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Peaks Island Race Day


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Sunday started out warm, wet and gray with barely a trace of breeze. A hardy group of paddlers arrived at Eastern Promenade in Portland and were met by Jed. I was a tad late arriving as we were christening two new Explorer's. Ciro and I met the group coming over and we headed to Peaks for the race.

We joined up with the others on the beach and chatted and mingled and we were introduced to Cheri Perry of Greenland rolling fame ([http://www.whitemountainweb.com/kayakerperry/]), who was up visiting with Tom and June. Prior to the race, she demonstrated her rolling and offered her boat and tuliq to anyone who wanted to try it. She even brought a harpoon that was given to her in Greenland.

The first of the two races began a bit later than planned as we were all just enjoying chatting and watching Cheri. Eventually we all lined up for the race and waited for the start gun. We all took off with the serious racers up front quickly leaving the rest of us behind. Eventually we all made it around with Andrew Binks claiming first prize.

We all took a break before the next race and I took Cheri up on her kind offer to sit in her boat. I found that she has her boat trained very well and as soon as I sat in it, it responded to her words and brought me through a couple of rolls all on it's own. The amazing thing is that I thought I would feel very claustrophobic in the boat but actually ended up wanting to feel MORE wedged in. I wasn't able to touch the bulkhead so I used foam above my knees to lock myself into the boat. I never felt the need to come out of the boat as it balances easily on top of the water, even w/o a paddle. Amazing boat, I wish I could train my Explorer to do what it does. (Truthfully, if I had room, I would make one of these.)

Now, the next race, the one to Outer Green, was for the serious racers, people who can handle conditions, navigation and are strong paddlers able to go the distance. Nearly all of us decided to start the race with the racers but let the ones that really wanted to challenge themselves, finish it alone. There were only a handful of finishers and Ciro de la Vega was the winner of this race.

Remember, most of the people who finished the Outer Green race had also completed the morning's 5+ mile race and then the 11+ mile race along with their 2 miles back and forth to Eastern Promenade, Ciro added an extra 2 just meeting the morning show n go and then returning in the evening. So, although the Outer Green race itself was only 11 miles, the total miles were like the Blackburn.

The funds raised during the race went to either Peaks Island Land Preserve or Marine Mammal Rescue League.

Although attendance was low due to the weather, the conditions were great and the little rain that came was actually welcomed as it helped to cool us off as we all seemed to be overdressed. I think a good time was had by all who attended.

Mike Sabin and Bill Gwynn took pictures of the day and I am hoping that they will post pictures shortly. The times will be posted on Maine Island Kayak Companies website shortly.


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