2013-05-02 / Front Page

31st Roscommon Canoe Classic offering prize money and points

When canoe racers hit the water of the South Branch of the Au Sable River Saturday morning at Wallace Park in Roscommon, they’ll be vying for both cash and points in the Michigan Canoe Racing Association’s (MCRA) 2013 race series.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the first heat of the twoman Expert 1 class race to take off Le Mans-style (with one paddler running and the other waiting by the canoe) at 11 a.m. The second heat of the Expert 1 race will start six minutes later, and the Expert 2 race will begin shortly afterward.

Expert 1 teams paddle downstream to the foot of Dearheart Valley Road, where they negotiate a clockwise turn around a bouy, then head back upstream to the finish line. Organizer and racer Bill Torongo of Roscommon said the race usually takes between one hour, 20 minutes and one hour, 50 minutes to complete.

The Expert 2 race travels from Wallace Park to a point just downstream of Steckert Bridge, where they make their turnaround and head back to the park. Lunch, provided by the Grayling Moose Club, will be served at the park at 3 p.m., and awards will follow. Torongo said that between 35 and 50 C-2 are expected to compete Saturday.

On Sunday, C-1 paddlers will begin registration at 8:30 a.m. for the race at 10 a.m. Racers will be assigned starting positions determined by the order of registration, and each will start the race separately at 15-second intervals. Awards will follow the race.

Over $1,500 in prize money will be awarded during this year’s races, which are being sponsored by the Roscommon Canoe Racing Association.

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