27th Annual New England Canoe-O Championships
June 24, 2012
Tully Lake, Royalston, MA
Event Director: Aims Coney
Tully Lake is perhaps the most perfect canoe-o venue in New England. It’s shaped like a puzzle piece spotted with islands and connects to Long Pond via the short Tully River. The Tully watershed has clean water, a firm gravel bottom, virtually no motorboat activity, and is surrounded by a trail network. We first held the New England Canoe-O Championships at Tully Lake in 2009, and after waiting a decent interval to allow memories to fade, we were back this year. In 2015 or so we hope to go back.
23 boats staffed by 42 paddlers competed, with 7 kayaks and the remainder canoes. In theory a two-person team is an advantage over a single, because the team can split up, with one person running for a land control and the other paddling the boat forward to meet at a later point. But, on the long course none of the tandem teams used the splitting tactic on the hardest and most obvious control, #5, instead choosing a long, painful portage followed by a swampy launch point. Usually the competitors find an easier way than the course setter had considered but not this year, it was just the opposite.
On the medium course, conventional logic also went out the window, with solo kayaker Bill Warren posting the fastest time, just edging J-J Cote and Sam Levitin by 1%. Overall the medium course was the most competitive, with half the boats within 10% of Bill’s time.
In what was apparently a surprise even to them, on the short course Bruce Allen and Bill Binette, had the fastest time closely followed by Caroline and Scott Meeks, perennial canoe-o participants.
We’d expected a hot competition for the New England Champion, with a number of qualified teams. In the end however, Ali Crocker and Ian Smith were too strong and paddled away with it, beating challegers Jeff Shapiro and Keith Durand by over 13 minutes.
As with so many orienteering events, volunteers made it possible. Roger and Trisha Underwood organized registration and when a USB cable was needed, Roger searched stores all over Athol and finally was able to borrow one from the local campground. After completing their winning course, Ian Smith and Ali Crocker, hung around and ran the finish as well has handling registration for late arrivers. As a huge time-saver, Bill Warren picked up 13 out of 19 controls including 12 on the water and even the notorious #5 on land. Thank you!
The venue for next year’s 28th Annual Championship hasn’t been identified. If you have a suggestion for a complicated body of water, preferably with light motorboat traffic, on-site canoe and kayak rentals and clean water; do let me know.
|Ali Crocker & Ian Smith||2||Canoe||2:09:08|
|Jeff Schapiro & Keith Durand||2||Canoe||2:22:44|
|Lex & Pete Bundschuh||2||Canoe||2:58:41|
|Jeanne & Mark Hummel||2||Canoe||3:21:07|
|J-J Cote & Sam Levitin||2||Canoe||1:35:00|
|Helen Demakes & Gary Gallagher||2||Canoe||1:36:49|
|Andy McIlvaine & Marty Moran||2||Canoe||1:38:12|
|Roger & Trisha Underwood||2||Canoe||1:41:17|
|Pia, Mark, Anne, Tor & Lucas Webb||5||Canoe||1:42:08|
|Catherine Olsson & Daniel Gray & Eric Price||3||Canoe||1:48:48|
|Jason Richardson & Gordon McCloud||2||2-Kayaks||2:00:26|
|Bruce Allen & Bill Binette||2||Canoe||0:47:37|
|Caroline & Scott Meeks||2||Kayak||0:51:47|
|Greg & Jonah & Elias Lowrey||3||Kayak||1:13:55|