ever with nearly 80 boaters negotiating the course. We added yet another gate this year for a total of 20. This made the course long while maintaining the usual technical nature.

2014 Moke Race Crowd
At the end of race day.

Photos from the 2014 races

Race Director: James Schubert

2013 - September 21st & 22nd - 800 cfs



Every year we try and add something different to the slalom course and this year we added a gate, but shortened the course.

We moved the start over to river left, about 30 feet above gate 1, requiring a tight turn back towards river left after negotiating the gate.   The finish was also pulled up to just after gate 19, making it a tighter and a faster course than last year.

Friday was the last day of summer and a perfect day to trade a day at the office for one playing on the river setting up the slalom course.   True to the calendar Saturday was the first day of fall.  It rained on and off all day long, but it was more annoying than miserable and it didn't stop a constant stream of boaters practicing throughout the day.   It did break long enough to run a rain free downriver race ...and then Sunday, without a cloud in the sky, the sun was back...a beautiful fall day for the slalom races.

Between the slalom and downriver racers we had a total of 63 registered boaters for the weekend; with lots of family and friends helping out and enjoying a day on the Moke.

2013 Moke Race Crowd
Ready for race day.

Photos from the 2013 races

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2012 - September 15th & 16th - 825 cfs


It was a hot fall weekend on the Moke.   To balance that out we had a nice release of cold, clear water all three days; 750 cfs from the power house & 75 cfs from streamflows for a total of 825 cfs.

We had a great crew who skipped work on Friday to come to the river and help setup the course.   Thanks to Keith's prep work a few days earlier we had the course up in under two hours.   After lunch by the river we did some gate adjustment then played on the course till it was time for the BBQ.

Saturday's mass start at the downriver race was fun to watch, with a bit of laughing, pushing and shoving as 25 boats and one standup paddle board headed downstream.

The slalom course eased you in on gates 1-5, picked up steam through a series of fast offset gates at 6-10 and then about the time your arms were feeling it headed into a tricky set of down/up combinations before running out downstream toward the finish.

In total there were 67 registered boaters and lots of family and friends who joined us for another race weekend on the Moke.

2012 Moke Race Crowd
After a weekend at the races.

Photos from the 2012 races

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2011 - October 8th & 9th - 1000 cfs


The races were held in October this year to work around scheduled PG&E dam maintanence.

After a week of rain, preceeding the races, the sun came out and gave us three great days of fall weather on the Moke. We had over 60 registered racers with 50 slalom boaters and 23 boaters in the downriver mass start on Saturday.

Besides the usual collection of slalom boats and plastic kayaks we had an assortment of C1, OC2, K2 and IK boaters along with some new faces in the cadet category.

Keith designed a deceptively straight-forwarding looking course, that took a while to master.   Gates 6-11 on the fastest part of the course were non-stop offset action followed by a couple of single pole up stream gates; which was something new this year.

2011 Moke Race Crowd
A weekend at the races.

Photos from the 2011 races

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2010 - Sept 18 & 19 - 1000 cfs

Partly Cloudy73º

Friday was a day of swimming across the river, climbing trees, pulling ropes, tying knots and hanging gates as we setup the course.   We followed it up with some early course practice time and then capped off the day with a BBQ.

Saturday dawned cool and foggy, but soon turned warm and sunny with racers showing up throughout the day to register and get practice time on the slalom course.   There was a good turnout for the downriver race and we mass started the wildwater boats in a group and then river runners, play boats and IK's in a second group.

There were over 50 boaters for Sunday's slalom races with a good C-1/OC-1 turnout and our first K-2 in a long while.   The clouds threatened rain, but it never materialized and instead helped keep the judging stations cool.   After a great day of racing the course came down and we capped off the weekend eating Charlie's watermellon as we passed out award ribbons, water bottles and thanked everbody who helped make it another great year on the Moke.

Photos from the 2010 races

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2009 - Sept 19 & 20 - 850 cfs


It was another beautiful race weekend on the Mokelumne River.  We had great weather, over 40 racers and everything ran smoothly all weekend thanks to the volunteers and racers that helped out with judging, scoring, start, finish, downriver, designing and setting up the course, registration, BBQ and hauling gear.  Thank you!

Keith once again designed a nice course, bringing variety and challenges to this stretch of river.  It looked like the move from gate 8 to gate 9 was the toughest for most racers.

This weekend overlapped with the Great Sierra River Cleanup and their volunteers came through on Saturday, picking up litter along the river corridor.  We also had some young men from the Sierra Ridge Academy carry boats from the take-out back to the put-in for a $1 a carry.  Money well spent for some people's shoulders.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2008 - Sept 20 & 21 - 800 cfs


The turnout was fantastic for the races this year. We had over 20 people come and help setup the course on Friday and join the BBQ that evening. On Saturday there were 30 downriver racers and Sunday we had 75 racers working their way through the slalom gates.  Here's a photo of part of the group after the awards ceremony.

With the huge slalom turnout we had a bit of a backlog around mid-day as everybody seemed to leave their judging station at the same time to get in a run. Later in the day we were able to pickup the starting pace and we had the last racer cross the finish line at 3:20. We'll be looking at some changes for next year to try and elimate that long starting line at mid-day.

In the downriver race the mass start for the plastic playboats was fun to watch. Twenty-some mintues and 3.2 miles later there were some tired paddlers moving those Jackson 4Funs downstream. Next year we'll separate the men's and women's categories and we'll see if we can come up with a better definition of what's a riverboat and a playboat. Any ideas?

There were lots of new faces at the races and several we hadn't seen in many years. Albert, who was the first race organizer for LPP back in 1978, joined us again in his custom downriver boat. Jim & Jan came down from Oregon with their OC-2 and it was always good to see the folks from Nevada, Bakersfield, LA and San Diego. Jacob, Sage & Ben rounded out the field in the Cadet category.

Our thanks to everybody who raced and volunteered this year. It wouldn't happen without you.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2007 - Sept 15 & 16 - 800 cfs


We had a good turn out with 53 boaters in kayaks and open and closed canoes.  There were also a growing number of spectators who came just to watch the races.  Thanks to everyone who turned out to lend a hand, watch and race and to PG&E who found us water in a low water year!

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2006 - Sept 23 & 24 - 800 cfs


We had another nice turnout this year for the downriver and slalom races, a good group of spectators and great group of volunteers helping with course setup, the BBQ and running the races.

The weather cooperated nicely and PG&E once again came through about 800cfs of  water; although we were getting nervous when the scheduled dam maintenance didn't finish until late Thursday afternoon before race weekend.

In the downriver this year we had a couple of sea kayaks turning in the fastest times at under 20 minutes and a great C-1 paddle in a WaveSport Transformer - one blade and a short boat!

On the slalom course the general consensus was that this course was a bit tougher than last year's.  Gates 10 & 12, both ups, required some of the more challenging moves.  Gate 10 was on the left side of the course, just downstream of a pour-over, and was not run by Novice, Junior, Cadet and C-2 classes.

We used radios for the first time this year to get scores posted quicker than in previous years.  It wasn't without it's first year hiccups, but overall it was a success.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2005 - Sept. 17 & 18 - 1100 cfs


What a difference a year makes.  Blue skies and a pleasant high of 86 degrees.  It was a fantastic turnout this year with 65 slalom racers and 28 competing in the downriver race.  Thanks to everyone who lent a hand making the races go smoothly.

The slalom and downriver results are now posted.   If you see any errors please let us know, especially with partner names for the C2 and OC2 classes.

The best run on the course was a clean run by Jessica Subido in 126.77 seconds.  Gate 11 wins the award for the toughest gate with just under a third of the runs having a 50.  Gates 9 & 10 weren't far behind.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2004 - Sept. 18 & 19 - 1000 cfs


It was a different story on the river this year compared to last year's 99 degree days.  It was cool and overcast on Friday and Saturday and then Sunday mother nature dumped the first rainstorm of the season on us just after the racer's meeting.  It rained fairly hard at times and there were some creative uses of tarps, ropes, sticks and paddles to put together shelters to try and keep everybody dry at the judging stations.  The rain lasted until about 1:00 then it held off while we finished the races and took down the course.   As the last awards were being handed out the rain started again and hadn't let up as we all headed home.

All-in-all it was a another fun weekend on the Moke.  Lots of a returning racers and new faces as well.   Thanks to all who came to race and volunteer and to PG&E for the on-the-money water releases, the Moke Lodge for letting us use their property for the downriver takeout, the BLM and the Sierra Club.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2003 - Sept. 20 & 21 - 700 cfs


It was a hot weekend on the river with lots of racers keeping cool on the water.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2002 - Sept. 21 & 22

Race Director: Tom Musolf


The 2001 races were canceled due to lack of water.

Race Director: Tom Musolf

2000 - Oct. 14 & 15

Race Director: Nathan Ng

1999 - Oct. 2 & 3

Race Director: Nathan Ng

1998 - Oct. 3 & 4

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1997 - Sept. 27 & 28

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1996 - Oct 19 & 20 - 800cfs


It was raining on Friday, October 18. This was the day that our club was setting up the kayak and canoe slalom race on the Mokelumne River. Ropes were ferried across the river and the gates were hung. By the end of the day the course was set up.

On Saturday PamP, Violet, PamM and Sharon ran the registration table. Many volunteers helped to raise any sagging ropes, and run the downriver race. PG&E had previously been contacted, and they agreed to give us 800cfs for Sat and Sunday. I had placed my weather modification net over the course and Saturday and Sunday were sunny.

We had 38 racers on Sunday. Many thanks to VinceW, PamP, and KenB for the loan of their phone system that connected the start and finish and judging stations. Both Pams, CandaceD, and Violet ran the scoring table. Everyone including Keith and I seemed to have a good time.

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1995 - Sept. 30 & Oct 1

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1994 - Oct. 1 & 2

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1993 - Oct. 23 & 24

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1992 - Oct. 3 & 4

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1991 - Oct. 5 & 6

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1990 - Sept. 8 & 9

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1989 - Sept. 9 & 10

Race Director: Ken Brunton

1987 & 1988

Race Director: Doug Westphal

1983 - 1986

Race Director: Karel Cymbal

1980 - 1982

Race Director: Albert Romvari. Some old notes show Doug Gordon and Albert may have also organized the races in 1979.

1978 & 1979

The first Mokelumne River Races were held in the fall of 1978. The results of those early, pre-internet, races have been lost, but we do know that for the first two years the races were organized by Johnny Evans, who raced for the USA in the 1972 Olympics, running C-2 with Russ Nichols.

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