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St. Charles Canoe Club’s 44th Annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race

The St. Charles Canoe Club will host its 44th annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race.  This long-standing iconic event will take place on May 7th, and has seen local, regional, national, and Olympic champions, as well as “first time” paddlers to the beautiful Fox River Valley.  Starting at Pottawatomie Park near downtown St. Charles, the race is nine miles long, four and a half miles upstream and four and a half back, with unique “S” curve buoy turns at the finish line area.

For the “relaxed racer,” there is a shorter six mile course up and back; don’t be afraid of the upstream part, because you can paddle near the shore line where there is hardly any current, making for an easy passage.  C1 and K1 races are in the morning and C2, as well as rec. kayaks and canoes in the afternoon.

See our web page for more detail: http://www.stcharlescanoeclub.com/.  You can also find us on facebook.

So, don’t be afraid – come on out and enjoy the Fox River.  This is also a good way to get ready for the Des Plaines and Mid-American canoe races later.

Karl Teske – St. Charles Canoe Club

Fox River National River Trail Update

By Greg Taylor

The Core Development Team (CDT) is currently working on developing the final draft of the reporting form that will be used by paddlers to gather the information that will be used to determine the database for the certification. The known entry/exit points and campsites along the river are currently being plotted on a map for a clearer understanding of where gaps are that need to be verified for their attributes, along with the age of the data that might need to be re-verified this summer. The age of some of the existing data might be too old to use and will have to be paddled again for a current condition (aka more than 7-10 years old? and older). Probably not a great loss-who doesn’t like an easy afternoon paddle on an easy flowing, tree-lined avenue?

I will be at CanoeCopia this March – on Saturday and Sunday – with a signup sheet for those who would like to help out with the ground-truthing, paddling information-gathering opportunities of the Initiative. I will be at the Prairie State Paddlers’ table (an excellent organization I might add) when I’m not checking out all the cool new gear and info that the fest has to offer. Anyone think a dew rag with the Fox River as an entry/exit map would be a good souvenir to those who help out? Stop by the table and give me your opinion, I’ll listen.

The Sarah Hartman Fund for Paddlesport Education

Greatly appreciates, again, the generous donations from Mrs. Helen Hartman, Sarah’s mother, Dave Hillman, Iowa, and the contributors to the silent auction last year. This fund supports paddlers who have successfully completed paddlesport instructor certification. Please see details on our website about qualifying for financial support from the Sarah Hartman Fund:

http://www.illinoispaddling.info/heartland-fund/

For upcoming instructional and certification courses (searchable by state):

http://www.americancanoe.org/?page=FindCourses

Sample of Upcoming Skills Courses in Illinois:

Sunday, April 30, 2017 (Aurora):

Wednesday, May 10 – May 13, 2017 (Chicago)

2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

03/29/2017 7:00 PM CDT

Durty Nellie’s – 180 N Smith St, Palatine, IL 60067

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is a film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories. The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media also publishes four leading paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines. Your ticket to a Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour stop includes a free one-year digital edition subscription to any/all four of the above magazines. Special offer details are available in your evening program.

This year we have booked the upstairs area as well, so there will be no outside distractions!

Doors open at 6pm.

More information and online registration: 2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

Tickets available at https://events.ticketprinting.com/event/22561

Ralph Frese Memorial Paddle

Saturday, April 8, 9 AM – 11 AM

Willow Road Dam, Winnetka

Bring your canoe or kayak and celebrate the legacy of canoe legend Ralph Frese by paddling down the Chicago River, from Willow Road Dam to Linne Woods, in Morton Grove. A shuttle bus will be provided and will run from 8 am – 2 pm, from Linne Woods to Willow Road Dam. Call 312-533-5751 for more information.

Cost: Free

Details: http://fpdcc.com/event/ralph-frese-memorial-paddle/

Check Out the New Website for the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon

Our new webmaster has updated the website and it will be continually updated throughout the year (personally, I think she is doing a good job – Don).

Thanks to George Jaros who handled our website for many years.  We appreciate your fine work, George.

SAVE THE DATE

The 60TH ANNUAL DES PLAINES RIVER CANOE AND KAYAK MARATHON will be held Sunday, May 21.  Registration opens March 1.   Go to Canoemarathon.com for more information, including registration forms and online registration.

Check out photos from past marathons (photos copyright © 2007 by Cliff Doll):

Ralph Frese and daughter

 

Kansas City Kayaker Embarks on Expedition to Set World Record for Miles Paddled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 12, 2017) – Traci Lynn Martin, an experienced expedition kayaker, will launch an attempt at a world record for the most miles kayaked in one year. She gets underway March 9, 2017.

Martin was diagnosed with debilitating and painful rheumatoid arthritis in 2010. Despite suffering from this condition, she continues paddling and has won a wide range of competitions in several states, setting several course records in the process. She’s now taking her skill and strength to an ambitious next level, as she aims to paddle 8,600 miles in less than one year.

“My goal is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most miles kayaked in one year,” Martin said. “In the process, I hope to encourage and inspire individuals with chronic health conditions to reach for their dreams and never give up.”

Launching at Port Huron, Mich., Martin will circumnavigate the five Great Lakes, several rivers, and the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada. Her goal is to finish the route in 265 days, with her finish ceremony at Lake Erie Metro Park, Michigan, in December 2017.

Martin’s expedition is entitled “The Stellar Tour de Force,” and while she paddles, a filmmaking crew will document her efforts. The accompanying film, “Just Around the Pointe,” aims to capture the experiences, terrain, and people Martin meets along her journey.

The expedition route traverses U.S. and Canadian shores, as well as five provinces and 14 states. In addition to the five Great Lakes, she will face wind, waves, and weather on the St. Lawrence River Seaway, the Hudson River, and on the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia as she heads to New York Harbor. Martin’s return expedition travels along the Erie Canal to Lake Oneida, and back onto Lake Ontario via the Oneida and Oswego Rivers.

Martin will be wearing a tracking device so friends, family, and fans may view her progress through RaceOwl.com. She also is inviting all local paddlers, and those who love the waterways she’ll explore, to join her as she negotiates the route.

Find complete details, including route and timeline, at JustAroundthePointe.com

About Traci Lynn Martin

Traci Lynn Martin is a registered nurse who works at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and experienced kayak racer who has won numerous races in several states.  She was diagnosed with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, but continued to paddle and race, setting several course records and earning many wins.

She’s set her sights on completing a one-of-a-kind adventure, with the goal of paddling more miles in less time than anyone ever has; she’ll do it while reminding people who face chronic illness that nothing is impossible.

Learn more about Martin’s competitive statistics, goals, and vision about her attempt at http://www.justaroundthepointe.com/meet-my-team.

About the Record

The current world record, held by Marcin Gienieczko of Poland, is 3,462.89 miles (5,573 kilometers).  Unofficially, Freya Hoffmeister of Germany completed the longest solo kayak expedition to-date. She paddled 8,570 miles in about 360 days.

About the Documentary, “Just Around the Pointe”

Patty Dillon is the writer, producer, and director of the documentary film about Martin’s journey entitled, “Just Around the Pointe.” Dillon has extensive experience as a filmmaker and her work was featured on CNN, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She’s earned multiple award nominations for her documentaries.

Dillon’s joined by her director of photography and co-producer, Jeremy Osbern. He has worked with some of the top names in the film business, including George Clooney, Lada Gaga, Jason Bateman, and  Zach Galifianakis, just to name a few.

Chris Blunk is the film’s senior producer, and his many film credits include “Jayhawkers,” a narrative feature about Wilt Chamberlain and Phog Allen; “The Sublime and Beautiful,” which premiered at Slamdance and which Candy Factory optioned for distribution. He’s also produced “AIR: The Musical,” which was distributed in North America, Australia, China, Taiwan, and South Africa.

View the trailer for “Just Around the Pointe” at: https://vimeo.com/184781882

‘”Just Plain People” Canoe Races

By Don Mueggenborg

  • Des Plaines River Canoe/Kayak Marathon (and SUP)
  • Mid-America Canoe Race

Just plain people who like to paddle – that’s what most of us are.

(That’s how I started paddling the Des Plaines Marathon almost 50 years ago – has it really been that long? It was fun.  I was hooked.)

Sure, there are the “racers” who go so fast their wake will knock you over; they leave a cloud of steam as they pass (well, not really).  Their vocabulary is one word – “hut.”  Their canoes are ugly black.  Their kayak paddles look like windmills when they really gear up.

But most of us are just plain people, and the DES PLAINES RIVER CANOE AND KAYAK MARATHON (AND SUP’s) AND THE MID-AMERICA CANOE RACE are geared to these just plain people.

We race, not to win (well – maybe to hope to win or at least, beat someone), but to have fun.

Imagine, paddling with 1,000 other people who love the rivers as much as you do.  The camaraderie: not only on the river, but at the start line, and especially after the race.

Imagine taking the whole family out, dividing up into a couple canoes and kayaks, and then trying to beat each other (men, don’t get mad when your wife beats you – it happens).  Race against your brother –in- law or your neighbor – or with your neighbor.

Imagine setting a goal – can you race the 20 or 10 miles?  Can you beat your time from last year?  Sweat a little (or a lot) – bring fluids (non-alcohol).

Or just paddle the short course for the fun of it.

Imagine getting that fancy patch and wearing that great t-shirt.  You will strut around town showing it off.

After the race, stay and have some lunch (good food vendors) and sit around and tell “war stories.”  Talk with those “racers,” get some hints, share the day (most racers love to talk about paddling).

Go to Canoemarathon.com for the May 21st Des Plaines Marathon (Libertyville to Dam # 2, Mt Prospect; Deerfield Rd to Dam # 2 for the mini-thon).

Fox Valley Park District for the Mid-Am – first Sunday in June (St. Charles to Aurora; Batavia to Aurora – short race).

Canoe rentals available – see the website: http://www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org/event/mid-america-canoe-kayak-race/

Try it, you’ll like it!  Check out photos from past Des Plaines Marathons (photos copyright © 2007 by Cliff Doll):

Ralph Frese and daughter

A Fabulous New Paddlesport Safety Brochure and Videos

By Sigrid Pilgrim

As a representative on the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee, I was sent the newly developed Paddlesport Safety Brochure:

http://www.canoekayak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/WSF_Safety-Brochure-FINAL.pdf

This is excellent, short, visual and to the point. Since it is hard to print out in the format given, I tracked down the origin and suggested that perhaps it could be made available with each canoe/kayak sold. Little did I know the background and what a great surprise

Thank you JIM EMMONS, Non-Profit Outreach Grant Director, Water Sports Foundation, Inc.

A Division of WSIA.net; ACA Instructors and US Coast Guard.

The pamphlet idea was developed during a 2015 safety meeting that I organized with the USCG and the top six recreational kayak manufacturers at the Outdoor Retailer trade showing Salt Lake City, UT.  During the meeting, we got the manufacturers’ attention by sharing the raw data on deaths in America.  Prior to this meeting, the manufacturers had no idea that kayaks killed so many.  Next we asked them to help us share safety messages through their channels, both social media and marketing, like websites and newsletters.  They all unanimously agreed.  At this meeting, we discussed a safety pamphlet that could be attached to kayaks during production and shipped to dealers ready for consumers right in the retail environment.  The manufacturers all agreed to include them and in January, nearly 7 million (a three year supply) were printed by the USCG.     

I managed to get a commitment from NASBLA to help get this pamphlet shipped to nearly every state and territory — about 2 million copies. 

There have been a few articles about this project.  I’ve linked two here.

NASBLA’s Small Craft Advisory

Boating Industry

In addition to the printed pamphlet, we also produced an eight part video series called Safer Paddling, Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun.  The videos are all over Youtube, but you can find them on our partner’s website, Canoe & Kayak here. (The pamphlet also has a QR code directly linking to the videos). For 2017, we are producing a series of SUP videos and a pamphlet for SUP manufacturers to attach to the deck of the board.

River Stewardship Volunteers 2016 Annual Summary

By Paul Klonowski

Photo: Rob Ratz

In 2016, the Lake County Forest Preserve District’s Des Plaines River Stewardship Crew held somewhere in excess of 75 training and work days, involving 30 active regular volunteers (5 are new for 2016), and 53 “one-timers,” including people from two corporate groups, a paddlesports club, a Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout Project, and one volunteer we borrowed from McHenry County Conservation District’s Education Volunteer corps. The combined efforts resulted in the collection and removal of an estimated 6,170lbs of trash from the river and its flood plains this year, including one of our biggest single-day trash hauls ever, estimated at 1,400lbs of trash!  All told, we logged 1,382 hours of volunteer time, which is another record year for us!

Trash items of interest include: a wading pool, a large tradesman’s style truck rack, two wood duck houses, a truck bumper & body panels, a length of chain link fence, a hypodermic syringe (with no needle), an unused condom (still in its package), an Adirondack chair, the trunk lid from an old car, a live fish on an abandoned troll line (we released the fish), most of a Big Wheel Tricycle, a sign post, two empty moonshine jugs, a large road sign, a Stop sign, a 30-gallon oil tank, a broken blue sink (which matched the blue toilet taken out a few years back), a broken green toilet, a trash can (it was handy), a “lunch litter” site behind Liberty Auto City, bones from what we think was a horse, parts of a blue pickup truck, a hub cap from a De Soto automobile, a couch, the remains of a cardboard boat, an inflatable raft, a fresh bag of groceries, two pallets, more truck parts, a large picnic cooler bucket, a pile of slate shingles, an unusable wheelbarrow, a small roll of carpet, a 55-gallon trash barrel, three or four deck chairs, a 1,000-gallon fuel tank, a 12-foot section of culvert, two dead chickens, and 23 coconuts.

In addition, we collected 52 tires of various sizes, and cut through or did some maintenance trimming on 41 log jams. We also identified one old dump site that will require Operations to clean up: it contains at least 20 truck tires and several large truck parts, half-buried in the banks of Half Day Pits, in Lincolnshire.  On December 30th, we found an old dump site that we’ll clean up after the ground thaws.

We spent one of our scheduled work days at Greenbelt Forest Preserve, planting shrubs and small trees, after learning that extra help was needed for that effort.

But the crown jewel for the year was the final removal of the remains of the 1948 Chevy pickup truck, near our tool shed.   Eighteen Boy Scouts & Scouters can move a lot of heavy stuff, very quickly…

Not a bad year, I think! And 2017 is off to a grand start, with ten (10) new volunteers lined up for this year, so far!

pk

Photo: Rob Ratz
Photo: Rob Ratz