Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kenduskeag race day!

Yesterday a small but elite group of two Unity SAR team personnel went to Bangor to help provide rescue cover for the annual Kenduskeag River Race.

The Kenduskeag is about as much fun as Mainers like to have. Being northerners and proud of it, not only do thousands of folk turn out to watch people get dumped in the icy cold waters just for fun, but almost a thousand actually go down the river as part of the race and GET dumped.

You can see pretty much every type of Mainer there is to see on the banks or in the river. The race is run by folk barely in their teens (accompanied by a paddler parent), to folk well into retirement.

One gray-haired granny who shot the rapids very neatly in her aging fiberglass kayak got the biggest round of applause. But the Maine guide who paddles standing up always gets a cheer, as does Gumby who this year was sporting a T-Shirt declaring his support for economic stimulus (as long as some of it came to him). There were also lots of pirates, of the traditional, not east African kind.

About thirty boats dumped at our little hole, and Melanie and I fished away with our throw ropes, while the Bangor FD swam around in their wet suits and fielded other dumpers and swimmers.

Of course, the loudest cheers are ALWAYS for those who dump.

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