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Mild Conditions for the Tupper Lake 8-Miler
by Roger Gocking

Forty-seven paddlers enjoyed cool and somewhat breezy conditions for the fourth running of the Tupper Lake 8-Mile canoe and kayak race last Saturday.
Unlike last year, with its mass start, there were two waves: the first consisted of 17 canoes and the second 19 kayaks. The addition of a new digital chip-scanning system that Matt Skeels of St Lawrence University has recently developed made it possible to time these two waves very accurately to Olympic standards of a hundredth of a second.
The start at the Simon Pond Tupper Lake Boat Launch was in somewhat choppy water but after the paddlers rounded the first buoy into the Raquette River the main challenge was to pick the best line up the river avoiding as much as possible suck water on the corners. 
Last  year’s second-placer, Jim Mallory from Henrietta in the Over 50 class and in an Olympic K1,  eventually managed to take the lead from the rapidly improving Royal McDonnell from Paul Smith’s in an Epic V12 surf ski with John Hair in Epic V10 surf ski a few boat lengths behind. Jim’s final time was 1:05.35.56, which was more than a minute slower than last year, but in a new K1 with which he was still unfamiliar. Royal was less than a minute behind in 1:06.00.58, more than four minutes faster than his time last year. John Hair, who was also in the Under 50 Class, like Royal, crossed the finish line in 1:07.22.53.
The kayak classes were the most competitive with five boats in the two Unlimited and classes and the men’s over 50 Touring kayak class. James Phillips posted the fastest time in the latter class with a time of 1:20.42.64, but the over all fastest time among the touring kayaks was Eric Young’s 1:12.22.65 in the Under 50 class. Undoubtedly, 15 year-old Scott Visser from Potsdam turned in the most impressive performance among these groups with a time of 1:15.53.38. This is his first year as a solo racer!  The genes are obviously in his favor as his mother, Eileen, posted the fastest  time among the women kayakers in her home-built  Guillemot kayak edging out Mary Kelly in a Kirton K1: 1:21.21.03 to 1:21.39.15. 
Bruce Lee and Cathy Lipski in the Mixed C-2 Amateur Class posted the fastest time among the canoers, 1:15.06.43, edging out the Men Over 50 pair of Mark Winter and Randy Young by slightly more than a second in 1:15.07.86. 
The third fastest time among the canoes went to the Saranac Lake quartet of Shane Ash, Megan Glennon, Joe Munn and Gregory Stewart in C-4 Stock canoe in 1:17.14.71.   Not far behind in 1:20.17.72, was Morgan Hoven in a Placid Boatworks Shadow which he paddles with a double blade and went off with the kayak wave.
The C-2 Stock Mixed Over 50 and the C-2 Amateur Men Over 50 was also a tight race with Allen Kelly and Blanche Town getting away to win by two boat lengths from their chasers, locals  Rodger Dempster and Chas Billingsley.
Peter Cain was first among the C-1 Amateurs in a time of 1:26.20.25 followed by Bill Robinson in 1:28.50.53 . The  ever-green Glen Vanderwinckel,  recently turned 80, was only a little more than six minutes behind the leader.  
Doug Roode of Lake Placid was the easy winner of the C-1 Stock Men Over 50 class with a time of 1:33.50.93.
Following the main race there was a “Dash for Cash” sprint out to a canoe turn around point and a dash back to shore in stock canoes. It was a close finish but Bruce Lee and  Bill Jemison,  were  able to prevail as the overall winners. Generously they donated their $40 winnings to the charity to which the Tupper Lake 8-Miler’s profits go.  
Along with awards for the first three placers in each category there were prizes for award winners that were donated by local merchants, that included Adirondack Lakes and Trails,  Coakley High Peaks Hardware, Curtis Lumber, Hannaford Supermarket, High Peaks Cyclery, Placid Boatworks, Raquette River Brewing,  St Regis Canoe Outfitters, and The Wild Center. Shaheen’s IGA provided the hamburger patties for the post-race BBQ.
Tupper Lake 8-Miler is a New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association (NYMCRA) points race for canoes and kayaks. All profits from the race go to the Bill Shene Asthma & Respiratory Fund of the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital.  

30th Annual ‘Round the Mountain Canoe and Kayak Race Results

A late ice out had local paddlers yearning for the season opening canoe and kayak races in Saranac Lake.  The ‘Round the Mountain Canoe and Kayak Races took place Saturday, May 12, 2018 under light winds and sunny skies.  Nearly 100 paddlers entered in guide boats, solo, tandem and 4 person canoes and a variety of kayaks.  The event was sanctioned as a New York State Marathon Canoe Racing Association (NYMCRA) canoe and kayak points race drawing many competitive paddlers from across the state.

The race start line was on the beach of Ampersand Bay Resort.  The resort crew did a great job of cleaning up the venue in a short time due to high water and lingering ice conditions in preparation for the event.  PFD’s were mandatory as water temperatures were only in the low 50’s.  Paddlers headed out of Ampersand Bay, past Eagle Island and turned right in front of Bluff Island down the Saranac River and over the carry around the Lower Locks.  After the carry participants paddled through Oseetah Lake to the finish line on Lake Flower in Saranac Lake.

The Fastest time of the day went to Jim Mallory of West Henrietta in an unlimited kayak crossing the finish line at 1:23:08.  The fastest canoe was Mark Winter of Bloomingdale and Shane MacDowell of Lake Placid.  Their time was 1:26:03.  Other local winners included Jennifer Okonuk of Owls Head in the One Person Guide Boat class; 2:12:41, Allison Doty of Saranac Lake in the Solo Recreation class; 2:03:30, Doug Roode of Lake Placid in the C-1 Stock Class; 1:56:23, Janet Findlay and Dave Hunter of Lake Placid in the C-2 Amateur mixed over 50 class; 1:32:54, Roger Gocking of Saranac Lake in the Touring Kayak over 50 class; 1:35:13, Royal McDonnell of Paul Smiths in the Unlimited Kayak under 50 class; 1:25:59, and the Blue Crusher Flower team of Beth Donnelly, Heidi Kretser, Jen Perry and Nancy Bernstein winning the C-4 Women’s Class in 1:46:36.  For complete results see below or go to the Adirondack Watershed Alliance pages of

Race organizers, The Adirondack Watershed Alliance (AWA), would like to thank the volunteers, Saranac Lake Police, and the Adirondack Amateur Radio Association for their support at the event.  The AWA contributes a portion of the proceeds of the event to the local Ham Radio Association.

The next paddle sport activities on the calendar include the Tupper Lake Races, June 2 and The Celebrate Paddling Adirondacks programs going on the entire month of June.  For details go to  The next AWA event will be the Adirondack Canoe Classic, the three day, 90 Mile paddling adventure from Old Forge to Saranac Lake, September 7 - 9, 2018.  Entry forms go out in the mail in mid-June and entry is limited to 250 boats. For more information visit or call the canoe race hot line at 518 - 891 - 2744.

2018 Race Schedule PDF

2018 USCA Nationals.

The 2018 edition of this premier race event is being hosted by the New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association (NYMCRA) and will be held Aug 9-12 in the greater Syracuse area. This will be the first time NY plays host to the USCA Nationals since they were held in Syracuse in 1995. The races will be held on the outlet of Onondaga Lake and the Seneca River, part of the historic Erie Canal
Find out more

2018 Point Races Standing PDF
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