Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race

Whitewater Weekend: A Doubleheader!

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The Maine whitewater season kicked off with the St. George and Passy River races last weekend, and now it's time for another doubleheader weekend.

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 18th) the Souadabscook Stream Canoe Race begins in Hampden at noon.

Note that there are two races offered on the Sou this year - a shorter race which stops before the whitewater (highly suitable for beginners) and the regular race course which takes you through several sets of rapids. Here's a writeup from the BDN if you'd like to know more.

And then there's the Marsh Stream Canoe Race in Frankfort on Sunday. This is one of those whitewater gems which is often overlooked but well worth a trip.

Visit the Maine Canoe & Kayak Racing Organization (MaCKRO.org) for more information on these and other races this spring!

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Kountdown To The Kenduskeag

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Only 30 days to go!

Aislinn Sarnacki of the The Bangor Daily News interviewed Jeff Owen of Orono about the upcoming whitewater races in Maine. Lots of useful pointers here - check it out: http://bit.ly/1Emu365

PS - don't forget! You may preregister now before race day looms upon you.

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First WW Race Of 2014: St. George River

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UPDATE 4/2/14: The Passy River Race - scheduled for Saturday, April 5th, has been cancelled. The St. George is set to happen on Sunday, however. BDN article here.

Last week the St. George River Race was rescheduled for April 6th due to icy conditions on the river (it has iced out now).

Sunday April 6th, 2014 ~ 35th Annual St. George River Canoe Race

Registration: 11am - 12:30pm $20 per paddler 1pm start
Call the Waldo County YCMA to register: (207) 338-4598.
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.
Notes: This race has Class II – III rapids (plus or minus depending on the water level.)

Here's a zoomable, annotated map of the St. George race course.
(Thanks to Charlie Smith and MaCKRO).

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Passy River Race - 4/6/13

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The 2013 Maine whitewater season continues with the Passy River Race in Waldo (near Belfast) this Saturday. Just a little over two weeks remain until the Kenduskeag!

Date: Saturday, March 30
Time: 11am
Place:
Savage Road, Littlefield Farm in Waldo, Maine.
Course: Race starts at the Littlefield Farm. The 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 flat water stretch to the finish.
Registration: 8-10:30am, $20.
Contact: 338-4598

For more information, visit the Waldo County YMCA website.

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St. George River Race 3/30/13

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The 2013 Maine whitewater season "puts in" with the St. George River Race in Searsmont this Saturday. All registered paddlers will be entered in a drawing for a brand new Old Town canoe!

Date: Saturday, March 30
Time: 11am
Place:
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).
Registration: 8-10:30am, $20.
Contact: 338-4598

For more information, visit the Waldo County YMCA website.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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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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).

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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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