Greeted by temperatures in the 50s, 140 paddlers maneuvered down the 5.3-mile course at the 46th annual Passagassawakeag River Race in Morrill on Saturday with Sabattus’ Ben Randall defending his overall title as he piloted his kayak through the water in a time of 43 minutes and 47 seconds.
Randall posted a time of 40:49 a year ago.
All but two of the 85 craft finished the race.
Harpswell’s Hank Thorburn, who was third last April, posted a second-place finish with a time of 45:15. He also was in a kayak.
Randall and Thorburn finished one-two at the six-mile St. George River Race the previous weekend.
The top two finishers in the two-man canoe class were third and fourth, overall, as Bangor’s Mark Ranco and Chris Francis crossed the finish line in 46:34 followed by Bem Galipeau of Greenbush and Damon of Galipeau of Indian Island (46:53).
Fifth overall was Andrew Cooper (47:19) in a kayak.
Rounding out the Top 10 were two-man canoe class racers Bucky and Jeff Owen of Orono (48:09) and Ashton Mabee of Bangor and Clayton Cole of Corinth (48:19), kayakers Justin Varney of Northport (48:48) and Kell Fremouw (49:40) and Bucksport kayaker Mark Bamford (50:35), who won the KS class.
Kellen Doyle, who won the one-man open racing canoe class a year ago as a senior at Orono High School, teamed up with Sarah Zachariason from Minnetonka, Minnesota, to win the college division. They were the only entrants in the class.
Doyle is a member of the University of Maine men’s swimming and diving team and Zachariason swims for the women’s team. Both are freshmen. They posted a time of 59:37.
Doyle and Tess McNamara, another freshman on the UMaine women’s swim team, completed the St. George course in 53:53 a week ago and were the only college division entrants.
Seventy-six-year-old Prisciilla Reinertson and 66-year-old Al Paradise, who are both from New Hampshire, celebrated their 28th year of racing together by posting a time of 50:50 in the OC2 Mixed Class.That was the 12th best overall clocking.
The Souadabscook Stream race is next Saturday followed by the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race the following weekend.