The 2014 Bellingham Regatta and 31st Annual Birch Bay Sculpture Contest


In a continuing series of posts to help me catch up now that I’ve my computer back, this one is about the Bellingham Regatta and the Birch Bay Sculpture Contest.

31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest:

Tools of the Trade:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Tools of the trade lie in the sand of Birch Bay Beach during the 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tools of the trade lie in the sand of Birch Bay Beach during the 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest.

On Saturday June 21st, I had two assignments for The Bellingham Herald. One was the Bellingham Regatta and the other was the 31st annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture contest.

Touching Up:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Randy Behnke of Bellingham gingerly smoothes the sand around the base of his team's sand sculpture Pete's Dragon during The 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest  on Birch Bay Beach on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Randy Behnke of Bellingham gingerly smooths the sand around the base of his team’s sand sculpture Pete’s Dragon during The 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest on Birch Bay Beach on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

Technically, I was accidentally sent the assignment for the sand sculpture contest. I only discovered that tidbit of information an hour into shooting it when I ran into another freelancer Daniel Pickard. So I let Daniel complete the assignment without me bothering him and headed off  to the Regatta.

Gathering Supplies:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Isabell Thompson and Kalia Trent, both 8, walk past Zombies after gathering supplies for their sculpture during t he 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest  on Birch Bay Beach on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Isabell Thompson and Kalia Trent, both 8, walk past Zombies after gathering supplies for their sculpture during t he 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest on Birch Bay Beach.

One of my pet peeves working for papers is when photographers are doubled-up on assignments. Unless it’s major breaking news or a super huge event, you tend to get in each other’s way and step on their toes. It was always confusing to a subject when you identified yourself and with a confused look on their face mention the other photographer.

The annual family oriented contest is sponsored by the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce. Hundreds gather to not only compete, but to observe the construction process and enjoy the beautiful weather.

Building a Turtle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Corrine Campion, 6, works on her sculpture "Yertle the Turtle" during the 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest on Birch Bay Beach on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Corrine Campion, 6, works on her sculpture “Yertle the Turtle” during the 31st Annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture Contest on Birch Bay Beach on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Birch Bay, Wash.

For more photos of the competition, visit 31st annual Birch Bay Sand Sculpture slide-show on The Bellingham Herald website.

Bellingham Regatta at Lake Padden:

The regatta was the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team‘s annual race. Teams from all over the Puget Sound were on hand to race in single, double and quad canoe and kayak sprints. The race is held at Lake Padden southeast of Bellingham on Samish Lake Road.

The annual race lengths were 100, 200, 500, and 1000 meters. The races are technically called sprints due to the short distance. Just like the 100 yard dash or 26 mile marathon.

First Place:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - (front to rear) Jonathan Branato, Jack Capper, Justin Barker, and Austin Warren with the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Club cross the finish line during the Men's 4C event of  the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – (front to rear) Jonathan Branato, Jack Capper, Justin Barker, and Austin Warren with the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Club cross the finish line during the Men’s 4C event of the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

Shooting races is usually fun, but I really needed a 400mm or longer telephoto lens to get closer to the action. The race was in the middle of the lake with the finish line 50 to 75 yards off the shore. Not very photo friendly.

Checking Race Times:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Elana Eckert with the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team keeps tracks of the races and stats during 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the BCKST on Lake Padden on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Elana Eckert with the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team keeps tracks of the races and stats during 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the BCKST on Lake Padden on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

Due to that, I stayed on the shore trying to get something good of the racers getting in and out of the water. Didn’t have a lot of luck with it though. Did get some photos of a hen and her ducklings.

Nap Time:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Helen Yip of Vancouver, B.C., naps under her umbrella during the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Helen Yip of Vancouver, B.C., naps under her umbrella during the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

To top that off, the spectators were rather stoic. It was very hard to get any real emotion from winners as well. But I shot what I could. So I just stretched myself and got creative.

A Whole Lot of Boats:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Spectators watch the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Spectators watch the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

For the most part, it was a very difficult assignment to shoot. But I did what I could. I don’t think I failed, but I didn’t get what I really felt told the story of the races.

Mama!! Mama!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - A mother duck and her two ducklings paddle away from competitors during the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday  morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – A mother duck and her two ducklings paddle away from competitors during the 2014 Bellingham Regatta hosted by the Bellingham Canoe & Kayak Sprint Team on Lake Padden on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

For more photos of the regatta, visit 2014 Bellingham Regatta on The Bellingham Herald’s website.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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