Tupper Lake 8-Miler draws a crowd

Paddlers take off at the start of the Tupper Lake 8-Miler on Saturday, June 29. (Photo provided)

TUPPER LAKE — Despite a weather forecast that predicted thunderstorms from late-morning till mid-afternoon, 73 paddlers showed up at the Tupper Lake Boat Launch for the sixth running of the Tupper Lake 8-Miler on Saturday, June 29.

The canoes and stand up paddleboards (SUPs) went off in the first wave, and three minutes later the kayaks followed. There were dark, menacing clouds to the northwest where bad weather was building, but it only managed to produce a few minimal sprinkles which served to cool the competitors as they made their way up stream on the Raquette River to the 4-mile turnaround at the Oxbow.

Among the kayakers, Eric Young, from Mooers Forks, powered into the lead in his new Epic V10 Elite surf ski, competing in the Unlimited Kayak Men Under 50. Jan Wachowiak, of Saratoga Springs, was close behind in an Olympic K1.

Eventually, Wachowiak was able to take the lead and came home 35 seconds ahead of Young with a time of 1:08:13. The gap between these two and the rest of the field was substantial. Paul Tomblin, of Rochester, posted the third-fastest time with a 1:14:21 in the Over 50 Class. Fellow Rochesterian Mike Finear wasn’t far behind in 1:15:54.

By far the most competitive class of the day was the Touring Kayak/SS20 Men Over 50 division with 10 kayaks and surf skis vying for first place. Bob Raymonda, of Syracuse, led the charge in 1:15:53, followed by Mark Syndeo, from Rochester, in 1:17:04 and John Morona, of Lake Clear, in 1:20:15.

The first woman kayaker was Eileen Visser, of Potsdam, in the Unlimited Under 50 class with a time of 1:17:02. The second-fastest woman was Emily Hart, from Williamstown, in the Touring Kayak Under 50 class with a time of 1:26:51. Dorine Peregrim, of Lake Placid, was first in the Over 50 Class with a time of 1:42:26 and Lisa Tebo, of Tupper Lake, was second in 2:02:24.

The fastest canoers were Cathy Lipski and Bruce Lee from Port Crane in the C-2 Amateur Mixed Class in 1:15:47. They were followed by Ralph Vincent (Essex Junction) and Betsy Gregory (Sutton, Vermont) in 1:16:57 and Linda and Bob Cooley from Scotia in 1:22:07.

In the C-2 Stock Men Over 50 Michael Pocchiari (Ava) and John McMahon (Rome) were first in 1:20:01 and Chas Billingsley and Bill Jemison from Lake Clear and Potsdam were second in 1:22:04 while evergreen Glen Vanderwinckel (Webster) and Mike Skivington (Scottsville) were third in 1:28:50. The most competitive race was in the C-1 Amateur Men Over 50 class with only a second separating Canton paddlers Peter Cain (1:21:28) and Gene Newman (1:21:29). Steve Buzzell, of Saranac Lake, was third in 1:45:05.

Other notable times were Peter Ross and Tim Henning in the C-2 Men Over 50 Class with a time of 1:17:02 followed by Roger Henry and Gary McCain in 1:19:52. Morgan Hoven posted an impressive 1:20:12 in a Placid Boatworks canoe in the Solo Recreation Canoe Men Under 50 Class, and his father in the Over 50 Class posted a 1:33:05.

Mary and Allen Kelly, of Rensselaer Falls, were first in the C-2 Stock Mixed Over 50 in 1:22:10. The father-and-daughter team of Danny and Kahenwentha Stacey were second in 1:26:10, with Saranac Lakers, Nancy and Rodger Dempster, third in 1:39:38.

There were two C-4s: a Mixed Under 50 from Saranac Lake of Joe Munn, Aron Mozdier, Megan Glennon and Shane Ash who posted a 1:17:36, and all-women team of Christina Hayden, Heidi Krester, Andrea Grant and Kim Greiner, most of whom were from Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and posted a time of 1:24:27.

Michael Stansland and his son, Ivy, posted a time of 1:38:51 in the C-2 Stock Family Class.

There were five SUPers from the Ithaca area. Paul Wiech was first with a time of 1:37:50 and first among the women was Ausra Milano in 1:43:40.

The Tupper Lake 8-Miler was a fundraiser for the heart center at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. Hannah Hanford and her staff at the Adirondack Health Foundation were particularly helpful in publicizing the race, and the Medical Director of the Heart Center, Dr. Anthony Tramontano, participated in the race.

Thanks are also due to the local merchants who contributed prizes: Adirondack Lakes and Trails, Beef’s Electric, Coakley Home and Hardware, Curtis Lumber, Hannaford Supermarkets, Placid Boatworks, Placid Planet Bicycles, Raquette River Brewing, St. Regis Canoe Outfitters, Shaheen’s IGA and the Wild Center.

The weather finally turned sunny for the post-race barbecue and awards ceremony.

Tupper 8-Miler

Saturday, June 29


Touring Kayak/SS20 Men Over 50

Bob Raymonda 1:15.53

Mark Syndeo 1:17.04

John Morona 1:20.15

James Phillips 1:20.21

Peter Jaworski 1:20.22

Chris Frechette 1:21.29

Bill Short 1:23.56

Paul Dorsched 1:25.21

James Merrill 1:32.20

Dennis Sulewski 2:02.25

Unlimited Kayak Men Under 50

Jan Wachowiak 1:08.13

Eric Young 1:08.48

Anthony Tramontano 1:32.24

C-2 Amateur Mixed Over 50

Bruce Lee, Cathy Lipski 1:15.47

Ralph Vincent, Betsy Gregory 1:16.57

Linda, Bob Cooley 1:22.07

C-2 Stock Men Over 50

Michael Pocchiari, John McMahon 1:20.01

Chas Billingsley, Bill Jemison 1:22.40

Glenn Vanderwinkel, Mike Skivington


C-1 Amateur Men Over 50

Peter Cain 1:21.28

Gene Newman 1:21.29

Steve Buzzell 1:45.05

C-2 Stock Mixed over 50

Mary, Allen Kelly 1:22.10

Danny, Kahenwentha Stacey 1:26.10

Nancy, Rodger Dempster 1:39.38

Unlimited Kayak Men Over 50

Paul Tomblin 1:14.21

Michael Finear 1:15.54

Unlimited Kayak Women Under 50

Eileen Visser 1:17.02

Kristen Edmonds 1:40.52

C-2 Amateur Men Over 50

Peter Ross, Tim Henning 1:17.37

Roger Henry, Gary McLain 1:19.52

Solo Recreation Canoe Men under 50

Morgen Hoven 1:20.12

Mike Shelmidine 2:04.30

Touring Kayak/SS20 Women Under 50

Emily Hart 1:26.51

Leah Valerio 2:01.49

Touring Kayak/SS20 Women Over 50

Dorine Peregrim 1:42.26

Lisa Tebo 2:02.24

SUP 14, Under Women Over 50

Gina Giambuttish 1:58.41

Julie Carmelt 2:06.27

C4 Sock Mixed Under 50

Joe Munn, Aaron Mozdier, Megan Glennon, Shane Ash 1:17.36

C-4 Stock Women Over 50

Christina Hayden, Heidi Kretser,,rea Grant, Kim Greiner 1:24.27

Solo Recreation Canoe Men over 50

Chris Hoven 1:33.05

C-1 Stock Men Under 50

Dave Goetzmann 1:33.20

Two Person Kayak Under 50 Women

Yee Lee, Jean-Michel Boudreau 1:33.50

SUP 14, Under Men Over 50

Paul Wiech 1:37.50

C-2 Family

Michael, Ivy Stensland 1:38.51

C-2 Stock Men Under 50

Andy Pickreign, Brandon Devito 1:39.38

C-2 Recreation

Dorie Valenti, Terry Tamer 1:43.10

SUP 14, Under Women Under 50

Aura Milano 1:43.40

Touring Kayak/SS20 Men Under 50

Bruce Bogart 1:58.06

C-1 Stock Women Under 50

Sara Mele 1:59.08

SUP 12.6, Under Women Under 50

Vicki Brous DNF