Ten members of the Hamilton College Marathon Canoe Racing Team (HCMCRT) raced in the Canton Canoe Classic on May 2. The 8-mile race course took paddlers up and down the Grasse River in Canton, N.Y.
HCMCRT entered three boats in the race. Two C4s (four person canoes) raced in the Collegiate C4 race and finished second and third behind a very strong team from perennial rivals Paul Smiths College. Two Hamilton paddlers also raced in a C2 and finished with a respectable time in a very competitive race class.
The Canoe Team practices every morning on nearby Delta Lake starting as soon as the ice melts. Members paddle both C4s and C2s with the ultimate goal of preparing for the Adirondack Canoe Classic, a three-day 90-mile race in September that the team has raced in since its founding in 2009. Although the “90-Miler”–as the race is affectionately known–is the team’s primary focus, the team has begun to paddle in other races in recent years. “This year was the first time Hamilton had attended [the Canton Classic] and when we showed up the man in charge ran up to the van with a huge smile on his face. He had been trying to get us to come for years and we had finally made it out,” said Rachel Lannino ’17, one of the team’s captains.
Another race before graduation is in the works while many team members continue to paddle and train in eager anticipation of another 90-miler come September.