Scott Orlando….Kayak Race

Grand River Canoe and Kayak Race

April 29th
Geneva, Ohio
8.5 Mile Kayak Race

Finish Time 1:32:07

10th Overall

2nd In Age Division.

This was my third year in a row competing in this race on the Grand River. For the third straight year I finished 2nd in my age group competing in the 14′ foot and under kayak class. The race was postponed a week due to high water levels from heavy rains the weeks leading up to the race. By the time the new race date came the water was down to 2.5 feet. Water levels were much better than last year but still a little low in many areas frequently creating rock hazards. I got hung up on mile two on some rocks and it cost me about a minute of time to recover. This proved to be a costly mistake as I found out later I missed first place in my age group by 5 seconds. Several competitive kayakers took their chances on the rocks with their fast composite boats ultimately sacrificing the hulls of their boats to the river gods. They had fast finish times but weren’t exactly pleased with the amount of damage the river rocks had done to their expensive fast kayaks. I stuck with my molded slower plastic kayak more suited for the conditions. The weather was mid 50’s and raining which isn’t exactly ideal for a kayak race. The Grand River is a beautiful scenic river with amazing views of the cliff walls high above the valley. The highlight of my race was when a bald eagle flew about 20 feet above my head as it made flight down the river searching for a meal. Lake Metro Parks always does a nice job organizing this race.