By Fred Stabbert III
CALLICOON In classic fashion, the water was high, the sun was hot and the paddles were wet as the 11th Annual Callicoon Canoe Regatta raced down the Delaware River on Sunday morning.
“It was a great race,” Canoe Regatta Chairman Tom Freda said. “There was a lot of energy from everybody and we had a near record turnout.”
More than 100 canoeists and kayakers enjoyed the near-perfect day on the river, which was highlighted by American Bald Eagles flying overhead and swooping down near the river for contestants to get a look.
The 7.5-mile race from the Callicoon Interstate Bridge to Skinner’s Falls, which is a relatively flat piece of the river, saw the best racers finish in just under one hour.
Fueled by a late-night thunderstorm which dumped nearly a half-inch of rain on Saturday, the Delaware was in great condition, as few paddlers hit any rocks along the route.
The race benefits the Delaware Youth Center in Callicoon and was a huge success financially, as well.
“We raised $2,500, at least,” Freda said. “It was also a great day for the youth center.”