Calhoun Cruises to Podium in 29th Upper Yough Race

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Wavehoppers and wildwater boats on Class V? Yep, it happens every year at the annual Upper Youghiogheny Race, whose Class IV and easy V whitewater lends itself to cumbersome craft that can flat-out move. This year, moving down the course the fastest was none other than speedster Geoff Calhoun…

Sponsored by Immersion Research and Wilderness Voyageurs, this year’s 29th Annual running of the Upper Yough Race (UYR) saw 40 racers bobbing at the start, the bumps of their wildwater sterns serving notice that for the Upper Yough race, the faster the craft the better.

“I don’t think you see too many wildwater boats in other races of this type,” say organizers. “It keeps things interesting, and separates the men from the boys, so they say. Some of the old boats in your in-laws garage will always have a big demand around here.”

Paddling the only full wildwater boat, and decimating a field dominated by local paddlers in long boats, wildwater veteran Geoff Calhoun won at just over 29 minutes. Isaac Levinson, a promising slalom racer attending Garrett Community College (GCC), finished second in a Wavehopper. And a familiar face on the Upper and recent GCC graduate, Matt Fithian, finished in 3rd in a Pyrahna Speeder.

Overall, however, despite the presence of wildwater craft and wavehoppers, the Dagger Green boat was the boat of choice, with over a quarter of the racers paddling it. Showing how good of a choice it was, the long boat division was won by Ben Ledewitz in Green boat, who placed 6th overall. Local Jay Ditty crushed it in his C-1, coming in 7th overall. Friendsville local Scott Stough won the K-1 short boat class. The women’s class was won by Sara Mullett, also in a Green boat.

Perhaps the biggest attraction, however, was this year’s cult phenomenon Three Wolf Moon race T-shirt, with “29th Annual Upper Yough Race” on the sleeve.

The event’s organizers would like to thank Jess Whittemore for securing the water release, and helping with timing and results; Chuck Stump and Tom Pittman for race day help; Lou at Wilderness Voyageurs for registration; and Jim Field for his heroic and ever-important effort in getting beer to the finish line. They’d also like to give a big shout out to Nico Zegre for starting and Jon Harmon for rounding up the racers, and Wilderness Voyages and IR for putting on the race and for the prizes.

Lest you want to start practicing, next year’s race will be held Saturday, July 24th, 2010.

Click Here for Full Results

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