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Canyon Gear's Featured


Down the Stretch... with a Genuine Winner.
The Story of
Genuine Risk
  Genuine Risk  

Last month, in our Featured Crew segment, we were introduced to an extraordinary lady… a woman of strength, determination, and remarkable perseverance. This month, we acknowledge a very different type of woman, yet one who possessed many similar qualities that we associate with a “winner.”

Every year, on the first Saturday in May, we’re captivated by what, over time, has become an American tradition—the Kentucky Derby.  For me, it represents the change of season. Weather becomes consistent, spring boat prep nears completion. With freshly painted bottoms and sparkling clean bilges, boats are splashed everywhere. Summer is just around the corner.

Churchill Downs

In 1980, on the first Saturday in May, 13 horses were led to the starting gate at Churchill Downs, the famed mecca of horse racing in Louisville, Kentucky. Unbeknownst to the thousands who watched from the stands and the hundreds of thousands that watched on television (of course, there were no flat screens or HD TVs back then), history would be made.


Genuine Risk at the races

On this day, the horse that drew the number 8 post position would majestically enter the starting gate… but this horse was different than the others. This horse was the only filly in the race and the only filly to run in the Kentucky Derby in the prior 21 years. This horse went by the name of “Genuine Risk.”

At the top of the stretch, coming from near the back of the pack, Genuine Risk, with jockey Jacinto Vasquez aboard, found her way to the top and never looked back. She won the 1980 Kentucky Derby by a solid length, cementing her place in history as only the second filly to ever win the Derby—with a span of 65 years in between the two.

Genuine Risk running shot

At Canyon Gear, we receive lots of catalog requests. And if you’re serious about having us create a spectacular design for your boat shirts, be assured that we’re going to ask quite a few questions…

because when we get the story behind you and your crew, coupled with the name of your boat, that’s when a custom boat shirt design becomes extraordinary.

The design on press


A few months back, we received a request from a gentleman hailing from Murrell’s Inlet, South Carolina. Derek Nobles owned a new 35’ Contender and he was looking to outfit his crew. The name of the boat was Genuine Risk. At the time, I had no idea of the significance behind the name, but I always make it a practice to ask. So I sent Derek the proverbial e-mail. He quickly responded.

Turns out, Derek’s wife originally hails from Kentucky, not far from Churchill Downs and Derek was born in 1980… yes, indeed, the same year Genuine Risk won the Derby. Bingo! Now we had a theme to work with.


Genuine Risk final design

Our design team had lots of options here, so our first task was to narrow them down. Derek wanted a sensible, clean look. We wanted his 35’ Contender to be the main attraction, but we also knew that the choice of elements we surrounded it with would make all the difference in creating the epic look we were after for the Genuine Risk crew. A horseshoe, as a symbol of both horse racing and good luck, was a given. We used it to anchor (or frame) the design. Now, we had a few more choices to make. Behind the boat, with Derek’s input, we chose to fill the center with a big Blue Marlin, and accented the Marlin with an authentic replica of the saddle cloth worn by Genuine Risk on that fateful Kentucky day in 1980, complete with her number and name.

Finally, a Mint Julep was chosen to be held in the fin of the Marlin. No Kentucky Derby would be complete without a Mint Julep, always clasped in the hands of the thousands of attendees at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

  Genuine Risk sunset

Without a doubt, Genuine Risk is one serious fishing machine. Derek Nobles and his main crew members, consisting of Jess Fisher and Jim Horton, have had great success on the tournament circuit. 2011 wins included both the Georgetown Meat Fish Slam and the Crazy Sisters Marina Offshore Challenge. The crew’s 2012 schedule includes an appearance at the famed Mega Dock Billfish Tournament in Charleston, along with a host of Division 3 SKA sanctioned events on the rigorous SKA Tournament trail.


Knowing the history of this crew, be prepared to see them in the Winner’s Circle often. They sure look like quite a team in their brand new shirts.

In horse racing, as in life, taking a genuine risk is often the precursor to great achievement. Want proof? Thirty two years later, the legend of that fateful Saturday in 1980 is alive and well with a new crew of genuine winners.


Genuine Risk's Boat Shirts


Here's to you and your crew!

All the best,

Ken, President of Canyon Gear International

Ken, President/CEO

Canyon Gear International


If you'd like to see how the crew at Canyon Gear can help YOU “wear your passion”, fill out the form below!


What can we create for you?

Products Considering:
T-Shirts Sweatshirts Jackets
Napkins Embroidered Shirts Polos
Coozies Hats & Visors Cups

Crew of the Month Entries


May 2012 - Genuine Risk

April 2012 - Steel Magnolia