Curley Memorial Canoe Race

JULY 13 & 14, 2024

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  Race History


Formed in 1994, the event was originally known as the Harry Curley Memorial Canoe Race, in honor of “Mr. AuSable Canoe Race”, Harry Curley.  The event was renamed in 2003 to the Curley Memorial Canoe Race after the sudden passing of Kevin Curley, a popular Oscoda canoe paddler and avid race organizer.  In the years since, the race has come to honor other members of the Curley family involved with canoe racing, as well as all of the individuals who have contributed to the sport of Michigan canoe racing, whether through race organizing, volunteering, or participating.  The Curley Awards Picnic, held annually after the C-2 race, gathers donations for the MCRA’s Canoer’s Memorial Monument fund.


  • Harry Curley (1910-1986) – Harry became dedicated to the Marathon after the death of his son Gerald. He helped with the organization of the Marathon for several decades, and helped shape the Marathon into the event it is today.  The Michigan state legislature passed a resolution naming him “Mr. AuSable Canoe Race” in 1973.
  • Gerald Curley (1935-1953) – Finished the Marathon 8th in 1952. Tragically drowned in Lake Huron in 1953 while training for the Marathon.  One of the inspirations for the Canoer’s Memorial Monument.
  • Delbert Curley (1933-2011) – Finished the Marathon 5th in 1952 and 4th in 1953.
  • Roger Curley (1938-2007) – Attempted the Marathon in 1955 but did not finish.
  • Kevin Curley (1958-2003) – Kevin had an endless passion and vigor for canoe racing. In 1994, he helped found the Harry Curley Memorial Canoe Race.  Kevin inspired and motivated rookie and veteran paddlers alike.  He organized youth paddling clinics to get the “young guns” into racing.  Kevin was known for yelling “touché!” to the competitors he passed during races, and infamous for the upside-down #32 on his canoe, claiming his canoe number looked upright to him whenever he tipped-over.  Kevin’s tireless efforts remain an inspiration for all, and to this day, many paddlers pay tribute to him by featuring a “Curley #32” on their canoes.  Finished the Marathon five times (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000).
  • Sylvia Curley-Harmon (1945-2020) – Daughter of Harry Curley, Sylvia was a long-time race volunteer and Marathon committee member.  She was also heavily involved with the Canoer’s Memorial Monument.

30th Annual C-2 Race – July 13, 2024

Entry Information

$30.00 entry fee per team if Pre-Registered.  To pre-register, download the Pre-Registration form here
$40.00 entry fee per team day of event, if not Pre-Registered

Fill out the form and mail to:
Curley Memorial Canoe Race, P.O. Box 652, Oscoda, MI. 48750
Make checks payable to Justin Griffith.

Pre-Registration forms must be received by July 8th. 2024.



Check-In Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. for both Expert-1 and Expert-2 classes at Cooke Dam.  If Pre-Registered, you must check-in at the registration table and sign a waiver.

The Pre-Race Briefing is MANDATORY for all racers.  The time of the pre-race briefing will be posted at check-in.



PLEASE NOTE!!  Due to construction taking place at Cooke Dam, there will be no parking allowed in the loop next to the dam (the area passed the stone wall by the boat launch).  We must also keep the parking areas for the boat launch open.  Paddlers and spectators will be able to park alongside Cooke Dam Rd and walk across the dam to the portage area via a designated path.  Please plan your arrival accordingly as parking along Cooke Dam Rd will likely be congested.


C-2 Race & Course

Race starts at 9:00 a.m. at the embankment wall of Cooke Dam.
Canoers paddle upstream to round a buoy, and then come back to portage over the dam and continue downstream.
Canoers portage a second time at Foote Dam and then proceed to the Finish Line just upstream of the Mill Street Bridge near the AuSable Inn.
The Expert-2 class will start first, with the Expert-1 class starting when the last Expert-2 team has portaged Cooke Dam.

Winning time is approx. 2.5 hours.


Post-Race Awards Picnic

Following the C-2 race, there is a MCRA Awards Picnic (approximately 1:00 p.m.), at the American Legion Pavilion, 349 S. State St., Oscoda.
A donation jar will be setup, and donation proceeds go to benefit the MCRA Canoers Memorial on River Rd.  Eating begins around 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with awards following.

Racers who fail to receive their prize at the Awards Picnic, will have their prize donated to the MCRA Canoer’s Memorial.

A minimum of the Top 32 Expert-1 teams, and the Top 5 Expert-2 teams will earn prizes.

C-1 Race – July 14, 2024

C-1 Race Entry Information

$15 entry per paddler



Check-In Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. at the AuSable Children’s Park (at the corner of Harbor St. and O’Toole St.)
The time of the pre-race briefing will be posted at check-in.


C-1 Race & Course

Race starts at 10:00 a.m. at the AuSable Children’s Park. Paddlers will race two (2) laps from Children’s Park to round a buoy just downstream of the railroad trestle bridge, and back. This allows for better spectating of the paddlers in town.

Winning time is about 1 hour.



Awards immediately following the conclusion of the C-1 race at the AuSable Children’s Park.

A minimum of the Top 20 C-1 racers will earn prizes.

The Curley Memorial Canoe Race is a Michigan Canoe Racing Association sanctioned event, not a ARICM, Inc. event

Race Contact

Justin Griffith

“The racers finishing in last place paddled just as hard and just as far as the winners” – Harry Curley

C-2 & C-1 Curley Champions

#YearC-2 TimeC-2 WinnersC-1 TimeC-1 Winner
119942:24:56Jeff Kolka & Bill Torongo0:51:29Calvin Hassel
219952:28:49Bruce Barton & Jeff Kolka1:09:52Tim Triebold
319962:22:21Bruce Barton & Tim Triebold1:10:30Bruce Barton
419972:30:14Andrew Triebold & Tim Triebold1:17:56Bruce Barton
519982:29:56John Sullivan & Bill Torongo1:20:16Bruce Barton
619992:19:15Jeff Kolka & Tim Triebold1:12:08Jeff Kolka
720002:32:17Bruce Barton & Jeff Kolka1:06:16Jeff Kolka
820012:29:13Jeff Kolka & Tim Triebold1:03:27Jeff Kolka
920022:39:24Jeff Kolka & Tim Triebold1:03:41Tim Triebold
1020032:23:26Mo Harwood, Jr. & Matthew Rimer1:11:51Jeff Kassuba
1120042:31:38Mo Harwood, Jr. & Matthew Rimer1:04:16Matt Streib
1220052:30:28Andrew Triebold & Matthew Rimern/aAndrew Triebold
1320062:20:06Andrew Triebold & Matthew Rimer1:12:55Andrew Triebold
1420072:27:54Andrew Triebold & Matthew Rimer1:27:31Andrew Triebold
1520082:28:31Andrew Triebold & Tom Trudgeon1:04:21Bill Torongo
1620092:28:20Andrew Triebold & Ryan Halstead1:04:41Andrew Triebold
1720102:27:22Steve Corlew & Bill Torongo1:03:20Andrew Triebold
1820112:31:53Andrew Triebold & Cameron McClain1:06:51Andrew Triebold
1920122:33:00Andrew Triebold & Matthew Rimer1:06:04Nick Walton
2020132:30:47Josh Sheldon & Matt Streib1:04:59Matt Streib
2120142:29:15Andrew Triebold & Nick Walton1:04:15Andrew Triebold
2220152:27:20Mathieu Pellerin & Ryan Halstead1:04:12Mike Davis
2320162:26:04Andrew Triebold & Ryan Halstead1:02:49Andrew Triebold
2420172:27:02Mike Davis & Weston Willoughby1:04:25Mike Davis
2520182:28:45Mike Davis & Weston Willoughby1:04:57Mike Davis
2620192:28:12Andrew Triebold & Ben Schlimmer1:03:51Mike Davis
--2020-:--:--No Race-:--:--No Race
2720212:26:27Wes Dean & Weston Willoughby1:05:51Danny Medina
2820222:34:49Wes Dean & Ryan Halstead1:05:38Mike Davis
2920232:30:20Wes Dean & Logan Mynar1:03:09Mike Davis
3020242:30:10Wes Dean & Ryan Halstead1:04:58Daniel Medina

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