Saturday, June 6, 2015
Race Report: Canoe the Nonquon 2015
Started with a leisurely paddle through the twisting bends of the Nonquon River.
Sidebar: Talked to a local chap near the start, he remembered back 20 years when they started quite a bit further upstream - even further up than the first time we did it. Really would like to see that restored someday! Although I've read some race reports of water too shallow and mucking through so maybe not.
We did OK, got the hang of the sharp turns pretty quick this time. In the 18' flat-bottom no-rocker canoe those turns are tricky, but a little rudder'ing helped get it through.
The wind was pretty strong, mostly in our face on the way down the river (although a lot of protection from trees and such).
I still have nightmares about 2013, when we came out on Lake Scugog and were rocked and rolled... then spent the next hour and change paddling straight into a headwind at our slowest ever pace.
2015 was much kinder - we had a stiff wind, but it was at our backs. At first that was great, but as we went on a few kilometers from the mouth of the Nonquon it got fairly choppy. Not as bad as 2013, but enough to distract us from moving the boat forward. Hard to get a nice solid paddle stroke when the water is up and down below you!
We managed, though. In the end we averaged 8.4km/h (compared to 8.1km/h last year in low wind conditions). It isn't wonderful (thought the tail wind would help more!) but still not bad, considering we haven't put in a huge amount of time in the boat so far this year.
I'm toying with doing the Big East River X race up in Huntsville, Ontario. My partner is on vacation so this would be solo, and it's a whopping 40km... so could make for a pretty long day, 5 hours plus. I haven't spent that much time in the boat, but I can't get it out of my head that it would be interesting to do... we'll see!