When it’s not boating season, Maine is chock-full of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
The Maine Whitewater Championship went off as epic as ever in 2014. The Kennebec Race saw a great turnout and the local community of whitewater kayakers came together for a weekend full of kayak racing and waterfall hucking at Huckfest. Competitors raced in Mass Start and Time Trials events. Becca Austin and Mike McVey won Time Trials with times tight amongst top competitors. Alex Toth took first in the Mass Start followed by Ryan Linehan. In the second installment of the Maine Whitewater Championship athletes competed on the West Branch of the Penobscot River. With a high water flow of around ~3400 cfs it was a challenging race, the Gorge and Cribworks were class V big water. Mike McVey and Miles Pulieo tied for first in Time Trials with Jane Koopman taking the ladies. Alex Toth dominated the BoaterX. In the overall points bracket between both races, Ryan Linehan and Mike McVey tied for first while Jane Koopman secured ladies first naming them the 2014 Champions. They walked out with a set of DemerBox’s and a new drysuit from Mythic Gear. We partied late into the night after the awards ceremonies concluded, drinks and hugs were shared amongst all. Baxter Brewing Co. kept us well hydrated and sponsors kicked in awesome prize swag for competitors to go home with. Both weekends were incredibly fun and if you missed out this year be sure to make it next year. The Kennebec Race offers a great place for avid competitors and those racing for their first time. The West Branch of the Penobscot is a little more difficult and offers challenging competition at high water. Prizes were awarded to top finishers and a Wave Sport Recon 83 was raffled off with all who raced in the running. Safety Volunteers were included in the boat raffle and Anthony Codega, a member of the safety team was the lucky winner.
Though it’s a race that brings us all together, and competition that get’s us all fired up, what we really enjoy is sharing time with so many of our friends on such a great pair of rivers. Thanks to everyone that came out! It was a blast to paddle with you all.
Results from this years races and more info about the Maine Whitewater Championship can be found at www.mainewwc.com
Visit the official website of the Maine Whitewater Championship at www.mainewwc.com
This weekend is the first stop of the Maine Whitewater Championship with Time Trials and Mass Start events on the Kennebec River in the Forks Maine. Whitewater kayak racing has been gaining attention over the last couple years, with new events like “Smalls to the Wall” popping up throughout the state. On Saturday competitors will will go head to head in an attempt to post the fastest times. Besides the good fun of some friendly competition there is also a heap of awesome swag on the line. Kayakers will be competing for all sorts of prizes from a new Drysuit (thanks to Mythic Gear) to waterproof boom boxes from DemerBox and all sorts of swag in between.
HUCKFEST is also taking place at Grand Falls on the Dead River on Sunday morning (people usually arrive at the falls around 10am). If you’ve never been to Huckfest before don’t miss out this year. Here’s last years video:
Registration is now open for the Maine Whitewater Championship. You are entered to win a Wave Sport Recon 83 creek boat simply by registering to race. Don’t miss out, visit www.mainewwc.com to register and get your whitewater kayak racing on.
Local Maine whitewater kayaker and shredder Andrew Cooper kicked off what’s sure to be an annual hit this year with Smalls To The Wall, a steep creek race for whitewater kayakers just outside of Rangeley Maine. Located just off Rt. 4 in Sandy River Plantation at a “Scenic Rest Stop” is one of Maine’s many gems, Smalls Falls. With a series of drops ranging from 5 to 20 feet with the two biggest drops back to back.
The race was time trials format, with the shortest times coming in around the 1 minute mark. An awesome group of local whitewater kayakers showed up to race and this one will definitely grow in numbers with time. The race was an absolute blast, the day was fairly carnage free and everyone gathered for beers in Rangeley afterward. Not to mention, the flow was perfect. If you weren’t there this year, don’t miss it next season.
All PHOTOS by Mike McVey, Caitlin Richard and Julie Lachance
WWW.MAINEWWC.COM – The new official website of the Maine Whitewater Championship
This year will mark our 3rd annual Maine Whitewater Championship, formerly known as the Send It, Whitewater Racing Series (a whitewater kayak racing series). Over the last few years we have learned a great deal about hosting these events and we have again made some changes to the format and schedule to continue to improve our races. This year we will be returning to the format of the first year with race events being held on a single day.
The Kennebec race will feature a time trials event in the morning and a mass start event in the afternoon, followed by awards, cold beer and music at The Marshall that evening.
The Penobscot race will feature a time trials event in the morning and a BoaterX event in the afternoon, followed by final awards, beers and celebration at a location that is yet to be determined.
Both events will occur on Saturdays. The Sunday following the Kennebec race is the day of Huckfest at Grand Falls and the Sunday following the Penobscot race we hope to have an impromptu mass start.
Registration will open soon and we will continue to release more details as things develop. For now, we’re stoked to announce that we will be giving away a WAVE SPORT RECON this year! And all you have to do for a chance to win it is register for one of our races!
Big thanks to Wave Sport and all of our other fantastic sponsors.
I couldn’t help myself, I have to share my thoughts on this device. (See last video below for product description). The “Hi-N-Dry” Shaft Float might possibly be the worst invention to ever hit the whitewater kayak scene. Here’s a quote from their website:
The Hi-N-Dry allows for resting between roll attempts, makes rolling a breeze, allows one to breath and keep ones head out from under the water between roll attempts, and enables one to practice rolling while on the river or lake without constant fear of a failed roll leading to an unwanted wet-exit.
And here’s another quote directly from the creator:
Thanks to it, I’ve gone from a 70% chance to roll in a pool to a bomb-proof roll in class 4 [he does mean while using one]
And lastly, the two quotes that concern me the most:
It gives the ultimate sense of security and control.
With a device that makes rolling a piece of cake, one can get out there and kayak where they want to be kayaking more quickly.
Oh my… where to even start. Simply put, this device is BAD NEWS. There is no substitute for proper technique, experience and practice. Learning to roll with a “crutch” is only going to hinder your efforts at learning a real, efficient and effective roll. Having a bomber roll is something we all strive for and want to attain. You will never reach that goal using a “Shaft Float.” Might this device serve a purpose in the pool? Yeah, maybe (I’m not convinced). But it should certainly NEVER be on the river. The Hi-N-Dry is marketed to encourage people to paddle beyond their ability. This is very bad. You should not need a paddling “aid” to paddle challenging whitewater. Challenging whitewater is for experienced paddlers. Have you ever seen someone mountain biking with training wheels?
The inventors repeatedly state that the Hi-N-Dry allows you to paddle class IV whitewater without having a solid roll. This is WRONG. They ought to be sued (and I’m not a big supporter of such action). If you do not have an effective and reliable roll you simply DO NOT have the experience and the knowledge to be paddling class IV water. It takes years to learn how to effectively read water and make life saving decisions, something that happens at a much faster and more advanced rate in class IV paddling. This skill set can come only from years of experience, not a piece of foam granting false securities.
Once you build a dependency on a Shaft Float you will struggle much harder to remove it than you ever would have to learn without it in the first place. It will certainly develop (reward) bad habits, this is a fact, contrary to the opinion of the inventors.
So much could be said about the first quote above, and many other quotes on their website. But to address this issue as only one example of their naivety to whitewater – you should never be laying out with your core exposed in the water, also exposing your head to impact from below the chin. You should never be raising your head to the surface in between roll attempts, these are BAD HABITS and improper technique that will almost certainly lead to injury or worse. As a paddler you need to learn to tuck quickly into your set-up position, protect your head and core properly and execute an effective roll (it is ok to miss rolls when paddling easier water, thats how we learn). The inventors also claim that the Hi-N-Dry will protect your face while on your back-deck… I would like to see someone keep that firmly in front of their chin while being thrashed in turbulent water and trying to set-up for a roll.
The inventor of this product has been paddling for all of FOUR years. He himself is a beginner. Everything on his website is misinformation and dangerous to other beginners that don’t know any better. If you found this post while searching for more information about the Hi-N-Dry Shaft Float, PLEASE stop all considerations of purchasing immediately.
Oh yeah, You’ll look like a total gaper sporting this thing too!
Here are two prime examples of the Hi-N-Dry failing:
In this first video it is amazing that he did not hurt a shoulder, he is lucky. He also exposes his body when he rolls and sets himself up to smash his head on a windoshade due to poor form and extending his arms so far out.
In this second video the paddler is completely unaware of his surroundings and puts himself in an extremely life threatening situation. As he is paddling whitewater outside of his ability level he has no idea what to do, panics, and swims.
And lastly, for your comedic pleasure, the Hi-N-Dry Shaft Float promo video! (It’s a good one!)
For the love of whitewater kayaking, the sanity of those around you on the river and your own life, DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT.
McSlay has compiled some of his rowdiest memories from the last few seasons. A lot of this footage was shot on the West Branch. The guy is an animal!
The summer of 2013 was full of adventure. I was lucky to spend the duration of the summer on the West Branch of the Penobscot while helping Jeremy Cass get his business off the ground. It was a great year for Maine whitewater kayakers, with early season high water, consistent flows and some spectacular summer weather towards the end, we couldn’t have asked for much more. This was the second summer producing a Maine whitewater film for the Maine Outdoor Film Festival and it was a fantastic experience yet again. I was able to compile a film that represented many aspects of Maine’s whitewater scene. I owe that to all the dedicated paddlers that were willing to share their footage and to them I would like to extend a huge thank you. I was truly inspired by the community this year and we have set our sights high for next years film. Hopefully we will be able to bring you the details on that soon. In the mean time please take a moment to enjoy this years film and catch it one last time on the big screen at Empire in the Old Port. The MOFF awards ceremony and screening will be taking place on December 5th and I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone there. Thanks again!
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated this page, life sure does get busy fast. I’ll have a summer recap and a look at what’s in store for next year up soon but in the mean time I am selling a very limited number of canvas prints of this beautiful night shot of the Crib. As of now there are 8 prints available. Printed on canvas and framed on a 1.5″ think wood frame. This shot was taken this past summer and was a 15 second exposure, we used fireworks to light the scene. The prints are 24″ x 36″ see below for a more visual representation of the size. Money raised from the sale of these prints goes toward our next film project. It’s to early to spill the details but our next film idea reaches far beyond anything we’ve done yet. Please allow 2 weeks for delivery, may be shorter if you are willing to pick up. Click the “Buy Now” button below images to order.