Thrills and Spills on the Smith River

The 44th Annual Smith River Canoe Race was a fun filled afternoon. Some old pros paddled the course with determination, some had great fun and a few found a lot of water in their boats. The race starts at Albee Beach, goes down the Smith River to the Crescent Lake, to the dam, down the river and finishes after going under the bridge on Main Street.

This picture is looking up the Smith River below the Crescent Lake dam which can just be “sort of” seen with the white water coming out of it. The dam is opened up for this event so that there is enough water for people to paddle.

Some people take the race very seriously and they also generally have the fastest time. This boat has two determined and capable paddlers.

Others are out there having fun but being careful so that they don’t flip as they hit the banks of the narrow channel.

There is a great spectator spot along the shore at the bottom of the most difficult rapids and on a day with no bugs and the rain holding off, lots of people enjoyed the race.

Racers come to have fun as indicated by the outfits that some wear. One woman sported a very nice hat and then there were some cows who came down the river……

Some teams put the old person in the front while others put the younger person.

Some teenagers were doing very will with the bow paddler doing a “high brace” to straighten out the boat. Others were trying to empty their boat after they flipped.

And then there was the ghost boat coming down the rapids. The paddlers had let it go and were seen walking down the bank.

Below the rapids, before the river goes under the Center Street Bridge, the water becomes calm. Most people were enjoying the paddle and some were happy to wave because winning really didn’t matter.

Just below the bridge, paddlers headed for the second carry (the first was around the Crescent Lake Dam). Four boats are seen in the first picture and a moment later, after one cut in front of another, there was a minor collision. All were well but the green boat was slowed down a bit.

Boats are pulled out of the water, go across the rail trail and then down to Back Bay. The finish is at Dockside.