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Miller River Race

By Elaine Campbell

This past weekend was the first down river race on the Lower Millers in MA.  It’s a class II section with a class III rapid called the Funnel which is a fun rapid that’s a big wave train.   

It was part of the NECKRA race series so a bunch of racers came to paddle.   Jeff has been racing with me so it’s been super fun, we are not competing against each other yet since he’s paddling in the short boat class and I’m paddling in the long boat class but soon enough that will change.  My brother Mark showed up to race in his Speeder and it’s always great when we get to race each other even when he beats me.  I’ll get him next time! 

The level rose a bit so I should of paddled my carbon Wild Water but I never checked the level in the morning and brought my Wave Hopper, but we could of paddled carbon at that level which was around 4.5 feet. A few racers paddled carbon Wild Water boats and took podium in the long boat class.    

We met my brother around noon and did a practice run to find the faster lines before the race started at 2.  The race was supposed to be 6 miles long but ended up only being maybe 3- 4 miles long.  The safety boaters never showed up and the group decided that a swim at the Funnel alone would be unfair and dangerous.  The racers made a good call and the race ended above the Funnel which opened up the field to more racers since some people were not going to race because of the Funnel.  It was a mass start and I had a terrible start getting squished by my brother Mark and Jeff Belanger, thanks guys.  I had to fight super hard to catch up with a bunch of boaters in front of me. I passed a bunch of the short boaters and passed my husband Jeff while he yelled profanities at me.  I was winded within the first few minutes but made it to the finish line without vomiting in 8th out of the men and first out of the women.   

It was another great race and I’m getting stronger at classic racing (a classic race is around 4 miles long) but still need to work on pacing myself. I tend to crush myself at the start and then get tired soon so I need to work on that.  After I compete in the Sprint World Championships I’m really going to work on my classic racing.   

Next up is the Mount Washington Tuckerman Inferno Race in NH.  I’m on a team with some of my good friends. Last year we came in 3rd hopefully we can step it up this year!  Then we head to NC for US Freestyle Kayak Team Trials.  We’ll see how that goes, I haven’t been paddling freestyle as much since I made the US Wild Water Sprint Team but when I did get out I had some good sessions.  Hopefully, it will transfer over to the Nantahala Hole but it was at Eternity Hole which makes you feel like you’re a bad ass. Here’s a video of some of those sessions if you haven’t seen it yet.



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Till next time,

Elaine Campbell  



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