The final standings:
Marathon: 23 mile circumnavigation
Erik Borgnes 3:12:11
Mark Anich 3:18:46
Jon Sanborn 3:25:36
Joe Zellner and Mark Depasquale 3:25:37
Greg Greene 3:27:53
Gary Sadowski 3:45:26
6 Man Outrigger Canoe 4:01:33
Wendell Martin 4:37:15
William Feiges 1:53:37
Steven Bannow 2:01:10
John Tebbens 2:06:22
Joe Welna 2:08:32
Erik Hanselman 2:09:30
Kenny Lambrecht 2:19:11
Mary Salzmann 2:43:31
Phillip Taylor 2:31:42
Mike Saxton 4:09
WASHINGTON ISLAND — “TheWashington Island Marathon is epic,” said Hawaii out-rigger paddlerWendell Martin, finishing in 4:37:13. “I love this race, though some paddlers don’t want to tear themselves up with this challenging of a race so early in the season.”
Wendell is one of fourteen elite, marathon paddlers who arrived for Year Six of the Washington Island Canoe & Kayak Event marathon circumnavigation ofWashington Island during the June 13, 14, and 15, outdoor, on-water event.
Erik Borgnes, has raced the marathon four times. This year, Erik won the race again and set a course record for the marathon with a time of 3:12:11.
Everett Crozier, legendary boat builder and paddler from Marinette, captained a six person outrigger canoe and crew experienced in a custom boat raced in the Molokai Challenge, Hawaii. “I’ve been waiting years to race onWashington Island, “ said Everett. “We finally got the work schedules of the crew open to attend this year.” And finished the twenty-four-mile course in 4:01.33.
Cold water temperatures were a factor in preparation for this year’s event. “Ice is still floating in Lake Superior,” reported racer Mark Depasquale. “I practice in ice water so I can experience and prepare for the shock,” Mark explained. “Races started in mid-May in Minnesota, “ Mark claimed. “An active paddler has a few more minutes of survival than a person who might fall in from a resting position.”
Paddlers discussed varying reports of water temperature during a mandatory race briefing at Red Barn Park, the evening before the race following a sumptuous pasta feed provided by theWashington Island Yacht Club. John Delwiche arrived at the briefing to present detailed weather information to the paddlers. Safety boaters and a representative from the Coast Guard were available for presentation and questions as the paddlers reviewed the rules, course and hazards.
“TheWashington Island race is so beautiful,” said surf ski paddler Greg Greene who finished the race in 3:27:53. “This is what I live for, catching the wave and just riding.”
“TheWashington Island event is the most magical of all races. I just want to race to invigorate and inspire,” said Jon Sanborn.
The Death’s Door Crossing was canceled for Sunday, June 15, due to high winds but Jon and Greg went paddling on surf skis on the west side of the island. “We call it a “down-winder,” said Greg. “You hope for winds that are wrapping the Island. In Hawaii this is what surf skis are born to do. We travel all over the world to paddle, catch waves and rock it down the wave lift. You can steer down the wave, just rock it with foot pedals and rudder. These surf skis do not broach. You just carve down the wave.”
Tim Pfleiger from Team Leadership led thirteen youth, including a Boy Scout troop and Island students who received scholarships from the event for Saturday’s Basic Kayak Skills Symposium. Wet exits were not practiced this year due to cold water temperatures.
Steve Schmidt led paddlers through the Rock Island Expedition and Eco Tour. The keynote presentation at the TPAC with event director, Valerie Fons, included slides, music, quilts, kayak, PowerPoint, and stories from Valerie’s 30,000 mile paddling career.
“The Triathlon was really fun and challenging for competitors,” said committee member Bonnie Burnham. “They loved the course. “We know how hard this event is to put together but it is always worth it.”