Kayaking: Paddlers turn in fast times on slow-flowing Red Mo

From CDT staff reportsMay 4, 2013 

Kurt Smithgall of State College once again screamed down the slow-flowing Red Moshannon Creek in a blistering time of 45 minutes, 22 seconds to earn the Top Dog Award for the 2013 running of the Red Moshannon Downriver Race.

Smithgall’s effort repeats his performances from 2011 and 201,2 where his speed was dependent on the water flow of the creek. Sponsored by the Tussey Mountain Outfitters of Bellefonte, the 46th running had a large number of paddlers as in recent times. The racing crowd consisted of a total of 148 persons paddling 115 boats.. They were competing in 24 classes in a variety of boats both open and decked.

Smithgall paddled in the Kayak Wildwater Class and is a member of the US Wildwater team for 2013. Also competing as a member of the 2013 US Wildwater team was Chris Norbury of Elizabethtown in 51 minutes and 54 seconds. Greg Bertrand of Poolesville, MD took third place in one hour, 2 minutes and 21 seconds.

This year, the Stand Up Paddle Board Class, SUP Men, was the second running of this new type of whitewater fun. There were three competitors, all men. They stood on the craft, which looked like a large surfboard. They stood up for the entire way, using a single blade paddle with an extended shaft. Mark Linn took the gold in SUP in one hour, 15 minutes and 55 seconds. Taking third place in this class was State College’s own Matthew Stump who completed the course in a good 1 hour, 28 minutes and 51 seconds.

Women paddled in the SUP class, the SUP Women, too. Winner here was Ann Katona-Linn of Selinsgrove with a time of 81 minutes, 27 seconds.

Winner of the fastest open canoe on the course was the Bellefonte father-son team of Dan and Evan Jones. Their time of 59:35 minutes was achieved in a racing Kevlar Open Canoe Doubles Unlimited Class.

The fastest open canoe paddler for men, the OC-1 class, was won by 73 years old Ed Sharp from Fredericksburg, Va. In this class the first local paddler, finishing in sixth place was Jeff Kennedy of Hollidaysburg in 1:17:23. In seventh was Greg Ombalski from Julien in 1:34:33.

Rebecca Renner of Williamsport was the fastest woman on the course. Paddling in the K-1Women Rec Long class, she transcended the 7-mile course in 63 minutes, and 58 seconds. Sue Stackhouse of Montoursville was second in that class in 68:23.

An exciting finish in the K-1 Women Rec Medium class was obtained when Tina Fisher of DuBois paddled to a tie win with Dawn McCracken of Woodland. The time of each boat was 66:57.

The youngest paddler in the race, Colden Warren, 7, of Etters, teamed with his father, Mike Warren, to win the OC-2 Over/Under class in 65:31.. Another father-son team from State College, Doug and Sammy Swope, finished sixth with a time of 75:54.

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