The Kayak Chronicles

by Darren Caffery

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Rainbow Channel Challenge

Kayak Race & Swim Support

Sunday August 11th, 2002

 

Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association members and many other paddlers enjoyed a beautiful summer day on the Great Egg Harbor in Somers Point NJ today at the annual Rainbow Channel Challenge Swim & Kayak Competitions to benefit Alzheimers Disease research.  Although the swim has been held before, this was the first year for the kayak race and 27 kayaks competed.  Congratulations to JSSKA member Tim Yahn and his son Kyle on their teamwork and ultimate finish of the race. The kayak and swim events were both great fun to watch, support and take pictures of.  It was a beautiful day at Kennedy Park and on the bay.

 

JSSKA member Dennis Creter came in 5th place in the kayak race and ALSO competed in the swim. Nice energy level, Dennis! JSSKA member Bob Arthur arrived 7th and directly followed Eric Fleming who boldly paddled into the finish line backwards!

       

Thanks to Diane Thorn, Bob and Eric for their kayak support during the swim. The current was really drifting many of the swimmers off course so the kayakers really had a challenging role in guiding them back around the point of Drag Island.

As if the swim and the kayak race weren't enough, Dennis was eager to get back out there on the choppier afternoon Great Egg Harbor so he, Eric, Steve Fries and myself went for another paddle, heading out under the Garden State Parkway and Route 9 bridges. Once we went under the route 9 bridge we decided to cross to the other side of the harbor which lead us through some very swift currents and choppy confused waters but also amidst a ton of boat traffic. There were whitecaps all over the harbor as the winds kicked up. Steven decided not to cross the channel and reportedly took out at Drag Island where he launched from. After a few miles the rest of us also decided to head back and call it a day however we were not crossing that same channel again either and opted for a different route back. Once we reached the southern shore of the harbor, we decided to paddle back under the rt 9 bridge then cross the harbor again to the opposite side along the western side of the parkway bridge. This route offered more favorable conditions. We then paddled along Drag Island and when we reached the point, made a straight line course for our take-out, surfing some swells back to Kennedy Park while also getting wet with a few sporadic breakers.

Another great day of paddling. Thanks to all who came out to race, support the swimmers and paddle on the Great Egg Harbor.

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