July 20, 2013

'Whitewater game on, Governor'

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Governor’s Invitational Adirondack Challenge faces some Class III rapids Sunday, along with some early North Country bragging rights.

Boatloads of Adirondack officials wielding paddles are hoping to get the best of the Indian River race.

Drawing attention to wilderness summer leisure, Gov. Andrew Cuomo challenged dozens of officials from throughout the state to race him to the confluence of the Hudson River.

The course is about a half-hour long.

But the deep forest river delivers some fast water along the way.


The Governor’s Invitational rafting race is part of the Adirondack Wild celebration that wraps up in towns throughout the central Adirondack region this weekend. Events are planned from Inlet to Indian Lake.

Randy Douglas is town supervisor of Jay and chairman of the Essex County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s game on, Governor,” he said on Friday, fully expecting a solid win for his raft.

“We have an experienced kayaker with us, Dan Manning, the county attorney. We gained an advantage putting him on our boat. 

“We had a secret placement there and didn’t tell all our secrets to the governor’s office.”


Bill Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, helped coordinate the day’s race.

He said the only power allowed on the course is muscle.

“I’ve really given this a lot of thought,” he mused on Friday.

“I’ve weighed out the teams entered. And I think, if I were going to bet, I’d bet on the governor. That’s why they won’t let me participate. 

“I’m too competitive.”

On second thought, he speculated, Hamilton County’s raft would likely prevail. But such a win could prove detrimental, he quipped, to state funding.

“I’m smart enough not to be in the raft in case they do.”

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