Rubber Duck says Toot Toot! Essex River Race results

Another fun Essex River Race was pulled off by the Cape Ann Rowing Club. This is a voluntary group that does an amazing job each year with the 6 mile Essex Race to begin the summer and the Blackburn Challenge all the way around Cape Ann in July.

In both races there is one certainty, if you are not super fast you pay for it. The wind always comes up quickly and is in your face at the finish while the winners are already eating the Woodman’s Clam Chowder.

Preliminary race results here.  A couple of points. Travis Hayes on a paddleboard 1:04:10.  Jimmy Tarantino and Joe Cominelli, Banks Dory Double 1:08:48.  That’s pretty close to six miles an hour either standing up or rowing a hefty dory. That’s ridiculous.

But on to the Sea Kayaks. John Karoff who I think broke 60 minutes last year wins again. Looks and talks like a totally normal person, a tad skinny but he wins this every year. Before the race Rubber Duck checked the percent body fat of all sea kayak contestants both male and female. None measured higher than 7%. This is when rubber duck looks at who is paddling her boat and does a major SMH and FFS. But check out these numbers. These are preliminary but I’m taking them to the bank and signing up for the Blackburn tonight.

All of these contestants but one has competed in at least two Iron Man triathlons. Can you pick the odd duck?
All of these contestants but one has competed in at least two Iron Man triathlons. Can you pick the odd duck?

Practice Lap around Straitsmouth Island 48 Hours before Essex River Race

143 matches to “Captain_Yes” meaning 143 boats registered so less than forty slots left. Still time to register. Essex River Race this Saturday morning.

Adam Bolonsky showed me this swimming spot. Shot this with some added software on the iPhone to take an 8 second exposure to smooth out the water. Not bad for hand held.
Adam Bolonsky showed me this swimming spot. Shot this with some added software on the iPhone to take an 8 second exposure to smooth out the water. Not bad for hand held.

Rubber Duck signed up for Essex River Race this Saturday!

With a little help Rubber Duck fit her fat ass into her kayak this morning. Although she sounded like a champagne cork when attempting a water exit, she fit.

Rubber Duck fit easily into her kayak with just a little help.
Rubber Duck fit easily into her kayak with just a little help.

Registration is open until Thursday night at 7 PM but you better register right this minute because the cutoff of 180 boats in the race is rapidly approaching. Click here to go to the Cape Ann Rowing Club Registration page to sign up and get info.

Never entered a race before? It’s only three miles up and three miles back and then hotdogs, beer, and clam chowder await you back at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. If you don’t want to race just go to the causeway in front of Woodman’s and watch the work boats and dories start at 10 AM this Saturday and make sure you stay until noon to see Rubber Duck make it back.

As always a hat tip to all the volunteers of the Cape Ann Rowing Club who make this event a memorable start to the summer.

Cape Ann Rowing Club Essex River Race this Saturday!

Saturday, May 11, the Essex River Race sponsored by the Cape Ann Rowing Club will be held rain or shine. Over 230 craft of every kind that is human powered will be setting off around 10 AM from the starting line in the Essex River right there on the new causeway where the Essex River hugs Route 133. If you park in the way back behind Woodsman’s it is just a short walk to prime viewing. The serious racers will take less than an hour to do the six miles down and back and Rubber Duck will show up about a half hour later.

Many boats will be washing the winter cobwebs off as they are placed in the water. Wash off your winter cobwebs and come on down. And it’s never too late to enter. Get your craft and your butt to registration 8 AM to 9:15 and get a good start to the season. Registration and pre-race meeting at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.

Even if it’s raining, come on down because the over 230 boats already registered will be there. And there is so much to do on that stretch between the Shipbuilding Museum and Woodman’s that the hour during the race will fly by.

Last year:

Can you find Rubber Duck?

Blackburn Challenge Registration Opens Today!

Donna Lind has sent the email. The 27th running of the Cape Ann Rowing Club Blackburn Challenge Registration is now open. Click here for Registration and Race info.

The Rubber Duck signed up today for her 4th paddle all the way around Cape Ann. Click the map below for Rubber Duck’s Blackburn Challenge timer (108 days to go until Saturday July 20, 2013.)

Cape Ann Rowing Club Blackburn Challenge
Cape Ann Rowing Club Blackburn Challenge

Rubber Duck has been faster each time she has paddled it. By the time she is 80 she will win it. RD will also have the popular GMG RD real time locator running during the race.

Rubber Duck is also registered for the warmup, the Essex River Race on Saturday May 11th. Both are a lot of fun.

2012 Essex River Race Roundup

For race results this link downloads a nice excel spreadsheet.

My race roundup: Nice day, I did not fall in, the beer was cold and the hot dog was tasty. The band did a nice job on some Fleetwood Mac covers a la Stevie Nicks. I finished in 1 hour 18 minutes 37 seconds. John Karoff who won my division finished in 58 minutes 29 seconds. If I had twin 150 Evinrudes maybe I could cut 20 minutes off my time. I happened to be chatting with John as we waited for the start since he had the same boat as me and I mentioned something about wishing I had gone kayaking at least once this spring before today. He said he had gone once, to something on the Charles River, a 19 mile race with many half mile portages. Meaning he had to pick up his boat and run to avoid dams and waterfalls. It was then I knew that although he seemed quite pleasant he was a mad man and was not surprised he took first place.

Other crazy people. Will Rich of Bayview and SUP The Coast fame (as in he paddled standing up all the way from Key West to Maine) finished first on a SUP board. It looks like there is a motor under his board, his time 1 hour, 2 minutes, 32 seconds. Crazy.

A James Tarantino of Gloucester rowed a banks dory to a time of 1 hour 24 minutes 6 seconds. A banks dory is about as opposite as you can get from most craft in this race. No carbon fiber, kevlar, teflon composite. A banks dory is made from large trees and  300 pounds of cod in the stern would not slow them up by much. The cod may add a minute or two to Jimmy T’s time.  That would be a good addition to the race. Then we could have a nice fish chowder at the finish.

OK, so who did the course the fastest? Borys Markin was sitting on something called a HPK single, or High Performance Kayak. These are long, thin, razor blade shaped, space age fiber crafts that I think if I sat in one I would be in the drink within a minute. Borys finished the race course in 42 minutes 41 seconds.  This is one of the reasons why I attend these races. These faster craft start the race after my division. So during the first 30 minutes of the race, packs of fast boats scream by one after another. As they do I try to imitate in some small way the technique they are using to paddle.  But not entirely. If I kept their cadence up I would blow a seal in less than a minute, but still instructive.

On to the Blackburn Challenge, just 55 days to go. Saturday July 14.

I would be negligent if I did not add that the Cape Ann Rowing Club did another amazing job with the Essex River Race. They make it fun for the normal as well as the athletically off their rocker types. Everyone who paddles in either the Essex or the Blackburn have come to expect a smooth race with nary a hitch and CARC keeps pulling it off.

If you go to the Blackburn Challenge website there will be photos posted over the next week or so. I don’t have anymore photos so I will just post a gratuitous photo of Homie biting Rubber Duck’s butt. (Homie doesn’t want her to race anymore.) 

Essex River Race this morning.

Rubber Duck thought it would be a nice day to paddle down the Essex River and back.

Ten minutes before Rubber Duck gets to go the Stand Up Paddlers are moving to the starting line.

Several times during the race I heard from the shore, “Hey, there goes Rubber Duck from Good Morning Gloucester!”

Beautiful day for a paddle and I got out of my kayak without falling in the water. Bonus.

Essex River Race, this Saturday, May 19th

A crowded schedule of things to do this coming weekend what with the Motif #1 Day going full bore in Rockport. Art, music, food, all day. To get the most out of the day you could check out The Essex River Race sponsored by (The Cape Ann Rowing Club) bright and early. The race heats start at 9:30 AM. (If you are racing, get to the captain’s meeting at 9 AM at the Essex Ship Building Museum.)

The Essex River Race is open to all seaworthy human or rubbery waterfowl-powered rowing and paddle boats. Participants’ crafts usually include Banks dories, fixed seat singles, doubles, multi-oars with cox, multi-oars without cox, sliding seat singles & doubles, single & double touring kayaks, surfskis.

Still time to enter. Only 27 bucks and you get a T-Shirt and a good start to the season.

76 Summer Days Until the Big Race

(Sung to the tune of 76 Trombones)
Seventy six summer days until the big parade,
with at least a hundred and ten dory rowers motoring away.
They were followed by rows and rows of the finest kayaks;
the cream of the Cape Ann waterways!

I’ll quit with one verse …

Blackburn Challenge: Saturday July 14.  There will be a kayak pod of “not the extremely swift” led by Wendie Demuth.

Click map for more  links and info.

There is also a short 5 mile race in the Essex River on Saturday, May 19th. Just go to the Cape Ann Rowing Club Web Site and you can sign up for both right now! Go ahead. It’s easy. You are probably an SK-male or SK-female boat length say 18 feet beam 25 inches. They take MasterCard and you get a cool T-Shirt you can wear to the GMG Mug-Ups to prove you did it. (SK means sea kayak which is what you have unless you are the Lance Armstrong of kayakers. Check your kibbles and bits to see if you are male or female.)

Rubber Duck signed up for both! ( I have got to hide the credit card.)

Rubber Duck Kayak Quick Tips: If you are thinking of going out to get in shape the water  temp at AO1 buoy today is 46F:

1) Do not kayak alone. 2) Wear and buckle up a PFD.  3) Dress for the water temp, not the sunny air temp. 4) Stick to the shore like glue. 5) A hand pump, a paddle float, a waterproof handheld radio tuned to VHS 16 are all good things to strap on your boat but only if you know how and when to use them.

Blackburn Challenge: 99 Days

It is now only 99 days until the Blackburn Challenge on Saturday July 23rd. The Silver Jubilee, 25th running of the “any human powered craft” race around Cape Ann. The Essex River Race, a 5.5 mile down the river around Cross Island and back is only 30 days from now on Saturday, May 14th.  Click the links for each race info. Essex registration is already open.

I think I will be enjoying the Essex race by eating breakfast overlooking the race. Post a comment if you know where the best Eggs Benedict are served on the river. By skipping the Essex I still have 99 days to get ready for the 21 miles of the Blackburn. Click here for my personal motivator page complete with  countdown to the day and a map.

Boating safety in small craft: Everyone wants to get out there and start practicing but there is a hidden danger even on very toasty days. The water is still only 42 F. While you are out kayaking, wear a PFD and always think of how you are going to get out of the water if you flip. That water does not give you much time. 50 minutes at 50 F is the rule of thumb. At 42 F, quite a bit shorter before getting back in the kayak is difficult. Do not go alone and wear a PFD.

But it will be warmer soon. For inspiration I look at a photo Paul Frontiero took of me in my new ride as I tested it out last summer. Last year I went all the way around in 5 hours, 30 minutes, 20 seconds in a 71 pound kayak. This one is 28 pounds. The engine just needs to trim down a bit and I’ll be smokin’.

The Essex River Race – Saturday May 15

The Essex River Race is a 5.5+ mile open water event from the Essex River at Route 133 in Essex, out behind the barrier beaches of Ipswich and back. Participants row or paddle small boats through one of the most scenic tidal areas in New England. Occasionally the water can be very rough, with strong winds and currents. As with all on-water activities in such conditions, safety should be the first concern of all participants and organizers. The orderly, safe and sportsmanlike conduct of this event is your personal responsibility, and is essential to guaranteeing the future of the Essex River Race.

The Essex River Race is open to all seaworthy human-powered rowing and paddle boats. Participants’ crafts usually include Banks dories, fixed seat singles, doubles, multi-oars with cox, multi-oars without cox, sliding seat singles & doubles, single & double touring kayaks, surfskis.

In this year’s event, there will be awards. Given the narrow size of the river at the start, participants will be sent out in heats composed of roughly comparable crafts. (Heats will be announced at the Skipper’s Meeting at 10:00 AM.) Times will be kept and recorded for all participants, and results will be made available at the finish line (and later posted on the CARC web site). Serious racers are allowed and encouraged, within the guidelines of safety and sportsmanship, to push one another to their limits. Casually oriented participants are equally welcome, and may cover the course in a more relaxed fashion (though, for safety reasons, all participants MUST clear the course within two hours of their starting time).

For more info, click here.

Essex River Race Information

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Online Registration – Regonline

9:00 am – 10:00 am Registration & Check In
10:00 am Captains Meeting
10:30 am First Heat Starts
Noon Finish Line Facilities Open

2009 Schedule of Events – Dory Races


2009 Schedule of Events

March 6th Winter Races 6:00 pm St. Peters Club
April 18th Dory Prep Day 8:00 am Eastern Ave
April 25th Dory Launch Day 8:00 am “ “
May 2 & 3 Adventure Open House Cruiseport Terminal
May 9th Essex River Race 9:00 am Essex
June 5th Elimination Registration 6:00 pm St. Peters Square
June 6th Elimination Races 8:30 am Niles Beach
June 8th Final Elimination (if needed) 6:00 pm Niles Beach
June 18th International Reception 6:00 pm St. Peters Club
June 20th International Races 8:30 a.m. State Fish Pier
June 20th Awards Banquet 1:00 pm Heritage Center
July 18th Blackburn Challenge 7:30 am Annisquam River
August 8th Oarmasters Challenge—Solo Race
August ?? Eliminations
September 22nd International Races — Lunenberg NS

For more information- check here.