, Newburyport, MA


July 22, 2013

Steamy day for a canoe ride

Inaugural Amesbury orienteering race draws 30


Given the NECKRA connection, racers came from as far as Madison, Conn., as well as Cromwell, Conn., Manchester, N.H., and Massachusetts towns like Tewksbury, Reading, Andover, Charlton, Douglas, Natick and Franklin, earning championship points toward their season tallies.

“We’re looking to have people enjoy and to want to preserve and protect the lake,” said Georgian. “We like to introduce people to the sport. Every year, someone comes and discovers orienteering or canoe racing and loves it.”

Racers were handed a map to start, then time started from there, so a strategy needed to be drawn up while they began paddling.

The youngest racer, Conrad Georgian, 3, of Amesbury was looking forward to hitting the lake with his dad, Mark.

“He’s been in the boat many times, but we’ve never done any sort of orienteering or canoeing,” said Mark. “It’s going to be a good time.”

Tewksbury’s Maureen Keddie, 27, and Kristina Smith, 29, of Reading where the first to complete the short route.

“This was a lot of fun, figuring out how to find all those controls on the water,” said Keddie. “It was a little but easier than I thought it would be. It turns out finding controls on a lake is a lot easier than finding controls on land. Because you can use the curves in the lake and find yourselves on the map really easily.”

“It’s very peaceful,” Smith said of Lake Gardner.

Michael Lewis, 27, of Cromwell, Conn., was on his eighth race of the season along with partner Carrie Curtis, 26 of Madison, Conn., who was on her first. Their partnership resulted in the first to complete for the medium course.

“He splashed me a couple times,” Curtis said of Lewis. “I liked the (orienteering). It was fun to get out of the boat and do a little exploring.”

Jamie Doucette, 59 of Andover was first to complete the long course and does six to seven canoe races a season.

“It was hot but it was fun to do it,” said Doucette. “It’s kind of weedy out there on the other side but it was fine. This is good because there are some trails up there with all the controls so you have to get out of your boat.”

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