NYMCRA Paddler Profile:
Mooers Forks, NY
Number of years racing:
Having only paddled competitively for six years, I really don’t have much for accomplishments compared to many of the other veteran paddlers. I would have to say participating in the 90, six times while winning my class last year and winning my class at the Northfield, Mass Nationals. I am planning on participating in three events in Syracuse, hopefully I can add to my list of accomplishments while there
How did you get into racing:
I used to work at a pharmaceutical plant, they had a paddling club there which I joined. My very first paddle was in a 12 foot Old Town while doing the 10 mile Fish Creek loop. From there I was hooked; my wife and I bought two 14 ft. Eddyline’s and would paddled a different ADK lake/pound just about every weekend. I started to hear people talking about a 90 mile race which sounded interesting to me so I started looking into doing that. After being denied the first couple of times I was excited to find out we were both accepted in the open touring division. It was during the first day that I noticed a handful of Epic boats flying by meand thinking how fast they were. While listening to other paddlers during these 3 days, I started to hear about other races. The following year I paddled my first race, the RTM, then I did the Tupper 10,9, 8….that is where I learned about NYMCRA and signed up. Every year I am hearing about more and more race that interest me and hope to do more.
My current goal is to just master the new a surf ski I am in the process of getting. Right now I am borrowing one to get some seat time in before mine does comes in. They are much more technical to paddle than a touring kayak. I am finding out that I cannot just muscle the boat like I can with my 18X which is considered a touring kayak; you have to have the correct form, if not you will roll it, as I have found out a few times. I am happy to say my remounts are getting better. I don’t know if I really have a goal. Having played team sports all my life, this is my first individual sport; so I have to rely on myself. If you want to get the results you want, you only have yourself to count one; you have to put in a 100% effort each race and just be happy with the way you have paddled. I guess you can call my goal, to be happy with my effort each race.
Did you have a paddle sport mentor:
I don’t really have a mentor; I have asked Matt Skeels and Jim Mallory a 1000 questions each, they both have been a great resource, both are always happy to offer advice to correct my form. I do have a nemesis though…Roger, no last name needed, everyone knows Roger. During each race all you hear is “Hey Roger…” from everyone. Of all paddlers, Roger was the one I watched the closest in the beginning. He was the one I would always say today is the day I will beat him. Well that took a little longer than I expected. He continues to amaze me, how can an older gentlemen paddle the way he does, and a boat with more patches than gel coat. Race after race, RTM, Tupper, Madrid., 90…, I could hear him grunting while drafting me in the beginning, then half way through the race he would chug along and pass me. He was the one who motived me the most to improve, just seeing what he was able to do.. So I guess you can call Roger my mentor.
Preferred boat model:
I currently have an Epic 18X, I have an Epic V10 on order which I should have by the time this comes out
Favorite paddling related memory:
I don’t really have a favorite race memory yet. But I can still remember doing that Fish Creek loop the first time and thinking wow why didn’t I start paddling sooner, this is awesome.
Favorite place to paddle:
Anywhere in the ADKs, The water is so clear, it is peaceful no matter what body of water you are paddling. Lake Lila is probably my favorite.
Any other relevant information:
I do all my “training” on the Great Chazy river in Champlain.. It is a quite river that goes through farm land which empties into Lake Champlain. I see is a lot of wildlife along the river. With Lake Champlain between VT, NY and Canada to the north, I have to pay attention to how far north I go, or I get a visit by Border Patrol. I just hope I don’t see the infamous Champy while paddling out there. I rarely see any other boats on the river as competitive paddling is not very big in my area. I often get looks when I have this 20 ft. thing on my vehicle. I am always being asked, what is that? Since I don’t have anyone to paddle with, I often go to time trials in Saranac Lake each week just to paddle with others. The drive is an hour and half one way, just to do a 3 mile 30 minute paddle, but the experience and people I have met, the drive has been worth it. Plus I get to paddle with my nemesis, or rather mentor Roger. He just doesn’t give me a minute head start anymore.