Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Maine Whitewater #2: Passy River Race

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The Passy River Race is scheduled for this Saturday, April 2nd, at 11am.

And so is an early April nor'easterner! Good thing I didn't put my snowplow into storage; we could see several inches of snow or rain (or both) on Saturday morning. It won't stop a bunch of people from having a good time on the water, however.

The Passy is hosted by the Waldo County YMCA, where you can find more information. But here's the rundown:

Passy River Race 2011

Time:
11am start

Place:
Savage Road, Littlefield Farm in Waldo, Maine (outside of Belfast)

Course:
Course: Race starts at the Littlefield Farm. The first mile is flatwater with many curves. Course passes under a cement bridge to another mile of flat water followed by a short stretch of Class II rapids. A two-mile stretch of flat water to the Rolerson’s bridge, then Class I, II and III whitewater for a mile and a half, leading to a flatwater stretch to the finish.

Registration:
Call (207) 338-4598 to register, or stop by the Waldo County YMCA. Cost per paddler is $20, first 180 registrants will receive a t-shirt. Register for the race and be entered in a drawing for a brand new Old Town canoe!

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Maine Whitewater #1: St. George River Race

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St. George River Race - photo by Michael Alden














UPDATE:Race results from the St. George may be viewed here.

The 2011 Maine whitewater season is upon us. Woo-hoo!

The St. George River Race kicks things off this Saturday, March 26th, at 11am.

The St. George is one of two races hosted by the Waldo County YMCA, where you can find more information. But here's the rundown:

St. George River Race 2011

Time:
11am start

Place:
Searsmont, Maine (Rt. 131 bridge)

Course:
Course: Race starts at St. George Bridge in Searsmont Village. Three miles of dead water, 1 mile of rapids, 2 miles of dead water and curves with one Class III drop. This race has Class II – III rapids (plus or minus depending on the water level.)

Registration:
Call (207) 338-4598 to register, or stop by the Waldo County YMCA. Cost per paddler is $20, first 180 registrants will receive a t-shirt. There will also be a drawing for a brand new Old Town canoe!


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The Sou & The Marsh

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Maine's Whitewater Weekend was a blast (as it always is). Cloudy skies and cooler temperatures didn't deter these hardy paddlers. (Or is it 'hearty'? I was never clear about this, and a Google search for the correct usage is of no help because other people seem to be equally perplexed....)



Souadabsook Stream Canoe Race
Held in Hampden, this is often a wild and woolly ride! The stream seemed to be at a nice level this year. Last year, it was a bit too much, and many people portaged the trickier areas. But not so this year - people seemed to take glee in "tackling" the tricky areas and it looked like a good time was had by all.
65 registrations this year at the Sou, according to this Bangor Daily News article.

* * * *

Marsh Stream Canoe Race
Why this particular race isn't 10x more popular than it is, I'll never know! I really enjoy watching this particular race, so I'll have to get out the boat and take a shot at it next time around.

The Marsh is one of those "dark horse" whitewater river races - it seems to slip under the radar for whatever reason. I don't know if this is because it falls on a Sunday (although there's a generous 1:30pm start time) or of it's because the race falls on the heels of the Souadabscook in Hampden. Back-to-back races aren't for everybody, and some people have to choose one race over another when they schedule their weekends.



All I can say is that if any of you whitewater enthusiasts out there haven't heard much about this race before, take a closer look next time. The whitewater "season" in Maine is short enough as it is; don't let these well-directed races fall by the wayside. This race is too good for that.

Kudos to the Penobscot Paddle & Chowder Society for safety work on this race - these folks really have their act together! I'm going to become a member of PP&CS.

Here's a crib sheet for future reference. The exact dates will vary, but the spring whitewater race schedule (ahead of the Kenduskeag) is usually as follows:

Last Saturday of March - St. George River Race, Searsmont
First Saturday of April - Passy River Race, Belfast
2nd weekend of April - Souadabscook Stream Canoe Race, Hampden
2nd weekend of April - Marsh Stream Canoe Race, Winterport
3rd Saturday of April - Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

PS - I've posted my pics of both the Souadabscook Stream Canoe race here, and the Marsh Stream Canoe race here. Hope you enjoy them!

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Maine Whitewater Weekend!

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Two exciting races this weekend! Thanks to the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (MaCKRO) for the following information.

I'm going to be at both races, should be a blast!

* * *



Saturday, April 10th: Souadabscook Stream Sprint & Race, Hampden
(HELMETS REQUIRED)
8:00am - Sprint and Short Course Registration, Grange Hall, Emerson Mill Rd
9:00am - Sprint Start—Manning Mill Rd bridge (finishes at Paper Mill Rd bridge)
10:00am - Short Course Start—The start will occur immediately following the
conclusion of the Sprints. Recreation area below the falls off the Paper
Mill Rd (finishes at the Hampden Water Works on Main Rd/Rte. 1A)
11:00am - Downriver Race Registration—Vafiades’ Landing, Bog Rd
12:00pm - DR Race Start—Vafiades’ Landing, Bog Rd
(finishes at the Hampden Water Works on Main Rd/Rte 1A)

Awards for all races at the Water Works following the conclusion of the DR race.

* * *



Sunday, April 11th - Marsh Stream Canoe & Kayak Race, Winterport
(HELMETS REQUIRED)
10:00am - Sprint Registration—Winterport Riverside Riders Snowmobile Club, Pine View Drive (at the intersection of Stream Rd and Rte. 139)
11:00am - Sprint Start—Launch at Pine View Dr and drift downstream to the start (finishes immediately below Roadside Drop on Stream Rd)
12:00pm - Short Course and DR race Registration—at the Loggin Rd bridge
1:30pm Short Course and DR race start at the Loggin Rd bridge (short course finishes at the railroad trestle on Stream Rd.
DR race course finishes behind a garage-type business on Rte. 1A.

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Passy River Race: Fun In The Sun

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The Passy River Race on Saturday was a blast. The weather was beautiful (I have a mild sunburn to prove it) and the water was truly inviting.

Over 100 paddlers participated this year. It was nice to see so many young paddlers involved in this year's race.

In part, this is clearly the result of hard work by the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO) to engage young people in the sport of paddling. If the St. George and Passy River races are any indication, these efforts seem to be working!

I've posted some race photos here.

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Next Up: Passy River Race!

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The second chapter of Maine's all-too-brief whitewater
season begins near Belfast on Saturday, April 3rd at 11am.

Passy River Race - Saturday, April 3rd at 11am
at Littlefield Farm near Belfast

Registration: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Cost: $20 per paddler

Race Location & Directions: Take Rte 7/137 NW out of Belfast. After about 3 miles, take a left on Shepard Rd. (Side note: about a half mile up Shepard Rd is where the race ends, at a spot where the river comes close to the road. You'll see lots of cars and paddlers and if in doubt, just ask someone where the start is!) Continue up Shepard Rd. At the stop sign, bear right onto Poors Mill Rd, then after about a half mile, bear right again. Continue across the bridge on Poors Mill Rd, and after about 1.5 miles, bear right onto Savage Rd (a dirt road). The start is about a half mile up Savage Rd where the river goes under the road.

Course:Race starts at the Littlefield Farm, first mile is flat water with many curves. Course passes under a cement bridge to another mile of flat water followed by a short stretch of Class II rapids. A two-mile stretch of flat water to the Rolerson’s bridge, then Class I, II and III whitewater for a mile and a half, leading to a flatwater stretch to the finish. According to race director Dale Cross, "...this river also finishes with about a mile straightaway, very wide. It’s like a stock car finish. You can see people all around you, so it’s really cool. Several boats wide could finish at the same time."
















(Source for Dale Cross quote: Bangor Daily News article).

* * * * *
Stop by the Waldo County YMCA to register for the St. George or call (207) 338-4598.

More information can be found on the
Waldo County YMCA canoe race page.

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St. George River Race Sees Nice Turnout

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According to this Bangor Daily News article, over 100 paddlers took part in the St. George River Race earlier today. (The article also features a short video).

I've also posted my photos from the race here.

UPDATE: Full race results for the St. George have been posted! Download the document here. Courtesy of the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO)

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Baby, It's Cold Outside

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A note from Jeff Owen, President of the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO) on the eve of the season-opening St. George River Race:

Paddled the St. G with the clinic yesterday with a nice large group, experts and novices (and everything in between). The water level is awesome--most rocks covered, some really nice wave trains and eddy lines, but not too pushy. The race should be fun and fast.

BUT, please be extra cautious regarding proper clothing with the forecasted temperatures only in the teens or twenties for race time. Those are "dangerous cold" temperatures if you get wet anywhere where help is not immediately available. If you see paddlers on shore who have just swum, it'll be a good day to just automatically pull in and help (instead of the usual yell of "you okay?"). Let's be safe out there!


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This Week: St. George River Paddling Clinic & Race!

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If you're looking to try out a race or just get your sea legs back, the St. George River Race is just the ticket!

This season-opening race is always a lot of fun and there are prizes to be won. And as the St. George Race is a good 10.5 miles shorter than the Kenduskeag, it's the perfect "primer" race.

But wait! There's more. If you are new to paddling and you want to prep yourself for any of the races this spring and summer (including the Kenduskeag, of course) you can try out a paddling clinic hosted by the good people at MaCKRO (Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization).

You will have to fill out an American Canoe Association (ACA) waiver form, which I have provided links for right here. You can download the waiver forms for both minors and adults. (These are PDF documents).

St. George River Race (Paddling Clinic): Thursday, March 25th at 4pm, Searsmont.

Bring the applicable waivers and your boat. Clinic is free. Experienced paddlers will guide you through the stream at your own pace. Designed for fun and for building confidence!

St. George River Race - Saturday, March 27th at 11am at Searsmont.

Registration: 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $20 per paddler
Race Location: Searsmont Methodist Church, Route 131, Searsmont, Maine
Course: Race starts at St. George Bridge in Searsmont Village. Three miles of dead water, 1 mile of rapids, 2 miles of dead water and curves with one Class III drop. This race has Class II – III rapids (plus or minus depending on the water level.)

* * * * *
Stop by the Waldo County YMCA to register for the St. George or call (207) 338-4598.

More information can be found on the
Waldo County YMCA canoe race page.

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2010 Whitewater Season Just Around The Bend

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Captain Morgan cruises by during the 2009 race
The whitewater season in Maine is almost upon us, and this blog is officially out of hibernation for the next couple of months. Woo-Hoo!
I mean, Arrrr!

Lots to talk about in the near future, but here's a wee dram:
The St. George River Race opens things up in just a few weeks, and get this...the St. George River has already iced out. I'll have more on the St. George (including when & where) in about a week.

If you haven't pre-registered for the 2010 Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, what in the name of Long John Silver are you waiting for??

Whether you plan to go solo or assemble a motley-looking crew, pre-registration saves you time and money. $36 per paddler this year if you wait until race day to sign up, but only $18 per paddler if you beat the deadline (Friday, April 16th at 1pm).







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