Two weeks earlier my canoe racing partner and I had won our class at the Canadian nationals in long distance canoe racing.
We were now in the biggest race in North America, Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie, aka The Classic, aka Shawinigan.
We had a bad start, and got behind the huge waves (3-4 feet!) created by the combined waves of the 100 or so canoes at the starting line. At one point the water in front of us was sucked away and we ended up on dry land, requiring us to get out and carry the canoe sideways back into the river.