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Here is a nice write up from marathon canoe racing veteran Peter Heed about this weekend's General Clinton Canoe Regatta, the first stage of the Triple Crown of Canoe Racing:
This weekend will mark the 56th year of a very special marathon canoe race - The General Clinton 70 Miler. It is unique among the Triple Crown races, as the event has evolved into a veritable festival. A four day celebration of everything good about marathon paddling sports. From the Generation Gap races on Friday, to Saturday's youth and scout races, then Sunday's Grand Prix Relay and sprint races, and culminating in Memorial Day's 70 Miler - there is something for everyone. From novice to pro and everyone in between. Whether in an aluminum canoe, stock boat, C-1, kayak, SUP, C-4, or 3X27, it matters not, as this race has some class for you! The river is fun and challenging, and never boring. Pick whatever boat and class suits you best and go for it! However long it takes, the chicken dinner will be waiting for you at the finish line at "Canoe Park" in Bainbridge. [ And what other race owns it's own "Canoe Park"?]
One of the best things about the General Clinton 70 Miler is that the large number of entries means you will seldom be alone. Big packs tend to form up, especially in deep water sections, only to explode when entering shallows or approaching a portage! Anyone who has paddled the 70 has probably experienced being in a large, fun pack going a cross Goodyear Lake, only to hit "the wall" of that steep portage, watching your competition disappear over the hill. Then the "cut" and the endless shallows! Yeeeekkeeesss! This is no time trial - real racing is the name of the game! If you are not with other boats, you can bet that there will be a team right ahead of you, or a team coming down on you from behind. You will experience some highs and lows, but never get discouraged. If someone catches up to you, ride every possible wake you can catch. Try to rest a little, drink, eat, and get ready to hammer again!
And this year will be different - even more special. For the first time, the Amateur C-2s and the Pro C-2s all start together!! Think about that. When is the last time you have ever seen nearly 90 C-2s go off the line together? I have been actively racing for over 40 years and can only think of a hand full of C-2 starts of similar magnitude. This is going to be special and thrilling - exciting to watch as a spectator and certainly exciting to participate. This is a unique opportunity for everyone to be on the same start line and race against the dominant young paddlers in marathon racing today - teams like Andy Triebold/Steve Lajoie, Chris Proulx/Sam Frigon, Trevor Lefever/Ben Schlimmer, and Mike Davis/Weston Willoughby. Yes, these top pros are incredibly fast, fast off the line. And you get to be right there with them. But there is more.
Serge Corbin is the undisputed greatest marathon racer of all time. He has won more races, with more different partners, over more years, with more consistency and class than anyone else. It is not even close. He has raced the General Clinton 70 Miler 29 times and won 28! He came 2nd once. Regrettably, many paddlers have not had a chance to see Serge in action, as age and troublesome shoulders caused his retirement several years ago. But he is back! Word from Quebec this spring indicated that Serge was feeling better and back in training. Sure enough, he and fabulous partner Guillaume Blais are entered in this year's race! This will be epic! He may not beat the top young guns, but he wouldn't be coming if he did not feel he could compete. For most paddlers it may be the one and only chance to be in the same race, on the same start line, with the greatest marathon canoe racer ever to pick up a paddle. It will be one to remember for sure! "There we were, right next to Serge Corbin, gunwale to gunwale" - then the starting gun went off!! Good luck to all!!
See you in Cooperstown!
Some of us had the honor of attending the awards presentation for Traverse Magazine’s 2018 Red Hot Best on Tuesday evening in Traverse City ❤️
🥈The marathon tied for 2nd place for “Best Endurance Event”! This is quite an honor, as the Marathon was up against some stiff competition & had never been nominated in this contest before. Over 14,000 total people voted for the winners!
We are extremely thankful to all of you who took the time to vote for us! Thank you, also, to Heidi MacNicol from Latitude 45 Marketing, for nominating us & assisting us in the process.
The 2018 AuSable River Canoe Marathon - Presented by Consumers Energy - is upcoming July 28-29, 2018.