Monday, April 28, 2008

Some More Kayak Races

Well, can't really start writing about the writing reading (or would that be the reading of writings) at THIS hour of night. Yes, work dragged on a bit & then there's, oh, food, and housework that patiently waited while I amused myself to the hilt all weekend. So no time for musing on the wonderfulness of the Writing New York Story readings tonight. I'll just say they were all great & I hope Jack does it again sometime.

Oh, yeah, and the instructor apparently starts his class with Carol Anne's Where I'm From exercise, which was fun.

Anyways, musing time got cut by day to day necessity, but since I was just going on about my Race Curse, here are some kayak races I've heard about or know about besides the one I'm in on Saturday.

I'm going to start with the one with the wonderful artwork you see above, which I found when one of the organizers, Ural Talgat, left a comment in the Williamsburg Bridge post. I actually love this artwork, it reminds me of a favorite poster I had in college which was called "Maine Currents" - similar black & white woodblock print effect, with swirling water full of seals and fish and kelp, very nice to have on the wall there in landbound Walla Walla Washington. Unfortunately since I was in college it got thumbtacked & taped to a few too many walls & got past being worth keeping - but I did like that poster. And I lke this one, which is the poster for a 10K race to (copying now!) introduce to the public the "Nature Kayak Trail System", which circumnavigates Greenport. The proceeds to help implementation of signage at trail heads/creeks and to help improve boater awareness. That's on June 14th on the North Fork of Long Island, barbecue afterwards - a little too far outside my turf for me to really think of going (plus chances are I've probably committed to SOMETHING that day - can't believe how much of the summer feels spoken for already), but it sounds like a lot of fun for a good cause. For full details, visit the Kayak Greenport website.

One other big race date for 2008 was announced recently on a couple of the email lists I'm on - the Mayor's Cup Manhattan Circumnavigation kayak race (at 26 miles you could quite properly call it a marathon) will be on October 18th (with a series of training races beforehand).

A couple other somewhat lower-key races also happen in the Fall -

there's Johnny Miller Adventures' GoZero races in Beacon. 3 events on Sunday, September 21st - 9 miles, 2 miles, and a 9 mile non-competitive "rally" for the non-competitive paddler who just wants to join in the fun on a lovely piece of the Hudson. Post race party, Johnny's a good guy, again this is one that's ooooohhh so slightly outside of anything I could call "an easy commute" - but I couldn't resist giving it a plug as long as I'm listing races.

Then of course there's the Soundkeeper's Lighthouse to Lighthouse. This one's actually not in NY at all, but it's in my OTHER favorite paddling territory, Norwalk Harbor. It's on September 13th, and I see an interesting change they are making this year - in the interest of allowing a wider range of paddlers to participate, this year, for the first time, they'll have 2 count 'em 2 courses - the normal 14 miles, and a new 7 miles. Now the last two years, I had conflicts, but this year TQ & I are going to see about maybe working out our schedule so we can come out and play instead of hearing about how much fun (or lack thereof) our friends had after the fact.

Last of the kayak races I know about, and possibly the most novice-friendly race in New York - yes, can't leave out the annual Harrison Street Regatta, being run this year on August 3rd. From the Downtown Boathouse website: This is our annual fun-race and BBQ that is held every year at the Boathouse. It is the highlight of the paddling season. We hold a race from Pier 96 to near our 72nd St. dock and back. The winner is the 2nd boat to cross the finish line. The race is open to all human-powered craft. All participants are entered in a drawing for boating-related prizes. Our fleet of public kayaks is available for use, or bring your own boat. Come at 1:00PM to register, the Race Starts at 2:00PM at Pier 96. A BBQ is held after the race at our the boat house. Everything including the food and soft drinks is 100% free.

That's the DTBH spiel - I will add that the year I went in this one, some serious racers went in it and chose to race it seriously, so the 2nd place thing didn't work the usual havoc - but I've heard that when everyone in the race chooses to respect that the 2nd boat across IS the actual WINNER, it makes for quite the entertaining scene - mad dash, then everybody pulls up to a dead stop at the finish line & jockeys until somebody can't stand it anymore & busts across the line, at which point pure mayhem ensues. And then there's a barbecue. And all free following Downtown Boathouse tradition. Did a post about it with a couple of pictures & links to more last year - you can check that out here.

I'm sure there's a lot more I'm missing but I'm just going to close with 2 NON-kayak type races -

First off, there's the ORIGINAL Really Big NYC-area paddling race - the all-outrigger 2008 Liberty Challenge - that's on Saturday, June 28th -

and then again zipping out to Fall, and moving to SAILBOATS! - yes, October 1-5 is New York Classic Week the week that makes me wish I still worked on the schooner Adirondack (although oooh, come to think of it, my racing curse even kicked in there one year - yes, Pioneer and/or Adirondack friends, the truth might as well be known - that whole debacle was probably attributable to my being on board. Sigh!

Well, that's all I can think of right now - of course if you're in the tri-state area & are running one of the many many MANY races I don't know about, feel free to leave a note in the comments!

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