Paddlers take on Tupper Lake 8-Miler

The kayak wave of the Tupper Lake 8-Miler race takes off from the start line in Simon Pond in Tupper Lake on Saturday. (Provided photo)

TUPPER LAKE — Forty-six paddlers enjoyed cool and somewhat breezy conditions for the fourth running of the Tupper Lake 8-Mile canoe and kayak race Saturday.

Unlike last year’s 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 boat launch in Tupper Lake 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 to avoid suck water on the bends.

Last  year’s second-place finisher, 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 Jan Wachowiak, also in an Olympic K1, only a few boat lengths behind.

Mallory’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. McDonnell was less than a minute behind in 1:06.00.58, more than four minutes faster than his time last year. Wachowiak, also in the under-50 Class like McDonnell, crossed the finish line in 1:07.22.53.

In general, the kayak classes were the most competitive with five boats in the two Unlimited 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 overall 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. His mother, Eileen Visser, 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.

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.

Along with awards for the first three placers in each category there were a selection of prizes for award winners that were donated by local merchants that included Adirondack Lakes and Trails, Beef’s Electric, Coakley High Peaks Hardware, Curtis Lumber, Hannaford Supermarket, High Peaks Cyclery, Placid Boatworks, Raquette River Brewing, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Shaheen’s IGA, the Wild Center and Tops Friendly Market.

The 8-Miler was a New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association 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.

Tupper Lake 8-Miler

Saturday’s Results

UNLIMITED KAYAK MEN OVER 50

James Mallory (Henrietta) 1:05.35.56

Paul Tomlin (Rochester) 1:15.59.37

John Tomasik(Sherbrooke, QC) 1:25.30.84

Steve Buzzell (Lake Clear) 1:38.37.43

Nikolay Natchev (Dorval QC) 1:47.55.31

UNLIMITED KAYAK MEN UNDER 50

Royal McDonnell (Paul Smiths) 1:06.00.58

John Hair (Webster) 1:07.22.53

Jan Wachowiak (Saratoga) 1:08.36.17

Scott Visser (Potsdam) 1:15.53.38

Anthony Tramontano (Lake Placid) 1:36.10.11

TOURING KAYAK MEN OVER 50

James Phillips (Bergen) 1:20.42.64

Peter Jaworski (Utica) 1:20.43.02

Michael Finear (Rochester) 1:21.26.86

George Bellerose (Weybridge VT) 1:23.33.56

Karl Cook (Martville) 1:23.45.83

C-1 AMATEUR CANOE OVER 50

Peter Cain (Canton) 1:26.20.25

Bill Robinson (Cazenovia) 1:28.50.53

Glen Vanderwinckel (Webster) 1:32.31.81

C-1 STOCK MEN CANOE OVER 50

Doug Roode (Lake Placid) 1:31.50.93

Bill Jemison (Potsdam) 1:33.23.53

C-2 STOCK CANOE MEN UNDER 50

Joseph Fowler (Keeseville ) 1:34.56.24

William Morrow (Port Kent)

Dennis Hadley (Lake Clear) 1:37.06.95

Blake Murphy (Saranac Lake)

SOLO RECREATION CANOE UNDER 50

Andy Pickereign (Saranac Lake) 1:45.31.90

Elliot Day (Tupper Lake) 1:52.35.66

TOURING KAYAK MEN UNDER 50

Eric Young (Mooers Forks) 1:12.22.65

C-2 AMATEUR MIXED CANOE OVER 50

Bruce Lee (Port Crane) 1:15.06.43

Cathy Lipski (Port Crane)         

C-2 AMATEUR MEN CANOE OVER 50

Mark Winter (Bloomingdale) 1:15.07.86

Randy Young (Saranac Lake)

C-4 STOCK CANOE

Shane Ash, Megan Glennon, Joe Munn, Gregory Stewart (Saranac Lake) 1:17.14.71

C-2 AMATEUR MIXED OVER 50

Betsy Gregory (Essex Junction VT) 1:18.07.74

Ralph Vincent (Sutton VT)

SOLO RECREATION KAYAK)

Morgan Hoven (Clifton Springs) 1:20.17.72

TOURING KAYAK WOMEN UNDER 50

Eileen Visser (Potsdam) 1:21.21.03

UNLIMITED KAYAK WOMEN OVER 50

Mary Kelly (Rensselaer Falls) 1:21.39.15

C-2 STOCK MIXED CANOE OVER 50

Allen Kelly (Rensselaer Falls) 1:21.16.28

Blanche Town (Canton)

C-2 AMATEUR MEN CANOE OVER 50

Rodger Dempster (Saranac Lake) 1:21.23.55

Chas Billingsley (Lake Clear)

C-2 STOCK MEN CANOE OVER 50

Roy Keats (Schenectady) 1:23.31.90

Geoffery Moore (Loudonville)

SOLO RECREATION CANOE MEN OVER 50

Doug Porschet (Long Lake) 1:49.36.06

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