Boomer’s Drive-In made up 50 seconds in the last leg to bring home the team’s first-ever overall Ski to Sea win Sunday afternoon.
Austin Kieffer, the team’s kayaker, was in the water nearly a minute behind Beavers Tree Service’s Brandon Nelson, who crossed second at the finish line at Marine Park in Fairhaven.
All seven legs of Whatcom County’s signature 93-mile adventure relay – now in its 45th year – played out under clear skies and without any reported mishaps.
Boomer’s victory was a comeback from its third-place win last year.
In that race, the team gained ground during the running leg, but their road cyclist, Michael Finley, took a spill near Silver Lake.
Beavers’ Nelson rang the bell at the finish line three minutes after Kieffer. Nelson, in 2016, became the second-ever competitor from an all-Whatcom County team to finish first overall.
There were no arguments among kayakers about the conditions on the bay – “hot and flat.”
The sun was unforgiving, some racers said, as temperatures topped 70 degrees. The only texture came from the wakes of boats.
Whatcom County competitors topped the women’s divisions this year, with Brandon Nelson Partners’ Heather Nelson the first female kayaker across the line. The team finished 22nd overall.
Danielle Burnett with Stones Throw Brewery Hustlers was the first Competitive Mixed racer across the finish line. Overall, the team placed 29th.
2017 Ski to Sea Division winners
Whatcom County Open
Beavers Tree Service
Boomer’s Drive-In Veterans
Schmidt Orthodontics Greatest American Heroes
Whatcom County Women
Brandon Nelson Partners
Jack’s Bicycle Center
Northwest Indian College Eagles
Stones Throw Brewery Hustlers
Whatcom County Mixed
The Real Housewives of Whatcom County