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New Haven Race

Saturday Apr 9, 2011
Kayak: 58 Creek Boaters
C1: Alden Bird
Organizer: New Haven Race Committee
Difficulty: advanced WW
Level: medium low
Author: Alden Bird

The New Haven Race yesterday was a great success! With 60 racers, warm temperatures, blue skies, and the banks lined with spectators, it was an awesome way to celebrate the community that has grown up around that river!!

First, some unofficial results:

1st: Hugh Pritchard (Montpelier, VT)

2nd: Joel Kowalski (Quebec)

3rd: Patrick Gagne (Valleyfield, QC)

The fastest lap of the day was submitted by Justin Crannell. Past champions Justin Beckwith and Scott Gilbert both advanced to the semi-finals. By my count, there were 56 men's kayaks, one junior men's kayak, two women's kayaks, and one C-1. There were boaters on hand from Maine, NH, VT, NY, Quebec, Maryland, MA, and CT. There were at least three or four swims, in Roostertail Rapid, and below Toaster Falls.

Next -- a big thanks to all the companies that donated money, or gear -- especially Bliss-Stick Kayaks for donating the cash prize money. There is nothing like seeing a guy get presented with a stack of $1,000 -- in singles! For their sakes, I hope that Joel and Patrick were able to get back across the border with that stack of bills without having to explain where they got it!

Also, a big thanks is due to Rustic River Adventures for providing free shuttles to racers and their boats throughout the day.

Finally, a big thanks to the race organizers and the volunteers! Dave Packie, Ryan McCall, Dan Siger, Ben Guttridge, Eric Adsit, Paul Carlile, all the safety boaters, the UVM folks, and everyone else!!

There was a TON of free stuff raffled off and given out to competitors. In just the small area where I was standing during the awards ceremony, folks were winning new paddles, a full-face helmet, sleeping bags, waterproof I-Pod speakers, camp chairs, and drytops.

Given that this race has only been held for two years, and only about twenty people have actually competed in total, I think the sheer volume of companies willing to step up, donate, and publicize 2011's race comes as a direct result not of the race's fame, but of the organizers' hard work and persuasion. I can only imagine how much work and time this has taken . . . I just hope that Ryan's and Dave's marriages have survived the last few weeks intact!

From the put in at Eagle Park yesterday, one could see the snow-covered Mt. Abe way up in the headwaters. There is still a lot of snow up in the mountains. I think the rivers are going to be running for a while . . . and it's going to be a great season!



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