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Rushton races offer various paddling opportunities

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CANTON - No matter what level of athlete the inner or outer you is, there are opportunities for you this coming weekend at the 51st Rushton Memorial Canoe & Kayak Races.

The Canton Canoe Weekend committee has set a full range events and is even providing a limited number of canoes and kayaks.

Friday, May 4, is the Rushton Tour following the traditional 7-mile course downriver from the CR 21 Bridge near Pyrites to Canton Island Park (Willow Island) in Canton, any type of canoe or kayak. There is a bit of rough water near the beginning and at Miner St. Bridge. You should check it out from the bridge before you decide to do it. The entry fee is $10 and the first 100 registered will receive an event t-shirt. Registration is from 3-4:30 p.m. with start times between 3:30 and 5 p.m. There is a shuttle provided.

The best viewing for this event is the start, Miner St. Bridge, Bend-in-the-River Park and the finish. TAUNY will have their regular Friday Jam session and Barb Heller’s Weiner and Sausage stand will have its opening day hot dogs at Canton Island Park. Saturday morning, May 5, is the Rushton Recreational Race. This features a 1-mile race for youth kayakers and a 3-mile race for antique canoes, youth canoe and family teams. The 5-mile race has opportunities for kayaks, solo canoes and tandem (2-person) teams of Adult/Child, Family, School Age, Mixed, Women and Men’s Teams. There is also a special War Canoe 5-miler which may see 6-8 paddlers from Canton College, St. Lawrence University and others. There may also be seats in these 24’ long canoes for extra paddlers. New this year will be the College C4 Challenge where teams of four paddlers compete over their 8-mile course. Teams from St. Lawrence University, McGill University, Cornell University, Clarkson University and SUNY School teams from Canton, Paul Smiths and Potsdam are expected to participate.

The best viewing for this event is at Taylor Park. Registration from 8-9 a.m. and races start at 9:30 a.m.at Taylor Park.

Canoes Available: We still have some canoes (free) to borrow for Friday and for Saturday morning. Contact Chuck 244-3712 if interested.

Sunday afternoon, May 6, features the ever popular Rushton Relay Race. Teams of six paddlers will compete on the three short legs of the course; taking turns 2-paddlers at a time. There are opportunities for school age, family, mixed, women and men’s teams. Always hotly contested is the College Relay Challenge with teams from SLU, Potsdam, Clarkson and Paul Smiths expected to compete. Registration 11:30-1:00 with a mass start at 1:30; adult relay fee is $15.

Entry Fees: Wounded Warriors (free), school age students $5, college students $10 and adults $20. Active and ex-military receive a $5 discount Saturday.

More information at slvpaddlers.org

Spectators are encouraged to come and cheer on the Pro and Amateur Marathon racers as they compete Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. These athletes are the best of the best competing over 14 and 12-miles respectively. Saturday afternoon they will be in C-1 canoes and K-1 kayaks (1-person). Sunday, many of them will team up in the C-2 races (2-person). Paddlers from Michigan, Nebraska, PA, New England, NY, Quebec and Ontario are expected to compete. The best viewing sites are at Taylor Park and the Little River Bridge.

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