Check out these awesome edits from some of our past races!
2013 Penobscot Race – Adam Swett
2014 Kennebec & Penobscot Races – Adam Swett
2014 Penobscot Race – Adam Swett
2015 Kennebec Race – Adam Swett
2015 Penobscot Race – Caleb Fujimori
2016 Kennebec Race – Jeff Hammond
THIS IS A FANTASTIC ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN NO UMBRELLA THAT DOCUMENTS OUR FIRST RACE. AT THE TIME THE RACE SERIES WAS CALLED THE “SEND IT, WHITEWATER RACING SERIES.”
PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA INQUIRES TO MAINEWWC@GMAIL.COM
By Callanando on November 14, 2012
A true whitewater community effort
By Jeremy Cass
The races are over, and the rivers continue to flow as do our lives. This past winter had our crew buying houses, injured, or in job transition… so a big whitewater trip was not in the plans. Furthermore, with a dismal snow pack, levels were looking grim for spring sending opportunities. The only logical solution was to try and create a racing series. With Taylor Walker and the MaineRiverLife/Send It, ME alliance formed, we dropped in.
The inspiration to create a racing series came from a lot of places, but some more important than others. One of them was No Umbrella and the cover shot of Karyn McMullin Roy sending “Faceplant” on Gulf Hagas around 2004 or 5, and their greater work in the whitewater community. Second, came from the West Branch of the Penobscot and its rich racing history, with people like Sam Bass, who not only won the first ever Race That Never Was, but sent first descents on rivers like the E. Branch of Salmon Stream. New England, and especially Maine, has a strong presence in the professional kayaking world, and our rivers here have been the training ground for many of us to kayak the world.
The competition of the 2012 Send It, Whitewater Racing Series was incredible, with all Northeast states represented (except NY). We had 28 racers on the K-Bomb – the Kennebec River gorge race – and 33 at the West Branch of the Penobscot race, including an international field with a strong Canadian presence. Also present, a super strong women’s contingent with a total of four women competitors in the entire series. Most Gorge/Crib Racers competed at the Kennebec stage, and sought the combined series championship of “The Biggest Sender”.
The weather, safety crew, volunteers, and racers could not have added up any better. Their strengths created a vibe of professionalism and support. In the end Maine local William Mook emerged as the Biggest Sender, scoring the fastest combined time in both races. Jane Koopman was the ONLY woman to compete in both races, and not only dominated some serious competition on both rivers, but beat MOST of the men as well (She sends on creeks too!). Congratulations, and thanks to you both for pushing your limits and all of ours as well!
The races were awesome, but the parties were epic. A huge part of the whitewater community is getting together and talking rivers over appropriate beverages. Thanks to the Marshall’s and The Venus Project for an awesome K-Bomb Party. The Penobscot Outdoor Center provided the perfect venue for West Branch racers – past, present and never – to pound mugs of beer and debate the finer points of sending in the shadow of Katahdin.
We made no money on these events, and are proud to have kept it local. Thank you to Mike from Brookfield Renewable Power, Ernie at NextEra Energy, and the American Canoe Association for insurance (it was sooooo much paperwork). Our sponsors included Rafting Randy’s (and their work with Jackson Kayak), Ski Rack Sports, MaineKayak, New England Outdoor Center, The Marshall’s, The Venus Project and Taylor Walker’s Mom (this is not a joke, she really helped!). Ultimately, though, it came down to you: the racers and volunteers. Thank you so much for contributing to the races, we are going to send it even harder next year.
In 2013, we want to make the series occur over one weekend instead of two [edit – we scrapped that idea, two weekends of epic races and parties is better than one]. Expect multiple stages, and a BOATERCROSS! Our goal is to continue to pay tribute to Maine’s rich whitewater history, hold competitions that reflect the current practices in international whitewater extreme racing, and keep the races open to every whitewater boater who has the skill to race. We wish everyone a great Fall and Winter, and are looking forward to the Spring creeking season.
Jeremy Cass “jcass”