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Scantic Spring Splash

By Elaine Campbell

This past weekend was the 22nd annual Scantic Spring Splash in Enfield, CT.  There were over 100 racers, more canoers than kayakers, young and old.  This was my first time racing this event and had a great time, plus Jeff even raced!  It’s a 5 mile race mostly flat water with 3 class II drops, a mandatory portage up and over the dam and the river had about 6 inches of water in it. I’ve been to a lot of events and will have to say that the Scantic Spring Splash is one of the best organized events that I’ve been to.  They had the boy scouts helping out at the portage area.  They passed out drinks when you came by and if someone was struggling with a boat they’d help carry it.  There was another group of kids called Explorers that came to help with directing traffic, informing competitors and spectators where to go.  The event had free shuttle services for competitors and spectators.  There was plenty of safety on and off the river. The volunteers all seemed to be happy and having a great time as did the competitiors. 

I paddled my Wave Hopper since my carbon Wild Water boat would not have survived this race.  The race was a challenge for me with all the flatwater.  I can lose focus and get bored when it’s so flat but I felt like I did an ok job keeping myself motivated during the race but probably could of done better.  I lolly gagged during the portage and should of hussled a bit more.  After the portage is where the 3 class II drops are and where most of the spectators are to watch the carnage factor.  The majority of racers are not whitewater boaters so these rapids are hard for them.  

The river was low and I bottomed out a few times. At the final rapid I stopped in an eddy after the first ledge to let a canoer get himself sorted out. He swam, his canoe was surfing in the little hole and he was standing up in the river trying to get his canoe out. The last ledge also had a swimmer and boat still in the water so the fastest line was congested with boats and swimmers. I should of just went and took the dry line which I inevitably did but for some reason I decided to wait.  Maybe the reason why I waited was because it was so entertaining watching the carnage that was happening right in front of me. Anyway, the race was great and the amount of spectators made it really fun!  A ton of people just cheering you on all along the entire 5 miles. That made it really neat and pushed me at moments to paddle faster!  Jeff had a great race, he survived it paddling my Wave Sport Momentum.  It sounds like he will do some more races this year with me so that’s exciting!  

One thing I did learn about this race was that even though it was a super easy river, if you are going to race you should do a run on it first and get to know it before a race.  It would of made my life way easier.  My time was 44:48 which is ok but I’m a little disappointed in my performance but it was another great learning experience and was great training.  I came in 6th in the long boat class and had the fastest women’s time.    

Next up is hopefully going to be the New Haven Race in VT that’s if the weather cooperates.

Here’s a link with some photos and quick videos of the race.


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Till next time,

Elaine Campbell


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