Quinnipiac River Watershed Association
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Eleven-time champ Lou Carrier was finally beaten by Dave Grainger in the 28th Annual Quinnipiac Downriver Classic Canoe and Kayak Race, a 5-mile course from Cheshire to Meriden.  Grainger's margin of victory was only five seconds, with a race time of 50:27 to Carrier's 50:32.  The race, held under cold and overcast conditions, attracted 53 racers in 37 boats from local municipalities and other states on Sunday. 

The Quinnipiac River Watershed Association (QRWA) sponsored the race, one of the NECKRA New England Downriver Series that attracts paddlers from throughout New England and New York.  River conditions were average for this date in May with the river running at 208 cubic feet per second measured at the Wallingford gage.  Paddlers and their families enjoyed a post- race cookout on the lawn of the future QRWA headquarters at Hanover Pond. 

QRWA race co-coordinators Dan Pelletier and Paul Roy said local duo Vicki and Del Cummings of Meriden won the top prize among all tandem categories with a time of 53:02.  Schyler Thomson & Abby Burbank took the mixed (male/female) masters canoe with a time of 57:48.  Keith Duggan was the fastest short kayak at 59:17.  Rich Webber took top solo canoeist with a time of 1:01:20.  Dan and Megan Williams won mixed recreation canoe with a time of 1:01:40.

In addition to the Cummings duo, local residents who took home awards included:
Bill Balocki, Newington, 1st, masters short kayak, 1:02:22; and
Dan Sweigard, Cheshire and Tim Sweigard, Meriden, 1st, men's tandem, 1:05:05;
Bruce and Mike Bathrick, Cheshire, 2nd, men's tandem, 1:13:26.

The race follows a mostly wooded segment of the Quinnipiac River, starting under the trees in Cheshire off Rte.322 on the Southington-Cheshire line, passing through Meriden Gorge and finishing at Red Bridge, near QRWA's future headquarters at Hanover Pond in Meriden. 

NECKRA= New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association

First Record of Bald Eagles Nesting on Quinnipiac
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