Leading the competitors through the courses at the US Gondola Nationals is an important job. Not only do the racers need to know exactly where they are going, but often there are boats and paddle boarders on the route who need to be "shepherded" out of the way.
Many thanks to Shanda of Lear Boats for providing expert chase boat services on both days.
Not surprisingly, the chase boat is often the best place to watch the races from. Photographer Gary Ambrose sent me these great images from day one of the races.
Mark Schooling of Gondola Paradiso in Oxnard, CA
begins his turn at the buoy during the Solo Sprint.
Thomas "Nicola" Morin and Adam "Ivano" Alves of La Gondola in Providence, RI jockey for position followed by Tim "Bepi" Reinard of Sunset Gondola in the Solo Sprint.
Michael Angelo Ruffino of Newport digs deep.
Keith "Legno" Thurber of Providence powers it home in the Solo Sprint.
All smiles at the timekeeper's spot on the dock.
Parker Harrison and Simon Atkins of Newport on the left,
Matthew "Marcello" Haynes of Providence with clipboard,
Tim Tyler and Tyson Davis of Gondola Getaway in Long Beach behind.
Michael Angelo Ruffino and Parker Harrison of Newport
pushing hard in the Distance Tandem event.