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Records fall in annual Smith River race

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

DEREK SMITH and Ben Bancroft were the winners of Saturday’s Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 20, 2013
WOLFEBORO — Saturday's 39th annual running of the Great Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race saw a number of old records fall, as 79 canoes and kayaks took to the water for the annual rite of spring in Wolfeboro. The race is sponsored by the Wolfeboro Lions Club.

Derek Smith and Ben Bancroft, both of Portsmouth, paddled their way to the fastest time of the day, crossing in 27:47 to win the Two Men Class.

Priscilla Reinersten of Contoocook and Lorrie Drake of Wolfeboro recorded the fastest time for women on the course, as they won the Two Women Class in 30:48.

Brendan Moore-Penastaic of Portsmouth was the fastest overall kayaker, winning the Men's Kayak Class in 31:08.

As for the records set, three different vessels broke records, including one that was set 28 years ago.

In 1985, Eric Dors and Tom Camara paddled their canoe through the course in 32:04, setting a new standard for the Boys Class. On Saturday, the team of Sam Danais of Tuftonboro and Brett Conley of Wolfeboro broke that record, finishing in 30:10.

In the two-person kayak class, Ethan and Jackson Hipple of Tuftonboro finished in 31:34, besting the record of 32:25, which was set by the team of Jon Calligandes and Deke Parsons in 1999.

The third record to fall was in the Female Kayak Class, where Elizabeth Helfer of New Durham finished in 33:34, bettering the record of Stephanie Patton, set in 2008 at 36:10.

Prizes were handed out to the top three times in each division, with many people taking home Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race hats for their efforts.

Amongst the Racing Classes, the Long Class went to Nick and Mark MacGregor of Rochester in 40:25. John Steensma of Tuftonboro and Ryan Cooke of Wolfeboro finished second in 52:51.

Reinersten and Drake were the top finishers in the Two Women Class and in the Long Whitewater Class, Dave Lamoreaux of Newburyport, Mass. and Steve Nyman of Amesbury, Mass. took first in 32:14 and Janine Roberts of Concord and Christine Greenwood of Hudson took second in 38:18.

In the Mixed Class, Garrett Conley of Wolfeboro and Liz Lamarre of Dartmouth, Mass. finished in first in 35:14, with Kathleen O'Reilly and Derek Belanger of Dover finishing in second in 68:47.

In the Family Class, Mark Williams and Kiley Merrow of Wolfeboro came home first in 39:10 and in the Single Class, Nat Lucy of Intevale was first in 28:14 and Brian Battista of Parsonsfield, Maine was second in 32:31.

For the Conventional Classes, Bancroft and Smith won the Two Men Class, followed by Dan O'Reilly of Kittery, Maine and Shawn Rodgers of Kensington in 29:06. Tim Chadwick of Nashua and Peter Chadwick of Northwood were third in 29:47.

In the Mixed Class, Grigory Petrov and Kaitrin Davis of Wolfeboro were first in 33:19, with Kenneth and Chris Paul of Wakefield in second in 35:09. Alex Gray of Cushing, Maine and Anna Henry of Orono, Maine finished third in 35:40.

In the Family Class, Dan and Adam Richardson of Wolfeboro finished first in 30:39, with Don and Mary Kretchmer of Wolfeboro in second in 31:27 and Olivia and Nathan Reil of Guilford, Vt. in third in 31:38.

Conley and Danais won the Boys Class, while the Two Girls Class went to Ruth Hebert of Manchester and Kelli Towsley of New Boston in 40:32. Emma Bellefleur and Becky Peternel of Wolfeboro finished second in 42:11.

In the Two Women Class, Nicole Morgan and Kelsey Rose of Derry finished first in 35:50, with Sabrina and Sonya Russaau of Manchester in second in 36:46. Vanessa Lantagne of Londonderry and Lauren Lantagne of Litchfield finished third in 36:58.

Helfer's time was tops for the Kayak Female Class, with Patton finishing second in 33:36 and Hannah Croteau of Tuftonboro in third in 43:39.

The Hipples led the way in the Two Person Kayak Class, with Todd and Christopher Millay of Needham, Mass. in second in 34:42 and Billy Ridings and Faith LaPointe of Wolfeboro in third in 35:28.

In the Kayak Male Class, Moore-Penastaic was the top time, followed by Rick Smith of Newmarket in 31:55 and Jon Patton of North Easton, Mass. in 32:27.

In the Novice Class, Edward Bailey IV and Keith Johnson of Wolfeboro finished first in 35:49, followed by John and Blake Sandlin of Wolfeboro in 42:28 and Jorg Steinhage and Daniel deBeer of Wolfeboro in 42:46.

In the Old Timers Class, John O'Reilly of Dover and Tom Kennedy of Portsmouth finished first in 42:30.

At the conclusion of the race, Fred Fernald of Wolfeboro was presented the Barry Lougee Award, which is given to the person whose consistent and selfless support of the Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race has exemplified the spirit of Barry Lougee. Fernald is the voice of the race, bringing his unique accent to the able to announce the finishers at Dockside. He also helps direct parking at Albee Beach and is part of the team of Bert and Zeke, which publicizes the race on WASR.

In addition to the race, the Wolfeboro Lions Club also sponsors a raffle and this year's prize was $1,000. The winner's name was not available as of press time.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com.

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