The Honesdale Area Jaycees hosted their 27th annual event this past weekend.
Nearly 100 competitors of all ages and abilities braved the cold weather Sunday to compete in this year's edition of the Honesdale Area Jaycees Canoe Classic.
More than 50 boats went into the water near the Wayne County Fairgrounds and all but one made it to the finish line at Firemen's Field in White Mills.
“Everything went really well,” event co-chair Dave Sporer. “A lot of work went into the race and things ran very smoothly. Things were a little bit chilly today, but I think everyone still had a great time.”
The Wayne County Canoe Classic is one of several major fundraisers organized each year by the Jaycees.
This service organization uses the funds to put on some of the area's most popular events, including an Easter Egg Hunt, Holiday Basketball Tournament, Halloween Parade and Santa Greeting.
The 2015 Canoe Classic will once again be held on the final Sunday of April.
“I'm already looking forward to it,” Dave said.
“We had more boats this year than last year. That's always the goal and I hope it continues next year.”
Sporer, along with co-chairs Chase Hall and Dan Fisch, faced several new obstacles for this year's Canoe Classic.
Perhaps the most challenging was the starting line, which had to be re-located due to ongoing construction at the Miller Drive bridge.
Despite air temperatures in the 50s and a brisk current in spots, the race went off without a hitch.
Members of the Forest Volunteer Fire Department's dive team lent a helping hand. Harrison Balthaser and his hard-working crew made sure everyone stayed safe in the water.
“We're really grateful for everything those folks do,” Dave said. “They volunteer their time every year and we definitely appreciate it.”
This year's route clocked in at almost exactly nine miles, starting in Dyberry Township and finishing up at Firemen's Field in White Mills.
On the Water
While the vast majority of this year's participants live in the area, some came from as far away as Philadelphia to compete.
According to Sporer, the age range was once again wide with paddler as young as nine and old as 60.
Don McConaghy of New Jersey turned in the fastest overall time this year.
A familiar face at Wayne County Canoe Classic, Don stopped the clock at 1:06.16
Next in was the Dynamic Duo of Nick Hindley and Bruce Coddington, who crossed the line at 1:08.14.
Rounding out the overall Top Five were: John Dunkleberger (1:12.36), Charlie Bruno (1:13.30), John Finnen & Dave Gustin (1:13.31).
Other top finishers in their respective categories include...
•Men's Solo Canoe: John Koenig (1:15.45).
•Open Racing: Bruce Coddington & Nick Hindley (1:08.14).
•Men's Short: John Finnen & Dave Gustin (1:13.31).
•Parent/Child: Scott Arnold & Connor McBain (1:24.32).
•Tandem Kayak: Rebecca Cook & Art Goble (1:26.45)
•Men's Solo Recreational Kayak: Rafael Perez (1:22.21).
•Men's Solo: Don McConaghy (1:06.16).
•Mixed Short: Charlie Bruno (1:13.30).
•Women's Solo Kayak: Debra Witkowski (1:19.46).