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Rochester Race Report


The 4th Annual Armond Basset Memorial Race was held in Rochester on Saturday. This 10-mile race on the Genesee River was actualy (unfortunately) held concurrently with the Rochester Open Water Challenge (a 10-mile surfski race attended by Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Barton). Anyway, I had to choose between the two, and, given that I don't have a surfski, I chose to race c2 with Dylan on the river.

In the pro class, we were up against the Schlimmer boys as well as Jeff and Larry. The race starts at the Genesee Waterways Center and heads downstream through the U of R campus and turns at a buoy in the city. From there the race winds 5 miles upstream (past the start line) and turns a buoy in Henrietta just past that railroad bridge; the final 2 miles is a downstream finish back at the GWC.

Off the line, Dylan and I were able to stay with the Schlimmer boys and ride their stern wake all the way to the downstream buoy. Our plan was to relax and try to drop them in the upstream section.

On the upstream, we caught them and jockeyed back and forth for 5 miles. It was clear that neither of us was faster than the other, and so I figured it would be a sprint to the finish [since we couldn't drop them]. But by some miracle, we pulled away from them in the final 2 miles in the deep water. Go figure! We cruised pretty hard and beat them by maybe a minute, give or take. I don't remember. Wonderful. A hard effort... and the best part was that we raced smart. Out of all the races we've done together this season (4 or 5 maybe?) I'm most proud of this one.

It was unfortunately my last canoe race of the season, as I must now start focusing on kayaking again. I will be returning to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista on July 10. In the meantime, I will be racing kayaks in Lake Placid! More to follow.