Despite cloudy skies, weather was near perfect for paddling Saturday morning as the Pennsylvania Association of Canoeing and Kayaking (PACK) State Championships combined with the Pat Shine Memorial race.
The event drew 48 paddlers in 38 canoes and kayaks to compete on the Allegheny River from the Kinzua Dam tailwaters to Betts Park. Entrants participated in one of two courses a short course, which consisted of a straight downstream trip, and a long course, which consisted of some buoy turns requiring upstream paddling. The courses provided a little bit of everything for entrants, from shallow paddling to deep water and even some rapids. The long course measured approximately 12 miles.
Racers in 19 classes entered the events and they came from as far away as Long Island, N.Y..
Photo by Jacob Perryman
And the winner is...
Despite not having enough metals to go around and a delay in giving out awards, a fair number of participants at this year’s Pat Shine Memorial Race/PACK state championships participants took time to come forward and receive recognition for their achievements.
The first class began at 10 a.m. and by 11:29 a.m. paddlers began crossing the finish. Approximately two-and-a-half hours later, the last boat passed the finish buoy.
Jim Decker, executive director of the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI), filled in as race official for Warren County Council on Tourism Executive Director John Papalia Jr., who was unavailable.
"It was a great event," Decker said. "It's always nice to bring people from as far away as Long Island."
Temperatures remained cool throughout the race and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adjusted outflow from the dam to accommodate the event, leaving conditions near perfect for a day on the river.
"The weather and the Corps cooperated by giving us the release to have optimal paddling conditions," Decker said. "It was a great warm-up for nationals in three weeks."
Decker was referring to the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Association (USCA) National Championship, which will be held along the same section of the Allegheny River beginning on Aug. 7.
The event shared space at Betts Park with both a softball tournament and Warren Ribfest. As a result, paddlers leaving the course were greeted with the opportunity to enjoy food, drinks and music if they wanted.
This year marked the second annual Pat Shine Memorial and the first time the PACK State Championships have been held along the course since 2009.
Event results, provided by WCCBI:
Sea Kayak Men's (long course): 1st-David Kyle; 2nd-John Beckwith; 3rd-Brian Ammon
Sea Kayak Women's (long course): 1st-Linda Kay; 2nd-Tina Fischer
Kayak Touring Men's (long course): 1st-Jim Goochie
Kayak Unlimited Men's (long course): 1st-Brad Beckwith; 2nd-Larry Cowan; 3rd-Dale Glover; 4th-Jerry Patton
Two-man Kayak Open (long course): 1st-Ron and Kate Kaiser
Kayak Short Women's (long course): st-Carrie Gustafson; 2nd-Elaine Wiggers; 3rd-Kay Walborn
Two-man Canoe Open Mixed (long course): 1st-Teresa Stout and Steve Martin; 2nd-Bill and Debie Kostra
Canoe Stock Men's (long course): 1st-John Koenig
Canoe Open Men's (long course): 1st-Richard Rankinen
Kayak Recreational Novice Women's (short course): 1st-Sue Neilsen
Kayak Recreational Novice Men's (short course): 1st-Dan Merski; 2nd-Logan Pence
Kayak Short Men's (long course): 1st-Bill Burnett; 2nd-Donald Rog
Two-Man Canoe Open Men's (long course): 1st-Randy Bailey and Glen Vandewincker; 2nd-Charlie Bruno and Larry Liquori
Two-man Canoe Adult Youth, non-rec boat (short course): 1st-Ann Ripton and Paul Etchepare
Two-man Canoe Stock Men's (long course): 1st-Steve Stoddard and Ken Gerg
Two-man Canoe Standard Men's (long course): 1st-Paul Gruber and Fran Kopta; 2nd-Pat Anderson and Dana Leet
Two-man Canoe Standard Mixed (long course): 1st-Sarah and Dan Masek; 2nd-Mark Kopta and Laur Allen Martin
Two-Man Canoe Business (short course): 1st-Wade and Amanda Gruber; 2nd-Gregory Henton and Chip Little; 3rd-Troy Clawson and Justin Friend