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Rivermiles >> 17th Annual Missouri American Water MR340 >> Ground Crew Guidebooks

Message started by Scott on 07/10/10 at 07:11:02

Title: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by Scott on 07/10/10 at 07:11:02
Over the years, many experienced ground crews have shared information for first timers.  Info changes year to year so use at your own risk.  But it's a good starting point in preparing!

This from Derek Fanguy.....good stuff.
2010_MR340_Nav_Guide_4_0.pdf (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by jimmiethejet on 07/10/10 at 20:39:25
Oh......my.....goodness.......  If this guy is at the race I want to buy him lunch at least.  What great stuff!!!!

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by ksucats on 07/12/10 at 11:28:54
Kuddos to you!!!  This is AWESOME!!  I highly recomment any and all ground crews print this...it is the MR340 Bible.  This being my 3rd year as ground crew...I plan on print this off.  One can never have enough information being out there!!!  I remember my first year doing this and I saw all these people with 3 ring binders that had maps, directions. and anything else you could need.  I had nothing....My boyfriend told me...you can do it, just follow people.  True you can follow people, but they aren't always ready to go when you are or maybe you need to make a stop for supplies!!  I learned from my first year....I have my own 3 ring binder and this will just add on to it!!


Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Lane on 07/13/10 at 09:55:33
My dad is Derek Fanguy and last year was my first year doing the race.  Last year I was in the menís tandem with a buddy of mine and we didnít have a clue what we were getting ourselves into.  My dad was our grounds crew and it was hard keeping track of where we were on the river because we didnít have a very detailed map which was fine because at the time we were just trying to finish.  This year Iím going by myself and Iím trying to break 50 hours so itís going to be a little more important for me and my dad to know where I am at all times.  He came over to the house with his three ring binder one night and I couldnít believe all the info that was packed in this thing.  It truly is the MR340 bible.  Iím taking the screen shots of the river and laminating them so I have a birdís eye view of every turn in the river.  This should be a big help this year for the race.  Nice job cuz!

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by MrsMalloryFanguy on 07/13/10 at 10:27:55
Derek is one heck of a guy! I am lucky to have him as my Father in law!!! My dad and I are doing this race this year for our first time...and without these maps it would be hard! These show you everything!!!! :) Cant wait to get this race started here soon and use my handy dandy maps!!!!!! ;D

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by valerie on 07/13/10 at 20:28:40
This is great! Over the last 3+ years I have made several crew bibles for races but this is very "fancy".  I would reccommend it to anyone.  You spent a significant amount of time on this and deserve much praise from all who benefit. I hope you hear from more ground crews. It should be called one of the best crew guidebooks.  :)

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Chuck Approved on 07/13/10 at 21:56:04
As a newbie with my dad as GC, I was getting more stressed about making sure I had enough info for him. In fact, until I got this I was more stressed about him than the race itself. Now I can turn my focus and panic to the race itself.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Scott on 07/15/10 at 13:30:41
Bumping this back up because it's that good.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Katie on 07/15/10 at 13:51:52
Exquisite & brilliant.  Thanks Derek!  

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by paddl-in on 07/15/10 at 18:46:50
You shoulda charged a royalty for this!   Nice job.   I might finally be able to drive direct to kaw point without looking for and following skinny boats on trucks with Texas plates  (thats how I found it last year).

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by spinar on 07/16/10 at 07:58:06
Derek, great job!  Thanks buddy.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Paty on 07/16/10 at 11:53:56
This guidebook is awesome.  I printed it out and just now put my binder together.  Together with this and my GPS, I should make all the checkpoints in a timely manner.  Thank you so much for gathering all this data.  It is great.   :D

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by rivertrash on 07/16/10 at 15:34:23
This is just priceless. We'll be using parts of this for our safety boat crews as well. You're a prince for putting this together and sharing it, Derek!

Just wanted to point out one small error:
On the Corps of Engineers charts, page 57 of the pdf., Cooper's Landing is slightly off. The actual location would be on the previous chart (page 56) just upstream of the 170 mile marker and just downstream of the Little Bonne Femme Creek.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Laverne on 07/18/10 at 07:50:38
Just wanted to say a BIG thank you to Derek! This is awesome!!!  :) Loretto (aka Laverne)

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by ICYC on 07/18/10 at 09:27:31
Thanks Derek, I'm much happier now about my wife's survival/sanity.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by cclement on 07/19/10 at 17:36:58
;)This is the BEST!! †This will be my 3rd year as the Brothers Clem ground crew and I will be using it!!! †The first year, all I had was a Missouri road map!! †Can't find many small town boat ramps with that!!! †Last year, the other Oakland team (Soggy Bottom Boys) ground crew, Denise, googled maps for us to use. †That was such a help along with 3 more helpers, Donna, Kim and Lexie!! †The bad thing was, we had marked our windows with window chalk and had a bunch of cars (newbys) following us. †We still got lost and so did they!!! †This year will be so much better!! †(i hope) Can't wait for the Brothers Clem to do their best time in 3 years!!! †We are here for you two!! †Best of luck to Clay and Cole Clement, and to the rest of the other 339 boats and ground crews!!

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by valerie on 07/23/10 at 17:01:06
Let's think toward the future! :)  Move it up to the top!  Let's get ready for the race! enough of the ........ :-?

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by mbanvard on 07/31/10 at 20:14:07
Amazing work, Derek.  Any extra way to get a sense of the scale of this race is great, and the detail you went through was incredible.  (I hope he reads this)

- Michael Banvard.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by valerie on 08/22/10 at 18:22:34
movin back up!

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Christine on 08/22/10 at 19:49:53

Great work! †This will be my first year on the banks and I am looking forward using your documentation, hardwork and navigational expertise!! I will be supporting my mom as team captian and my 2 year old son will be my brothers extra cheering section (Go West Go!). †

Good luck to all the competitors, support crew, and volunteers. †And a special good luck to my sister Barbara who will be keeping everyone updated on each teams progress, from Southeast Texas!


Team Easy Livings newest recruit!

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Terri on 09/08/11 at 11:16:16
Bumping this back up.  It is listing Coopers instead of Katfish Katys, but still a lot of usefull information.


Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Paddle-Up on 07/14/12 at 20:46:41
I just wanted to bring this back up to the top.  I noticed some folks were still asking.  There may be some tweeking that needs to be done, but the bulk of the work has already been provided.

Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by Joewildlife on 07/18/12 at 13:33:54
Here's a Google map of Katfish Katy's:


Title: Re: Another Ground Crew Guidebook
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 07/18/12 at 20:14:33
If you want very detailed driving directions for MR 340 2012 look down at the post titled: "Newbie suggestions & driving directions" scroll through the document to the section that begins the driving directions legends and print that out. Every year we see newbie support crews show up with not so much as a lawn chair not knowing what they have gotten themselves into and so several of us put these ideas down. The first part is written with them in mind giving ideas of what to bring and expect. The second part, the driving directions, puts together many other driving guides and suggestions from several successful support teams. There are directions to each of the checkpoints and directions to ramps that are in between the official checkpoints. They have been proofed by several top support teams. If anybody does find an error please PM or email Granny so it can be changed for future reference. Happy Paddling & Supporting!!

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by JoshS on 02/23/13 at 19:48:36
this is Heidi's driving directions PDF with a few additions.† Mainly some google map links that can be used for planning.† Please dont take this as the Gospel, it needs to make sense to you.
2013-07-22-26_MR340_driving_directions.pdf (Attachment deleted | 1987 )

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by JoshS on 02/23/13 at 19:56:35
one more file Heidi wanted me to convert to pdf for everyone's use.
2013-07-22_Granny_s_Tips.pdf (Attachment deleted | 1561 )

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 02/25/13 at 09:04:48
Josh, THANK YOU† :) for your editing, pdf ing, and posting of the two booklets! It was a really nice thing for you to help me out. Thanks also to the many support crews who submitted ideas since 2009 after every MR 340 that are incorporated in the booklets. I am very anxious for A Pappy, A Baker, and An Outrigger Maker to hit the River again. Happling Paddling and Supporting everyone!

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by brad126 on 03/31/13 at 18:59:31
Are the checkpoints the same every year? Wondering if this guidebook will be good for this years race.

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by Scott Mansker on 03/31/13 at 19:09:08
If it lists Klondike and Katfish Katy's then it's accurate.  I believe that it does.

There are construction detours to contend with year to year.  We'll know more about those details by the safety meeting. 

Once your ground crew is on the road with the other crews, there's minimal worrying.  They will be swept up in the tsunami of the other crews and will end up where they need to be.

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 04/01/13 at 07:09:32
The two booklets posted by JoshS 02/23/13 were updated by several ground crews right after the MR340 2012. Josh was kind enough to share his expertise and add google maps and a few previously missing coordinates. My name is on them but they are a complilation of ideas of many crews since the 2009 race. The directions booklet has from checkpoint to checkpoint in one color of font and then many of the in between possible viewing points or support spots are listed in another color. You can pick and choose as you go along but you're prepared in case you have to meet up with paddlers inbetween checkpoints. It is very involved. The Tips booklet has many ideas for you and your support crew to consider before the acutal race so you are really informed and prepared. The MR340 is a blast! Have fun. Lots of crews had these directions last year and loved them. Remember to print them out in a font they can read while driving in strange territory. I'm off to spring break with the grandkids, I'll check in on the forum next week. Happy Paddling, Granny

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 05/13/13 at 17:54:27
 39.116094,-94.611318 TO 39.136918,-94.541731
 RR RM 363.1 MDC 6.7 MILES 15 MINUTES
This is a great place to see your paddler & to ďfixĒ any problem that might have come up the first 5 miles of the race. Maybe they tipped at the start and lost all their water, maybe their rudder needs adjusting, you certainly donít want them to continue with a major problem like these or have to go back to Kaw Point to fix the problem, but you also donít want them stopping unless there is a real emergency that can be fixed."

The above quote is from the support crew directions guide posted for the 2013 MR 340 above by Josh. One tandem team sure found this ramp really handy during the 2013 Shootout Race May 4 from Kaw Point to Lexington, 50 miles. This team's rudder broke right away from Kaw Point, they limped along to Riverfront Park East where their support person met them with tools. The rudder was fixed and they were off paddling and finishing the Shootout! Great job team and support crew working together like clockwork with minimal paddling time lost in the race.†

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by FlyinLow on 07/18/13 at 21:48:07
For almost all my races, my father-in-law has been my ground crew and he has done a heckuva job.† For the MR340, my father will be coming into town and taking over that role. Below are some notes from one to the other on how he supports.† Oh, and the previous post about the broken rudder was actually about my father-in-law, JoshS, and I during the Shootout. A good ground crew should not be taken lightly.

...During the last race, I took down some notes on what I do to anticipate what to do when. So the notes below are from that race. Probably seems more like a stream of consciousness than organized thoughts, but here it is anyway.

Race Support In getting ready for the race I print out the directions between the check points and review them with a map (usually on line) so I understand in general where I will be going. I want to put into my mind which sides of the river the checkpoints are on. I check this with the pace chart to make sure I have the right one. I take a paper roadmap with me as a back-up, in case my I-Pad goes down. My I-Pad has the race map links in it. Most importantly, I have the Spot Tracker link in my I-Pad, so I can access it whenever needed. As FlyinLow is getting ready at the launch site he tells me where he might stop, and I mark that on my pace chart. I ask him what pace he thinks he can do at the beginning and write it on the pace chart. I go to the safety briefing to get the cell numbers of the safety boat(s). If they have a ground crew support map directions, I pick that up too. FlyinLow tells me where stuff is in the truck that he might send me after when he lands at a check-point. I know where the first aid kit is. The most important tracking tool for me is his Spot Tracker, so before I leave him, I check that he has turned it on. I check that I have the keys to the truck before he departs. I take pictures at the start, as that is the only time I seem to have the time to take pictures. I focus on what kind of a hat and outfit he is wearing so I can spot him easily on the river through my binoculars. I can see him and his hat much earlier than I can make out his boat color and number. Once he is underway, and before I do anything else I take the pace chart and with pen and paper I figure out the earliest and latest times that he can get to the first check point. I use the pace he has given me, then compute his arrival for 1 mph faster, and again for 1 mph slower. This gives me the window that I know I must be at the first check point. I back off another 15 minutes just to get parked, out of the truck, and down to the water and I have the latest time that I can arrive at the first check point. I compute my route to the first check point on my I-Pad, and I use that as my primary way to get to the check point. My secondary is to follow someone else. My third is to use the printed route I got of the web, or from the race organizers. After I get to the check point (or on the way if I have the time), I check the spot tracker to see how he is doing. I check the arrival window I computed to make sure it still looks good. As soon as FlyinLow, per the spot tracker, is 2 reporting points (20 minutes) away from where I am at the check point, I quit using the I-Pad, get my binoculars out and keeping watching out for him up river. When he arrives at the first check point. I normally don't have to do anything else but wave, and shout encouragement, so I can do other stuff such as: 1) write down his arrival time, 2) notice what types, colors of boats are ahead and behind, so I can look for them at the next check point, ask to see of the support crews who is going to the next check point, so I can follow them if I choose. Then I sit down, at a table if they have any at the check point, or in the car, if not, and I use FlyinLow's arrival time to compute an actual pace to the first check point. Now I have something more accurate than his estimate to work with, and as before, I use a paper and pen to compute his likely arrival window at the next check point, just as I did at the start. Somewhere along the way he will need at least water, perhaps grub. When he is two spot tracker updates upstream of the ramp, I get the water and grub out of the truck and put it at the top of the ramp, or close to it, at some place where I can still watch up river through binoculars. (No need to put it on the ramp next to the water as it just gets crowded there.) As FlyinLow approaches, I try to find a spot next to the water where we won't be conflicted by others, that doesn't have rocks to avoid, and perhaps has sand, rather than the concrete ramp. Regardless, he makes the final decision of where exactly to land, and its my job to be where he lands. My job is to hold the boat steady while he gets out and back in. When he is about to head out I ask him where he next plans to stop, so I can focus on that location. Clothing. I wear a big brimmed hat, as I sunburn easily. I still use lots of sunblock. I take binoculars, which I always use, and camera which I never seem to get around to. I wear water shoes, at least on the ramp, so I can wade in if required. My I-Pad navigates for me almost all of the time, and have a paper map as a back-up. I always carry a pocket knife just in case. On gravel roads, I drive carefully, as an unloaded pick-up truck has a tendency to bounce and slide...

Hope this helps some of the crews.


Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 07/01/14 at 18:47:15
Thank you everyone for the kind words, smiles and hugs after you have read Granny Tips booklet. Please post what you think the most helpful idea was for your support crew. Many thanks, Granny!
MR_2014_Granny_Tips.pdf (Attachment deleted | 1117 )

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by PappysSupportTeam on 07/29/14 at 16:56:48
Many thanks to the missouririvertrails.com web site. I copied their GPS points into my driving directions in both the DD and DMS formats. My Dodge navigation system requires DD to be entered and then it converts to DMS which really confuses me so I just listed both. Can't wait to get this MR340 on the go. Blessings to all, Granny
2014-07-07_MR340_driving_directions.pdf (Attachment deleted | 1281 )

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by gypsey rose on 01/15/16 at 21:24:38
I can't seem to download this guidebook, is there another way to receive it, thanks

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by gypsey rose on 02/19/16 at 12:17:16

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by Scott Mansker on 06/20/18 at 07:36:41
Updated Granny Guidebook now available!

MR340.pdf (Attachment deleted)

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by OPSERay on 02/17/20 at 16:35:59
Thanks to everyone who have contributed to this.  It's amazing and as a first-year paddler, this will be very helpful for me and for my team.

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by Ron Daniels on 07/30/21 at 18:23:07
Ground Crew basic information

My wife and I have worked as a ground crew on the MR340 for the last few years and have learned things along the way that others might find useful. There's a lot of good information out there regarding driving directions along with gas and food stops and I see no reason to repeat the same information here. The information is listed in no particular order of importance. You will figure it out for yourself in due time but hopefully the list below will save some trial and error.
1) Talk to your paddler and know what they expect of you and of themselves. If they don't know what they want none of you will be happy with the results. Ask them if they want you to push them to keep moving or just let them rest. This is going to depend on whether they want to be competitive or just wanting to finish. Only they know the answer.
2) Keep basic first aid supplies handy as well as basic over the counter medications. Things like Tylenol, Aleve, anti diarrhea pills, Tums or Pepto Bismol tablets, electrolyte powder, cortisone cream, and any prescription medications your paddler may require. Use small ziplock bags or small plastic pill containers for when you need to put a supply of medication in their food bags.
3) Have your paddler prepare their own food bags. Add individual items if requested but if they prepare their own food bags your life will be easier and there is no chance of you forgetting something important after not sleeping for over 24 hours.
4) Make sure your paddler has ice socks, you have a fast way to fill them, and a way to keep them from melting before the boat comes in.
5) Have plenty of ice. If you think you need to buy two bags, buy more because you never have enough and will be stopping at most every ice machine along the river.
6) Check the used food bags, water containers, and any sports bottles used for nutritional supplementation every time you take them out of the boat during resupply. Make sure your paddler is eating and drinking properly. Dehydration or malnutrition will take them out of the race and possibly to the hospital.
7) Take more than one headlamp for night time resupply stops. Preferably one with white and red light. The red light won't attract bugs and doesn't affect your night vision. Save the white light function for the actual supply handoffs. You really only need one headlamp until you lose it in the river and that's why you want to take more than one.
8) Take a high quality high output handheld flashlight or small spotlight to light up the landing area for your paddler. DO NOT shine it at them, only at the place they need to bring the boat to.
9) Take spare batteries for everything you are using and take an extra phone charger.
10) Buy a good automotive GPS if your vehicle doesn't have built-in navigation. Don't rely on your phone because lots of places along the river have little or no cell service. Take a paper road map in case technology fails (it will only fail at a critical time 🙄).
11) Take plenty of insect repellent and sunscreen. Plenty means a lot more than you think you will need.
12) Take a light jacket or sweatshirt because most years it gets cool along the river at night.
13) Bring paper towels, toilet paper, antiseptic wipes, trash bags, and hand sanitizer.
14) Take more water than you think you will need. It's better to have extra than not enough.
15) I drink coffee all day long year round. Fresh coffee isn't available in most of the places we end up to resupply and caffeine deprivation will leave me very tired (especially if there is no chance to sleep). It may not be the right thing for you, but I take along a supply of 200 mg caffeine tablets. I take one in place of my usual cup of coffee and things are just fine. 200 mg is about average for a cup of coffee like I normally drink so there's no side effects. If you aren't a heavy coffee drinker or if you have a caffeine allergy you probably shouldn't try this yourself.
16) Having a spare life jacket in the vehicle isn't a bad idea. It's easy to get in over your head (literally) in some spots and having one available might save you or someone else from drowning.

Title: Re: Ground Crew Guidebooks
Post by MOEngineer on 12/27/21 at 14:49:54
First Post! This looks like a bunch of really useful info! Thanks y'all for sharing!

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