7/27/2019 Scott Orlando Ohio State Canoe and Kayak Championships Fairport Harbor, Ohio


Ohio State Canoe and Kayak Championships.

Fairport Harbor, Ohio

Scott Orlando

5 Mile Kayak Race

Long Boat Class

Finish Time:  51:55

Overall Place:  4th Solo Kayak

Division Place:  3rd Place

Race Recap By Scott Orlando

For the second weekend in a row I found myself competing in a kayak in Fairport Harbor.  Last week on Lake Erie in the Pirate Triathlon and this weekend on the Grand River competing for a state title.   I was struggling all week trying to decide what size kayak and class I would race in this year.  The Stellar S16 Multisport that I won the state title last year for touring / rec class was now considered a racing boat with a new classification system. This year anything composite was considered a racing boat in the 5 mile race.  I brought the Stellar S16 Multisport and a Stellar S14S Multisport with me to the race leaving my fastest and longest Stellar SR Multisport kayak at home.  I can only carry two on my car.  As race time approached no one was yet entered in the medium boat class that I considered racing the Stellar S14 S in so I went with the long boat class and the Stellar S16.  Ten minutes before the race I realized the two fastest paddlers who I expected to be in the unlimited class had registered for the long boat class.  At this point two people did register for the medium boat class.  I heavily considered changing boats and classes to chase glory of a state championship but seeing that the competition in the medium boat class was not very strong I chose to challenge myself and stay in the long boat class.  The race conditions were very good with deep water and very little current.  Right away I found myself chasing a friend who was in a 19′ Stellar SR.  I knew I couldn’t compete with the two fastest paddlers in 18′ racing kayaks so I set my eyes on challenging my friend in his Stellar SR.  I stayed right on his tail never falling more then 10 yards behind him.  The last two miles I was able to close the gap and position a foot behind his rudder in perfect drafting position.  I stayed there until I could see the finish line about a quarter mile down river.  I made my move and started sprinting.  I got about even with his hip and paddled harder and faster.  In the end my 16′ touring kayak just didn’t have the speed to pass the 19′ surfski and he beat me by 10 seconds.  Even though I knew I wouldn’t win the state title this was still by far my most intense kayak race.  I put everything I had into it and won 3rd place in my class and was the 4th fastest solo kayak in the 5 mile race.  I am very proud that I earned 3rd place competing against Ohio’s best rather then dropping down in class and easily winning that division.  I am not sure I would have the same satisfaction.  I knocked 8 minutes off of last year’s time using the same boat.