The banks of the Susquehanna River were packed as a very motivated group of people crossed the finish line in Bainbridge after a 70 mile canoe race. Our Elyse Mickalonis talked with a 28 time champ about the race and his team’s performance.
BAINBRIDGE, N.Y. -- While many towns lined up for parades this Memorial Day, people in Bainbridge lined up along the Susquehanna River for a special race.
“This is a grueling race, to be out here in this temperature on the water for eight plus hours is just, I can’t imagine it,” said Regatta Chairman John Harmon.
This weekend marked the 50th Annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta. Although there were many races over the course of the holiday weekend, it was a 70 mile race to from Cooperstown to Bainbridge that had people on the edge of their seats.
“The big headline is Serge Corbin coming back racing for the first time since ’05,” said Harmon. “He’s never been beaten. He’s raced this 28 times, won 28 times and won 21 times in a row.”
55-year-old Regatta champ Serge Corbin was hoping for his 29th gold in the C-2 pro race, but instead, he and his teammate came in second to Andy Triebold and Steve Lajoie.
"I’m really happy. We didn’t do like we wanted to do, but I’m happy to get second place,” said Serge Corbin, Professional Marathon Canoe Racer.
Steve Corlew, Professional Marathon Canoe Racer, added, “To win really, that’s the main goal, that didn’t happen today, but that’s what motivates us.”
Both started paddling at young ages and maintained a passion for the sport for many years before joining forces. And although the team was disappointed by today’s outcome, they say the grueling race was well worth it.
"Thank you for cheering us all the way down. All the people who were there were great and it was nice to see them,” said Corbin.
Corlew added, “It’s the challenge of the sport to see how hard you can go.”
Seventy miles of challenging waters.
Corbin says the key to becoming a professional canoe marathoner is staying active the entire year. His year-round regimen includes skiing, weight-training and, of course, paddling.