HAMPDEN — Eastern Maine’s canoe and kayak enthusiasts were busy over the weekend as two races were held in the region.
The Souadabscook Stream Race took center stage on Saturday. It was split into two different events, one over a short course and the other a downriver course.
Organizers also instituted a mandatory portage at the Crawford’s set of rapids. It was determined that debris in the stream along that section posed a potential danger to the competitors.
Jeff Owen and Katie Owen negotiated the short course most efficiently, finishing in 28 minutes, 16 seconds in the Junior/Senior Recreational class. Noah Burr and Lowell Ruck were second in 30:03, while Dan Baumert claimed third in his short kayak in 30:30.
There were many more paddlers in the downriver course. The overall winner was Hank Thorburn in the K1 Long Racing category. He snuck in under an hour in 59:48.
A pair of canoeing duos were the next fastest entrants as Justin Wardwell and Clayton Cole clocked a 1:01:42, while Bill Deighan and Patrick Deighan finished in 1:02:38.
On Sunday, paddlers headed to Winterport for the running of the Marsh Stream races.
The competitions included a downriver race, a short race and the Marsh Stream Sprints.
Ray Wirth claimed a pair of divisional wins in the sprints, taking top honors in the K1 long category (6:38) and the K1 short race (7:01). Ben Randall’s time of 6:48 paddling a long kayak was just 10 seconds off the pace.
In the Marsh Stream Downriver Race, Wirth again used his long kayak to register the best time of the day (46:47). Clayton Cole and Justin Wardwell, paddling in the OC2 Medium Rec division, led the way among canoeists with a time of 47:45.
The short race champion was Jeff Owen, who guided his one-man canoe through the course in 35:11. He was only 15 seconds faster than the tandem of Jacob Gallon and Tim Gallon (35:26) in the Junior/Senior Rec division.
Next Saturday, the action switches to the Kenduskeag Stream, where hundreds of craft will be paddled down the 16½-mile course in the 49th running of the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.