Canoe and Kayak Racers Finish Strong

By Halsey Bagg

The 2023 Cranberry Lake Canoe/Kayak Race took place August 12. The weather prediction may have scared off some paddlers, but the number of participants was 24, the same as the last two years. With 17 boats and 28 participants registered, it was a successful day. The new longer course started at Clifton Town Beach and went around Joe Indian Island for a total of 8.6 miles. The last two years the course was around Birch Island for a total of 5.5 miles. This year, race director Deb Roberts started the racers in two waves. The first wave of 8.6 milers went off at 10:00 am with the help of a unique loud horn rigged up by Scot Bigelow. The second wave was sent off at about 10:15am for Matilda Rock (1.5 mile course). 

The Zahn family were the winners this year for best time overall for their course. Annabelle Zahn finished the 1.5 Matilda Rock course in 19 minutes and 43 seconds. Her father, Steffen Zahn, with a neck to neck finish on the 8.6 miles Joe Indian Island Course; finished in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 47 seconds. The tandem crew of Roger Gocking and Jim Phiilips came in second with 1 hour, 12 minutes and 53 seconds. The list of all the racers and their times are posted on the Cranberry Lake Boat Club’s Website, on its Facebook Page, and the NYPRA website.

Because of the increased distance this year, the New York Paddlesports Racing Association (NYPRA) has made it a kayak “points” race. This is desirable to the members of NYPRA as they can accumulate points for participating in these races with awards for those with the most points.

The Cranberry Lake Canoe/Kayak race is also sanctioned by the United States Canoe Association which provides insurance as part of the registration fee. Photos by Carol Murray.

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