Centennial Boat Race Successful

By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

So successful was the River Raisin Boat race on Saturday, April 22, that many were expressing the desire to have a repeat performance, possibly have it an annual event.

High winds discouraged 11 of the registered entrants, but 31 canoes and rowboats each manned by two oarsmen battled the wind and the current for the approximately nine miles from Fellows bridge to just north of the Main Street bridge.

Charles Hough and Allen Clark made the arrangements for the race on the River of Grapes.

James C. Hendley, L. Dean Sodt and Allen Clark checked the boats and entered them at the Fellows Bridge starting point. The race started promptly at 1 p.m. At the finish line, just north of the Main Street Bridge, was Irvin Gill, Allen Alber and Doug Hughes. Centennial committeemen were stationed at strategic points along the route.

Winners in the father-son canoe event were Alton Grau and his son, Michael, with a time of 40 minutes, 28 seconds. Second were David Hoeft and his son, Rodney, with a time of 46 minutes, 16 seconds.

In the choose-your-own partner, or open canoe race, Hal Poucher of Brooklyn and Therman Green of Manchester were victorious in 37 minutes, 31 seconds. Larry Kouba and Ed Waltz were second with 37 minutes, 50 seconds. In third place was the team of Gale Koebbe, Manchester village president, and Eldon Lamb. Their time was 38 minutes, 57 seconds.

The only entry in the father-son boat competition was the team of Don Paukin and his son, Lee. Their time was 65 minutes, 5 seconds for the nine mile winding race.

Winners in the open boat rowing were Merle McKeever and Larry Sturdevant of Manchester in 44 minutes, 33 seconds. Second were Gary Guenther and Paul Buss with a time of 51 minutes, 14 seconds. Duane Roller and Curtis Day were third, bringing their boat through the course in 51 minutes, 31 seconds.