Sunday, April 28, 2013

Run of the Charles

Today was a near perfect day on the Charles, except for the fact it was the lowest water I'd paddled in over about 17 years of doing this race.  The Quinobequin Canoe Club, together for this one race and now with mostly CSUers, put together another great race to bring home the gold for the 11th year in a row.  This year we drafted Jim Burnham and Eli Hoenig to provide some young talent given that the rest of us are pushing 60.  We put them on the legs with the most running.  We may be almost 60, but we aren't stupid!  Wes Denering and Gus took off in leg one and had a heck of a race trading paint, as they say in NASCAR, with the Snoopers, our perennial competition.  Sort of reminded me of a Weston Tuesday Night Championships of the World Race.  Even a few miles later the two boats were side by side and at the finish of the leg, which was won by Todd and Margo Webber.  On Leg 2 Eli Hoenig and Bob Burnham took over, chasing the Snoopers, who did not change paddlers.  Somewhere out there they hauled in all the relay boats who started ahead of us in the staggered start.  Eli then ran the boat over the first portage with Jim Burnham, who was paired with Bob Kelley for Leg 3.  Then Jim handed off to Andy Milne and Don Kelly and helped them run the boat through Newton Lower Falls on the longest portage.  Andy was the motor in the front of the boat through the Lakes Region and after 5 miles handed off to Jamie Doucett and Rob Bradlee for the final leg.  We didn't run so fast, but once we hit the water we got cranking.  The Charles was the lowest I've ever seen and I've done about 17 of these things.  Once we hit Watertown the head wind kicked up several notches and Rob and I had to actually do some work!   What's with that?  We chased down a couple more relay boats who had actually started before us, reeling in EPA's boat with a friend of mine paddling on the last big turn.  Rob kicked up the tempo and that was all she wrote.  11 years is a pretty good run!

Wes and Gus in a duel

Todd and Margo Webber


Eli and Bob take over for Leg 2
Broken Dam rapid
Andy and Don taking off
Andy and Jim, Newton Lower Falls

Heading for the finish line

Wes and Gus
Jim, Bob, Jamie and Rob

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