With water from rains still trickling into the Roeliff Jansen Kill on Saturday, racers paddled seven fast-paced miles of the stream to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Forty-seven participants, one broken boat, one lost paddle and one lost boat later, approximately $2,500 was raised for the A.C.S. in the fourth-annual Roe Jan Canoe Race, a local tradition dating back many decades in different incarnations.
Members of the Roe Jan Creek Boat Club organized the race in coordination with the club’s open house at the finish line. Generously supporting the race’s expenses this year were GTel Teleconnections, Brittany DuFresne, Fix Brothers Fruit Farm, Columbia Tree Care and the Columbia County Deputy Sheriff’s Benevolent Association.
Craig Dombrowski and Alex Jennings were the highest-fundraising team, collecting $705 for the cause.
Eric Jones and Amy Thornton finished in first place in the two-person canoe division. After striking a rock that caused a leak in their bow, Jones and Thornton packed mud, leaves and sticks to slow the leak and finished with a time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, and 43 seconds. 2017 first-place finishers Joe Hoffman and Shane Johnson finished second this year with a time of 1 hour, 9 minutes and 9 seconds. Adam Crawford and Henry Haddad finished third with a time of 1 hour, 10 minutes and 17 seconds.
Cameron Parlman finished first in the kayak division with a time of 1 hour, 8 minutes and 24 seconds; Greg Kline finished second at 1 hour, 8 minutes and 34 seconds; and Tom Shannon finished third at 1 hour, 10 minutes, and 10 seconds.
Top solo canoe finishers were Dan Hoolihan at 1 hour, 11 minutes and 17 seconds and John Phelan at 1 hour, 23 minutes and 7 seconds.
Photos of many of the racers are available for purchase at Bdocktorphotography.com
After raising more than $12,000 for the A.C.S. since 2015, race organizers are openly considering having future races benefit alternating causes or perhaps a fresh cause each year, possibly starting with a race to benefit A.L.S. research next year. Anyone with any thoughts or suggestions on that front or anyone who would like to get involved in helping with next year’s race should email email@example.com.
Race organizers wish to thank the sponsors, as well as the Roe Jan Creek Creek Boat Club, all racers, all who donated and all who came out to watch.