2015 New Year’s Day on the Winni

2015 New Year’s Day on the Winni

by Ben Natusch

2015 New Year’s Day on the Winni

For a paddler in New Hampshire, Winnipesauke River in Franklin, NH is the only place to be on New Year’s Day.  Every year, the Merrimack Valley Paddlers throw a great event to kick off the New Year.  They rent out a church where paddlers can meet up and change.  The town sets up a warming hut at the takeout.  In the warming hut, there is often a chili cook off, hot chocolate, and coffee.  After paddling, the Merrimack Valley Paddlers host an excellent dinner.  I have been going to this event for many years and it never disappoints.

This year I made plans to meet up with Team Z member Katelyn Green and Zoar Instructors Sam Gaughan and Dylan Evans.  Unfortunately something came up that prevented Katelyn from making it to the event.  I was running a bit on the slow side and unfortunately missed boating with Sam but I got a few great laps with Dylan.  After doing a few laps in my Dagger Mamba, we headed over to the church the Merrimack Valley Paddlers had rented.  They put on an amazing meal and since pretty much everybody heads over after paddling, it is a great opportunity to catch up with other paddlers. 

This is one of my favorite events each year.  It always draws a big crowd of both paddlers and non paddlers.  In addition to being a really fun event, it is also a great opportunity to connect with non paddlers and to promote paddlesports.  The New Year’s Day Icicle Run on the Winni was stated to push for recreational whitewater releases.  It is a really amazing event and one that I look forward to every year.  Hopefully we’ll see you out there next year with some icicles hanging from the brim of your helmet.

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