Q: What is 'marathon
A: A terrific explanation of the sport has been pulled together by Rebecca Barton of Michigan and published in the July 10th issue of Outdoor Athlete. Here is the link to her article Up a Creek...With a Carbon Fiber Paddle by Rebecca Barton
Q: Do I need to be a NYMCRA member to
enter a canoe/kayak race?
A: No. Canoe and kayak races are put on by local race directors all across the state. All canoe and kayak races we know of, whether on NYMCRA's annual calendar or not, are open to anyone. The class you enter should be in line with your paddling experience and level of training. We encourage you to enter a race and experience the feeling. You will likely be surprised at how many people are out there with interest and ability similar to yours. You'll also get an opportunity to find out where and when others in your area get together for training. Attend your first race as a spectator or jump right in, enter and give it a try. If you would like to become a NYMCRA member or if you would like to renew your membership click here.
Do NYMCRA events include kayak races too?
A: YES! The kayak classes are separated into 'Touring' and 'Unlimited' divisions. Each of those are K1, i.e. solo kayak. Each division has 4 sub-classes - men under 50, men 50 and over, women under 50 and women 50 and over To see a diagram of all the NYMCRA classes click here. To see the specifications for Touring Kayaks and Unlimited Kayaks click here.
Q: Please explain the NYMCRA points
series of races. What is the series for? Do I need to be a member to
enter a points race?
A: The point series of races are designated from select race location across NY state and the surrounding region. The choice of race venues designated as points races is influenced by NYMCRA's desire to place some points races nearby to a wide number of NYMCRA members and to utilize attractive, varied & competitive race courses. The series provides a method for competitors to keep track of their performance over the entire racing season. Few people can attend all the races on the NYMCRA calendar so the points series can provide a convenient 'must do' list. The series tally is updated and posted to the website after each points race. NYMCRA membership is not needed to enter a race designated as a NYMCRA points race but membership is required to be awarded points based on your finish position. Points are accumulated within one racing season. A minimum number of completed races is required to be a contender for the annual awards presented to the leaders of each points class. Awards are presented at the annual NYMCRA banquet held in late October/early November. To see the current list of NYMCRA Point Series races click here.
In the canoe divisions what are the differences between
recreation class, stock class, amateur class and pro class? Is it only the kind
of boat they use?
A: The differences are more than just the kind of boat. There are three characteristics that distinguish each class from the other - the competitor's frequency of training, the type of boat used and the length of the race course. Competitor's frequency of training is typically least in the recreation class, about equal in the stock and amateur classes and most in the pro class. Boat type in the recreation class is typically any type of mass production boat, in the stock class it is a predefined set of mass produced boats, in the amateur class and the pro class it is either a 4" x 32" (aka 'USCA Amateur boat') or a 3" x 27" (aka 'Pro Boat'). For more information about boat type please refer to the Boat Specification page. The race course length for recreational races is typically 3 to 6 miles, for stock, amateur and pro races the length is typically 10 to 15 miles with some events at 35 or 70 miles in a single day, and 90 miles over 3 days. For a list of all the NYMCRA races along with a description of the event provided by the event's race director click here.
By the way, the 3"x27" and 4"x32" designations refer to waterline x minimum boat width. In other words a 3"x27" has a 27" minimum width at the 3" waterline. These boat types are commonly referred to as three-by-twenty seven and four-by-thirty two respectively. Specifications for these boats are maintained by USCA, United States Canoe Association. You can see their specification details at USCA Competition Rules.
In the canoe division is the recreation class the same as the stock
A: No, they are different as described above. Because the recreation class has a relatively short race course length it is ideal for novice competitors to try their skill, experience the fun of the competition and learn about what can go right and go wrong at the start, when wake riding, at the buoy turn(s) and at the finish. The stock class is generally more competitive and always a longer distance then the recreation class. The same boat designs are often used in both the recreation and stock classes.
I've been running for years and playing racquet ball. Lately I've
been feeling the effects of all the impact. Is paddling low impact
and also aerobic?
A: Paddling is a wonderful alternative to any sport that involves repetitive, high impact. Paddling is low impact, involves your entire body and can be very aerobic. In addition to the efforts required to propel your boat at top speed and in the desired direction many races have portages which most competitors run. Portages range in length from 100 yards - perhaps around a dam, to nearly a mile - perhaps from one lake to another and all the while with a 20 to 40 lb canoe on your shoulder. Yes, canoe racing is aerobic! Canoe racing also involves learning the skill of drafting. It is similar in concept to auto racing drafting but, drafting in canoe racing is done by way of waves in the water instead of auto racing's drafting due to air flow. Canoe and kayak racing has all the aerobic conditioning you could want but none of the repetitive impact of running. Canoe and kayak racing don't have much in common with racquet ball. Canoe and kayak racers never get hit in the face with a rubber ball and never get waffle face.