2012 Machias River race

2012 Machias River race

5 MAY 2012

It was starting to look like a possible cancelation of the Machias River Race this year, then we got 2" of rain just in the nick of time and the river was roaring. After last years race we had hopes of filling the Wilderness Lodge with paddlers this year but  with just a week till race time we had only one room booked. Then the skies opened up and the next day the phone started to ring. We ended up with a full house.

Lisa and I met a group of really fun people all of whom enjoyed the lodge very much. They stayed with us the night before the race and we all enjoyed a great pot luck supper and an evening in front of the big fieldstone fireplace, a few tall tales were shared. In the morning racers had only a 2 mile drive to the finish line on the river. The start of the race was up stream 10 miles. All who came said they  had a great time and will be back next year, so it looks like a tradition has been born.

At last year's race, I helped with cooking the shore lunch at the finish line for the paddlers, but this year I wanted to experience the race. My friend Brian (aka Peaches) & I drove up and watched the start of the race at the Stud Mill Rd. It began on First Lake Machias where the racers paddled the 1 mile lake to the outlet which is then the  Machias River. After the grand start, Brian and I jumped in the truck and sped down the old CC rd to the first set of rapids at Karrick Pitch. A few paddlers got wet there but no one got hurt. It was really neat standing on the rocks just feet from the brave canoeists and kayakers flying through the fast moving water. 

Not being a white water guy myself, I was amazed and in awe that a canoe could go through such wild water. I personally like boats where the water stays on the outside! I was fortunate to be standing next one of the  lodge guests (and canoeist) who could not race that day.  I learned, as he explained what needs to be done to make it through rapids like here at the Pitch. It takes great skill at paddling and a keen eye at reading the river to steer ones craft the right way. The most important thing he says is that you do not stop paddling. I know my instinct would be to grab on to the sides and hang on, but now I know that's what will flip a canoe.

After about half of the racers went by, we jumped back into the truck and flew down to the Airline Rips ( Rt-9) and I just caught the 2 leaders going through. I was just around the corner from the finish line. After a few minutes I detected the smell of burgers being cooked on an open fire drifting through the woods so I got off the huge driftwood log I was sitting on and followed my nose to the source. A great race, good food and a great time had by all.

The winning canoe was manned by  Bill Anderson & Mark Ranco with a time of 1:25:07.

Only ten seconds behind them were Greg Dorr and Clayton Cole with a time of 1:25:17.

Link to all the results-----> http://www.mackro.org/2012_results/machias.htm

Link to you-tube video we made of race-----> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gEL2z3C2oU                                                              

Can't wait till next year!