United States Canoe and Kayak Association Ohio State Championships
Grand River Landing Fairport Harbor, Ohio
Race Result: 2nd place in 6 mile race unlimited class
This was my first time competing in the Ohio State Canoe and Kayak Championships held at the Grand River Landing in Fairport Harbor. Two races were offered at the championships. A 6 mile shorter race and a 10 mile long race. Canoe and Kayak races are divided into many classes based on the size and style of boats being raced. Everyone in the specific race competes at the same time on the same course but are really only racing against other boats in their class. Recreational, standard, and racing boat divisions in several size boat classes were all offered at the championships. When I arrived at the race I was still debating what class and boat to use for the race. Because of the extremely windy conditions I decided to race in the 6 mile unlimited class using my Stellar SR Multisport. This is a 19’2″ long surf ski that I felt would track better and cut through the wind if I could keep it upright. My other option was to use my Stellar S16 Advantage, a 16′ kayak, and compete in the long boat division. Had I used the Stellar S16, I would have been the smallest boat in the long boat division filled with some very fast racers all of which had 18′ racing boats. Using the Stellar SR and competing in the unlimited class seemed like the right choice. The weather conditions were less than ideal for the river course. The high winds made the up river portions of the course difficult and even treacherous at times. The course finished a little shorter than 6 miles but I was fine with that and beat from fighting the wind and upstream currents. In the end, racing the Stellar SR paid off as I finished 2nd behind a strong kayaker who has won the event several times. The race was well organized and a lot of fun.