Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

The 2021 Race Is On! (With Changes)

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Great news for paddlers this spring! A downsized 54th Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race will be held on Saturday, April 17th with important new rules and regulations. Here are some highlights:

- The race will be limited in scope to 150 total boats, and seven race classes.

- Registration is $35 per person, and the registration deadline is Thursday, April 8.

- Paddlers must pick up their stickers, race bibs, etc. at the Bangor Parks and Recreation office; race packets will NOT be handed out at the race.

- Starting times will be staggered by class, from 8:30am to 10:00am.

- All paddlers must wear masks/face coverings until they are on the stream.

- As the start times of the race are staggered, paddlers can not meet at the starting point in Kenduskeag until 20 minutes before their designated start time (again, by class).

- There will not be a warming tent at the finish line this year.

- Six Mile Falls will be closed to the public during the race (no gathering of spectators). For spectators watching the race at other points along the stream, the use of masks and social distancing are advised.

For all the details, check out these resources:

2021 Race Flyer (PDF file)

2021 Waiver/Registration Form (PDF file)

Bangor Parks & Recreation Online Registration

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New Facebook Page For Canoe Race

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If you're one of the 400+ million users of the venerable social networking site known as Facebook, you can now become a fan of the newly minted Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race page.

Updates, comments and fan photos are welcome. Or you can just stick around here and haunt the blog. That's cool too.



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Eve Of The Race Updates

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UPDATE @ 9:02PM
From a photographic standpoint, the stream is too low and too slow! From a paddling standpoint, it depends on who you are.

Experienced paddlers might be nonplussed by the lower water levels this time around, but at the same time, people who have never tried the race because of anxiety over the high and fast water in recent years should be able to relax this year. It's a good year to get your feet wet, so to speak.

PS - Partial race results will likely appear in the Bangor Daily News on Monday; full results usually do not come out for two to three weeks. You can sign up for the race results email list on the contact page of my site.

Here's to a fun race and a pleasant weekend for all!

* * * *

Paddler Steve Markwith did a trial run of Six Mile Falls & Washing Machine/Shopping Cart yesterday and he posted this web page with photo stills, videos and his thoughts on the conditions there.

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Portage Update: Maxfield Mill Dam Area

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As some of you know, there is construction underway at the Valley Avenue bridge, a project which is scheduled to last into June.

There have been some concerns about the construction site and materials impeding the mandatory portage at the Valley Avenue intersection area (known as the Maxfield Mill Dam). Plastic fencing, rebar rods and work trailers are in the path of the portage, for example.

However, Parks & Recreation and a supervisor at the construction site have both mentioned that there's no reason for concern. A path will be cleared through the construction site and the area will be made safe for a portage on race day. No worries!
PS - the water looked GREAT today! Should be a blast. Remember to preregister if you haven't already.

Thanks to Clayton Cole and Pat Davis for providing info.


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See You On The Stream

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Latest news: the race course will remain unchanged; the finish line in downtown Bangor will be the same. Water temperature is 38 degrees. Parks & Recreation and the search & rescue crews foresee no problems with the stream conditions.

Paddlers of the Kenduskeag are in for a treat. Water levels are amazing (some say the best it's been in 15 or 20 years) and the weather is perfect. The 2007 race is going to be a BLAST.

Be safe and have fun.

If you didn't preregister for the race, you may register from 6:30am until 7:30am on race day in the village of Kenduskeag. (But don't be late!)

And for those of you staying home: the race will be televised from 10:00am until 12:30pm on WABI-TV5.

WLBZ will have the video posted on the internet in 15-minute chunks so you can watch it live or after the race. How cool is that?

Also, the race will also be streamed live on the internet through Watch Maine Sports as a pay-per-view event. ($9.95 per stream).


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Whitewater Survival Tips

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I took note of this excellent post on the message board of MaCKRO (Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Association) and felt that it should be shared by as many paddlers as possible before the upcoming race.

The following is from veteran paddler Clayton Cole, who has lived by the Kenduskeag for 20 years:

"The high flow makes for lots of eddys, holes, wave trains and turbulence, but most difficult spots can be avoided . I would like to share some tips: If possible run the whitewater Friday. Scout the tricky spots Saturday morning. Be prepared to swamp or swim (wear proper clothing). Use at least 4 feet of floatation in any boat, have 6" grab loops or 6' lines with no knots. Have one bailer for each paddler. Keep your boat dry - bail or pull over and dump. Better yet, avoid the middle and skirt around all the big stuff. You must paddle with determination in big whitewater. Don't stare at the hole or wave train or it will suck you in. Commit early to a route, look where you want to go and paddle as hard as you can. Keep your paddle in the water including the recovery when it gets rough and especially if you are carrying water. Don't stop paddling in the big stuff - you will turn sideways and then it gets, well use your imagination. This is going to be a good one!"

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Thunder Hole

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Whitewater kayakers had a ball at the Shopping Cart Thursday afternoon.

(click photo to enlarge)
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"High Water Won't Stop Kenduskeag"

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"Tracy Willette, the race director and the city’s superintendent of recreation, chuckles about the rumor mill fueled by passion for the area’s biggest whitewater race.

And he assures you, there’s nothing to worry about: The Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race, 41st edition, will go off as planned on Saturday morning."

Click here to read the rest of the article

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A Quickie Video of Water Levels

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I visited the Shopping Cart area and Six Mile Falls today and took some video footage.

Click here to watch the 2-minute video. (Nothing fancy, but it gives you some idea of the volume and swiftness of the stream.) Will be interesting to see how much this changes by race day.

The fellow standing near the Shopping Cart is Bob Martin, who thought it would be wise to stick to river right and hug the bank going through the Shopping Cart. If you get sucked into the Shopping Cart hole....watch out!
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Six Mile Swamp

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Pat Davis is right: the stream is high and fast and swollen. In addition to his pics, here's another one from the Six Mile Falls area.

This is the area where spectators normally stand to watch the paddlers go through the falls.

As you can see (click photo to enlarge) the "vulture" area is completely flooded. The water goes all the way back to the Hudson Road!










UPDATE 4/18/07: Here is a closer shot of Six Mile Falls (taken today).
Where did the "jaws" go? (Click photo to enlarge)



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