This year's edition of the Wayne County Canoe Classic attracted more than 100 entries and nearly 200 participants. The event, which was once again sponsored by the Honesdale Area Jaycees, also drew hundreds of spectators along a 9-mile course...beginning in Dyberry Township and ending in White Mills.

Outdoor enthusiasts turned out in force this weekend to participate in one of the region’s traditional spring events.

Hundreds of spectators basked in the Sunday morning sunshine as temperatures topped 90º...a perfect backdrop for the Wayne County Canoe Classic.

The race, which is in its 17th year, is sponsored by the Honesdale Area Jaycees. The Canoe Classic is one of the organization’s biggest events of the year. Proceeds from the race help the Jaycees maintain their involvement in community activities.

According to organizer Carl Klinger, the ‘09 edition of the Canoe Classic was a bona fide record setter.

“We put more than 100 boats into the water today,” Carl told TWI Sports. “We’ve never had that many before. The weather is amazing and the conditions on the river are perfect. What more could we ask for?”

Carl points out that the race is an event that attracts both serious kayakers and recreational canoeists.

“We’re trying to tread kind of a fine line,” he said with a chuckle. “We want to be competitive, but we also don’t want to scare anybody off, either. It’s a family event and we want every-body to feel like they can participate.”

Next year’s Wayne County Canoe Classic is already officially on the calendar. The race is traditionally held two weeks after the start of trout season.

Fun in the Sun
Registration for this weekend’s event began at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Men & women, boys & girls of all abilities descended on the Wayne County Fairgrounds to register their boats. As has become customary, the Jaycees divided the race into several different categories to encourage participation...and friendly competition.

This year’s classes included: Men’s Short, Women’s Short, Mixed Short, Junior High/High School Short, Parent/Child, Men’s Solo Canoe, Men’s Solo Kayak, Women’s Solo Canoe/Kayak Class, Tandem Kayak Recreational, Open Racing.

The race began at 11:00 a.m. on the Dyberry.

Officials started one entry at a time in two minute increments. Boaters paddled down the tributary along Fair Avenue. They then followed the river to Honesdale and its confluence with the Lackawaxen.

The remainder of the 9-mile course takes competitors on a route that partially parallels the old D&H Canal route.

At the finish line, which is located adjacent to Firemen’s Field in White Mills, racers enjoyed music and refreshments.

Official Results...
•Men’s Short: Tom Freda & Jesse Freda (1:24:18); Don Henderson & Dan Henderson (1:25:02); John Koenig & Ron Bomberger (1:25:09).

•Women’s Short: Kay Bates & Raynell Bates (1:33:02); Denise Schmidt & Amanda Schmidt (1:42:20); Kate & Kate (1:50:47).

•Mixed Short: Charlie Bruno & Molly Myers (1:25: 54); Will Koenig & Sasha Nelson (1:29:59); Brian Bates & Carly Bates (1:33:10).       

•Junior/High: Steven Nuss & Morgen Hatton (1:52:33); Kristen Propst & Corina Robbins (1:54:57).       

•Parent/Child: Bob Bates & Curtis Bates (1:31:37); Nancy Wood & Sadie Wood (1:39:41); Tim Wood & Sabrina Wood (1:46:17).

•Men’s Solo Canoe: Bruce Codington (1:17:21); Matt Dadig (2:41:14); Curt Carroll (2:42:02).

•Men’s Solo Kayak (Short): Doug Keiper (1:23:19); Bill Litz (1:30:00); Dale Thomas (1:32:00).

•Men’s Solo Kayak (Long): Don McConaghy (1:12:36); Larry Cowan (1:14:28); Dan Harmon (1:14:47).   

•Women’s Solo Kayak: Katharine Dodge (1:38:21); Brittany Benton-Vitz (1:42:55); Sabrina McConville (1:46:13).

•Women’s Solo 2: Linda Volpe (1:35:43); Maria Fox (1:49:15).   

•Open Racing: Rod & Brandon Schmidt (1:33:10).

Many Thanks...
The Honesdale Area Jaycees would like to thank several key committee members who gave selflessly of their time to make this year’s race possible.

Brad Ashley, Dave Sporer, Bob Budd and Carl Klinger worked tirelessly to make the Wayne County Canoe Classic safe, competitive and fun.