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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mechanicville's White Water Derby

It's not too late to check out today's White Water Derby on the Anthony Kill in Mechanicville. It started at noon but, with an estimated 40 or so participants on kayaks and canoes, the race should until about 2 p.m. or so. At that point, the Anything that Floats portion will start which is a real hoot! (yes, I said "hoot")

Since starting at the paper more than five years ago, I've covered this derby nearly every year. Two years ago, I actually went down the stream with my experienced guide, Ken. I imagine he is participating this year, the event's 38th.

I went on one of the clean up trips to clear the creek of debris prior to the main event but it was still intense. We went over two rapids which is pretty impressive if you consider the fact that I had never been over one before and I had only been white water canoeing once prior to that and it was with Ken near the Cohoes Falls in preparation of going on this excursion. I'm not the only reporter to say I've done this, and I doubt I will be the last.

I'm up at my parent's place in Grafton today (enjoying the remnants of the snow blended nicely like an Impressinoist painting with the pure, clear blue skies) but even I'm thinking of making it up there before the end. It really is a good time, whether you're in the boats or not.

Best views are usually near the end of the creek at the Hudson River. The derby used to bring thousands (at one point estimated around 15,000 people) a year, so on a beautiful day like today I don't think you'll be alone.


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