The Downriver Race:
Delayed but Well Worth the Wait!

-- by V. Star Mitchell

Sycamore Islander, August 2003

The 48th CCA/BCE Downriver Race was originally scheduled for June 14th, but due to high water the race was postponed to June 29th.† The water level was 4.6 feet on that day, but at least not over the 5-foot limit that would have caused us to start the race at Old Anglers Inn.† Whether it was the higher water or the postponing of the race, for some reason, only 12 boats entered the race.

Peter Hage
Once again, Marcia and George Loeb of Sycamore Island greeted the racers with delicious cookies and lemonade.† It was also a pleasure to have a member running in the race.† Bill Marmon and his friend Richard Allen braved the higher waters and paddled in a tandem open canoe.† I heard rumors that they took time to go for a little swim at Yellow Falls, but mind you, that was only a rumor that I am sure is not true!† Nevertheless, they placed second in the OC-2, Plastic, Men's category. What an refreshing delight that our new, young caretaker, Joe Hage and his 10-year-old daughter, Kaylen, paddled the race in a tandem open canoe!† Joe and Kaylen won the blue ribbon for the fastest time in the OC-2, Plastic, Parent/Child category. Not to be outdone by his brother, Peter Hage also entered the race in the OC-1, Plastic, Men's category.† Peter took second place in his category.† I hope Bill, Peter, Joe and Kaylen will inspire more of you to come out and paddle the race next year.

Joe and Kaylen Hage
With Jeff Davis (CCA Safety Chairman and Instructor) doing his usual good job of training paddlers for safety on the river, 14 jolly souls turned out to help us with safety.† They were decked-out in new orange safety vests that I had purchased with Jeff's blessings. Our noble and loyal safety crew headed up by Steve Ettinger consisted of CCA members:† Mark Brennman, Frank & Kathy Collins, Jane Collins, John Lentz, Jim Long, Jim Mallard, Jean McAulay, Dave Moulton, Dave Neubrech, Lee Tucker, Kathleen Sengstock, and Susan Sherrod.† We wish to give these people a very special thank you for their time in helping us make the race a success. Our "land engineers" were headed up by "yours truly" and consisted of:† Barbara Brown, Darrell Helton, Sloane Kuney, John Stapko (our island Deputy Captain), Jeff Ward, and Susan Whitney.† Sycamore Islander, Lucy Marmon, helped us by standing at the head of the island, telling boaters to go left, and calling out with the "family hoot" to let the timers know that a boat was headed toward the finish line.† We appreciated what these people did for us. Richard Perlmutter, the BCE Director of the Race, set up for the race, started the racers at Great Falls, brought in pizzas and drinks, tallied up the race results, and gave out the awards at the conclusion of the race.

Jeanne Fisher
When I joined Sycamore Island "one hundred years ago," I only knew the members who were "hard core" boaters.† In recent years, Iíve realized that most members probably don't have a clue as to what the Potomac River even looks like 1 mile (or less) north of the island. I would like to extend an invitation to you to join the Canoe Cruiser Association for Greater Washington, DC (CCA) and learn/or improve your canoeing or kayaking skills.† Go to and you will see all kinds of opportunities and classes to improve your boating skills.† You can print out a membership form.† Membership is only $25. If you don't know, throughout the summer, every Wednesday starting at 6:30 p.m., John Stapko leads a trip down the Potomac River from Old Anglers Inn to Lock 10.† John would love to have you join his group.

Richard Allen and Bill Marmon