Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Inwood Invitational, July 21 - now with writeup

Race day at Inwood! 

Note - I'd uploaded some photos and meant to save them as a draft until I could copy in the writeup I posted in FB - accidentally posted though! Same pix here, but with the report. Lots more photos on Flickr.  

A couple of years ago, Yonkers, Inwood, and Sebago, three of the oldest paddling clubs in the area, started having a really fun and friendly inter-club competition. Three days of racing are held, with each club hosting the others for one. The days generally start out with a couple of group paddles, one short, one longer, then the races are held (100 yards, 400 yards, and 800 yards, men and women competing separately), then grilling, refreshing beverages, watermelon and much talking story ensue. So much fun! Points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each race, with the winner at the end of the season taking home the Glickman Cup, named after Joe Glickman, a remarkable Sebago member, a racer, adventurer, writer, and devoted husband and father. He passed away from cancer a few years back - far too young to go but when people talk about living every day to its fullest? Well, that was Joe. We all miss him very much.

I missed Inwood last year, and the year before I was actually recovering from my own bout with cancer, so went to enjoy the cameraderie without really getting on the water (although I did get drafted for the war canoe race, and I was delighted to at least get out that way). This year I got to participate much more fully, joining the longer paddle in the morning and then representing Sebago in the races. We usually have a really good woman from our racing committee, but she was injured and couldn't race today and so I volunteered/got volunteered. I do think I'm making progress on getting back in shape, but the other women who were racing today are very serious paddlers and I didn't really stand a chance against them. However, the field was small and for 2 of the 3 races, last place meant 3rd, so all I had to do was negotiate the course as instructed to get points for Sebago. I still paddled like I meant it - Yossi (our racing committee chair) loaned me a good wing paddle and I did not futz around out there!

 And the morning paddle was wonderful. The current was at full ebb when we launched, so we headed north and then hung a right into the Harlem River, paddling nearly down to the Peter Jay Sharp boathouse. This is a beautifully scenic stretch of the waterways around Manhattan and was always one of my favorite parts of a Manhattan circumnavigation back when I was at Manhattan Kayak and doing those regularly - you've just spent a couple of hours on a pretty industrial stretch of the Harlem River and then all the sudden everything starts turning green and lush, and then you turn the corner and there's the Hudson ready to take you home. Glorious. Absolutely a delight to re-visit this area with our hosts, and extra fun because one of them actually knew a whole lot of history about the area. A beautiful, beautiful day on the Hudson and Harlem rivers. Thanks a million to our wonderful hosts at the Inwood Canoe Club. Looking forward to Yonkers in September!


Alana said...

Definitely views of the New York City area I will never see. I saw dragon boat races in Ithaca several years ago (and one of the teams consisted of breast cancer survivors). I would love to see dragon boat races again one day.

bonnie said...

The dragon boating is extremely popular with breast cancer survivors - I have a friend at work who participates and told me about it. In NYC they're mostly in Queens though, a little hard to get to from Brooklyn or I might have gone and checked it out.

This looks like fun!