Inaugural Celebrate Paddling Invitational draws a crowd

To the editor:

Thanks to our sponsors and friends who made the last weekend of Celebrate Paddling a success! Celebrate Paddling ADK is a month-long festival organized by several area outfitters and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail to show case the multiple paddle sport activities available in the greater Saranac Lakes region.

The paddling community came out for a great weekend of events to bring Celebrate Paddling month to a close last weekend. Roger Gocking hosted a successful Tupper Lake 8-Miler on Saturday, and the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Adirondack Watershed Alliance, Adirondack Lakes and Trails Outfitters and Mac’s Canoe Livery to host the inaugural Celebrate Paddling Invitational on Sunday.

There were boat demos thanks to Hornbeck Boats, ALTO, Mac’s and Placid Boatworks, a buy-sell trade area and information booths for the Adirondack Watershed Institute and the Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

The weather improved as the day progressed for the Sunday event on Lake Flower. There was a variety of races for youth, paddling families, high-kneel canoes and sprint kayaks. The fun feature race of the day was five Voyageur canoes loaded with seven or eight paddlers duking it out on a triangular sprint course on Lake Flower. The Saranac Lake team with Mayor Clyde Rabideau, Janie Bevilacqua and chamber of commerce representatives had a strong showing. The 10-mile marathon went out to Oseetah Lake and back and involved over 40 participants in canoes, kayaks and guideboats.

Race organizers would like to thank our awesome cadre of volunteers including safety boaters Jack Drury, Jay Annis, Lee Foster, Bradley Crosby, Adam Harris and Fred Mueller, our communications captain Paul Herrmann and our registration and timing crew of Grace McDonnell, Bill Hulshoff, Cathy Giglio, Jordana Mallach, Hilary Ryan and Mary Brown.

Race organizers would like to thank the following for their sponsorship and business support: Guide Boat Realty, Hornbeck Boats, Stewart’s Shops, Placid Boatworks, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, the Cloudsplitter Foundation and the Scullery at Grizle-T’s.

Brian McDonnell

Keith Braun

Patrick Murphy

Emma MacPherson

Jason Smith

Celebrate Paddling Invitational Committee

Saranac Lake