Sunday, October 19th, 2009. Downtown Manhattan. Oh-dark-thirty a.m.
North Cove Marina
Breakfast (and coffee) arrived a little while after the first volunteers.
The racers begin to arrive
crack o' dawn
Cruise liner arrives!
Epic Kayaks (Greg Barton's company) provided brand new Epic V-12's for Team USA & Team Holland, racing in honor of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson's voyage up the river that now bears his name.
The US boats had stars, the Holland boats, a windmill design.
One of the Achilles Track Club racers prepares.
Members of the Dutch team checking out their skis. Unfortunately, the boats did not arrive until too late for the guys to try them & I was told that some of them had not tried surfskis before. Made their accomplishments in actually getting around all the more impressive.
The morning drizzles on. The starting line is the entrance to the North Cove Marina. That's the World Financial Center in the background, with the Winter Garden. Where you see sky is where the World Trade Center used to be.
NY Harbor. Right to left - Staten Island (in the far distance), the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty Landing.
The mark is set. The wind is north & the chop is starting to kick up as the flood kicks in. The Hudson is an estuary & fully tidal up to Troy, NY; the tidal currents are what make circumnavigations like today's work.
Greg Barton looks over his ski.
Outrigger Alley. In the end only one outrigger, a 2-woman OC-2, went - they made it!
Ray Fusco makes the announcement that the authorities (NYPD harbor patrol & Coast Guard) have requested that due to the extreme conditions (gale-force winds & limited visibility), the race be restricted to elite paddlers.
People were sad, but it was a good call - even some of the elite didn't make it around.
Woodburned design on the bottom of a handmade strip-built kayak brought from CT for the race.
Heading for the start
The starting line
Team Holland member warming up.
The doubles are off! For videos of the tandem & single starts, check out my blog http://frogma.blogspot.com/2009/10/mayors-cup-starts.html
More warming up as the singles wait for their start (delayed while a problem with one of the boats was sorted out).
On the mark! Again, video of the subsequent moments at http://frogma.blogspot.com/2009/10/mayors-cup-starts.html
Heading for the buoy
Off on a grueling trip up the Hudson
Now at my post at 23rd street on the east river. A pretty pair of ketches motored by. Probably heading south for the winter!
John D. keeps watch.
Looking north on the East River. No boats in sight yet.
23rd st. marina w/Empire State Building in background. The orange palm tree cracked me up!
Bob L. found us a nice little hidey-hole. Not quite warm, but out of the wind & the rain. There ended up being 3 of us here, Bob with a car - worked great, the paddlers knew this was the last easy takeout before the end & we did have one paddler take the option. Bob & John took care of him & I stayed out on the dock & kept watching.
The 3 lead paddlers. Bad spot for pictures, they all held to the Queens/Brooklyn shore along here. But as you can see, this must have been QUITE the horse race!
Motor Vessel Manhattan was keeping pace with this guy (just to the right of the tall building) for a bit - I bet they never saw a paddler moving that fast!
Back at the finish line, I got there just in time to see the last boat make a good strong finish!
CG Auxiliarly vessel Lady B brought up the rear. Couldn't do a race like this without these folks even on a nice day.
After the race, in the Steamer's Landing restaurant, Ray begins the awards ceremony. Unfortunately my camera wasn't happy with the light & also I was at the wrong end of the room!
But I was sitting with Mike (red shirt) & my friend Marcus (earflap hat). Mike is an amputee & they raced in a double in the Achilles category. The folks who won the touring tandems category thanked them for being in the Achilles category, because Mike & Marcus came in about 10 minutes ahead of them! Marcus's post-race comment about Mike - "He's not handicapped. He's a machine".
And hey, look, there's Greg Barton! (blue jacket w/purple collar).
Heading back to the subway, just grabbed this shot. Rebuilding at the site of the World Trade Center.