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55th Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race set to add to event’s storied history

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2022 at 12:16 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Clayton Cole remembers the high and low water years of the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race.

“High water means faster times. It also means you’re on your toes a little more to keep water out of your boat to keep from filling up or flipping in the big waves. In low water, it’s more about having an eagle eye out for those rocks and obstructions that your boat might hit and get sideways on,” said Cole, race committee member.

Keys to winning one of the 23 classes remain constant.

“Who’s going to have the fastest time tends to be a kayak. Sometimes someone in the open class in a war canoe with eight or 10 paddlers in it win,” said Cole.

For longtime racers like Edwin Colburn, it’s great to see the race’s staying power.

“I’m so happy that it’s done so well over the years. I’m very, very happy,” said Colburn, 90 years old, four-time racer.

It’s a longtime event that’s uniquely Maine.

WABI TV5′s broadcast of the race will run on Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
WABI TV5′s broadcast of the race will run on Saturday from 12:30-2:30 p.m.(WABI)

“55 years is a long time for an event to be going on. It’s one of the oldest races in New England. This is the grand daddy. This is the one that people ask about when you say ‘I’m a canoe racer.’ The next question is ‘do you do the Kenduskeag?’ If your answer is ‘no,’ they’ll probably be disappointed,” said Cole.

Racers are ready for Round 55 on the Kenduskeag.

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