By Fred Stabbert III
CALLICOON June 25, 2002 Sundays warm temperatures and humid weather did little to deter the 106 paddlers who competed in the Fourth Annual Callicoon Canoe Regatta.
Competing in 15 separate classes, the canoeists and kayakers raced from Hankins to Callicoon in a 7.3 mile sprint. John Redos, racing in the C-1 Mens Comp Class, finished in a blistering 49 minutes, 36 seconds to pace the field.
Second fastest time went to Stephanie and Steve Busch in 54:30.
But while the competition was stiff on the water of the Delaware River, the camaraderie also shone through as a highlight of the day.
We had more spectators than I ever remember, Regatta organizer Tom Freda said. The Interstate Bridge in Callicoon (the official finish line) was lined with people and we even had two spectators who put lawn chairs in the river about four miles upriver from Callicoon to watch the race.
In fact, Rease and Marion Roche, equipped with binoculars and lawn chairs, kept their cool by sitting in lawn chairs along a deserted island above Callicoon.
They cheered on their favorite racers as did Craig Stewart, who also sat along the rivers edge, hoping to see some familiar faces.
Both Stewart and Roche remember the days of the Upper Delaware Canoe Regatta, when hundreds of canoes foamed the Delaware River in one of the biggest racing events of the year.
Many of Sundays racers were former regatta veterans, including Rich Cucci of Callicoon and Dan Peters of Hortonville, who still hold the record from Long Eddy to Callicoon in 1 hour 32 minutes.
We just cant give up, Cucci said, as they picked up yet another first place ribbon this year. Its just something about racing and the regatta.
With their trademark Stewart Signs Beaver racing canoe and bent-shaft racing paddles, Cucci and Peters edged out Jim Budd and John Goodman by 13 seconds to win first place honors in the C-2 Mens Comp class.
And the home crowd cheered loudly as they approached the finish line, a boat length ahead of their competition.
Were getting too old for this, Cucci joked.
But it was the veterans, like Joey Freda of Kenoza Lake, racing with his niece, Lauren Freda, who connected the past with the present, making Sundays race enjoyable for spectators and competitors alike.
Freda raced for years in the Upper Delaware Canoe Regatta and also turned in a stellar performances. This year, he too showed his competitive edge by placing second in the Adult/Youth class.
Two spectators, Tom and Veronica Paciga of Simpson, Pa., came back to Callicoon to watch their son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Madeline Paciga, race. Tom, a retired teacher from Delaware Valley Central School in Callicoon, had a steady stream of former students coming by to say hello.
And following the races, Callicoon was abuzz with activity, including the canoe regatta barbecue and field day, a benefit softball tournament and even the Farmers Market, which made parking a premium.
It was great to see so many people in town, Tom Freda said. Many of the racers came into town the day before and it was fun to see all the canoes on top of cars and so many people having a great time.
And the Competitors Were:
C-1 Mens Comp
1. John Redos 49:36
2. Bruce Codington 56:24
3. John Finner 56:59
4. Dan Nemeth 58:19
5. Donald Jagel 1:01:07
6. Steve Weigelt 1:06:07
C-2 Mixed Comp
1. Stephanie & Steve Busch 54:30
1. Eric Snyder 1:02:53
2. Tom Kulesza 1:08:36
1. Amanda Perry & Ali Palen 1:05
1. Ian and Theresa Kennedy 1:14.37
2. Joel Wasserman and Tom Zadubara 1:20:06
C-1 Open Rec
1. Bill Bryan 1:04:46
2. Ron Bomberger 1:07:11
C-2 Mixed Rec
1. Jennifer and Rich Hall 1:02:55
2. Chris Kenyon and Alli Corbett 1:03:02
3. Rob Roeck and Linda Murphy
4. Dale Beckwith and Nicole Sayland 1:06:55
5. Mike and Madeline Paciga 1:08:43
6. Tina Riddle and Ray Schlott 1:16:13
7. Ken Wiley and Melinda Valez 1:17:34
8. Frank and Pat Stoeckle 1:26.01
9. Bill and Kathy Murphy 1:26.13
1. Rory Carrier and Ryann Haberli 1:13:47
2. Stephen and Clare Len 1:15:05
3. Robert Campbell and Cara Enteles
4. George and Ann Gattus 1:22:04
5. Earl Kinney and Sherrie Anderson 1:23:19
6. Gregg and Elvira Robinson 2:10
C-2 Womens Comp
1. Bonnie Beers and Susan Klikus 1:07:08
C-1 Womens Racing
1. Judy Jeanes 1:07:53
1. Brian and Justin Goodman 1:06:57
2. Joe and Lauren Freda 1:07:33
3. Tom and Kelsey Sheridan 1:16:37
4. Fred and Claire Stabbert 1:17:05
5. Rich and Jake Widmann 1:17:20
6. Jessica and David Moodey 1:23:34
7. Jerry and Dylan Smith 1:23:35
8. John and Joseph Gattus 1:26:05
C-2 Womens Rec
1. Laura Baxter and Nancy Johannes 1:03:07
2. Alice Motten and Cecilia Penna
3. Jennifer Arnold and Patty Dannik
4. Angela and Marie Barrett 1:25:36
1. Asa Snyder 1:06:45
2. Craig Schumacher 1:09:24
3. Richard Meeh 1:11:39
4. Maureen Neville 1:11:42
5. Peter Snyder 1:12:31
6. Bennett Windham 1:13:04
7. Darlene Meeh 1:13:42
8. Jamie Myers 1:14:54
9. George Schaffer 1:18:39
10. David Lewis 1:20:55
C-2 Mens Rec
1. Tom and Jesse Freda 1:01:39
2. Carl Klinger and David Lester 1:02:18
3. Bruce Houghtaling and Josh Milucky 1:05:26
4. Don Hamilton and John Gusher 1:12:45
5. Darren Hendrickson and Steve
6. John Pettonen and Dennis Armstrong
7. Andy Hollis and Vincent Brophy 2:05
C-2 Mens Comp
1. Richard Cucci and Dan Peters
2. Jim Budd and John Goodman 1:01:25
3. David Sander and Jeff Molusky 1:08:26