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Rollin' on the river


Westville hosts annual river race, Duck Pluck events



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STURBRIDGE — Lance Groh, and Kyle Germain, of Thompson Conn., take a deep breath as their canoe is engulfed by rapid waters during the annual Lions Club of Sturbridge’s All American River Race held on Sunday April 25. Shawn Kelley. (click for larger version)
April 26, 2010
STURBRIDGE — The rainy weather didn't stop the fun at Westville Lake Recreation Area Sunday.

"The rapids are a little rough," said Millbury resident Keith Ekstrom, after finishing the 23rd annual River Race at Westville Lake Recreation Area.

The race and 19th Lucky Duck Day, sponsored by the Sturbridge Lions Club and Harrington Memorial Hospital Auxiliary respectively, were held Sunday afternoon under light raindrops. The Great Canadian Canoe & Kayak Company, based in Sutton, also sponsored the race.

Both events are fundraisers for good causes. Sturbridge Lions Club Board of Director member Robert Briere said all the proceeds will go toward the group's mission — paying for eyeglasses and exams for children, and other community projects. Auxiliary President Helen Santilli said proceeds from the duck pluck will be used to distribute four $4,000 scholarships to individuals looking to enter a career in the medical field.

Despite the weather, which turned sunny as the hours passed, many area residents came out to watch friends and family navigate the river by boat, or buy ducks in hopes of winning a prize later that day. For most gathered along the banks of the Quinebaug River, watching the canoeists is not just a relaxing and easy way to spend a Sunday morning, but a chance to watch people take on the river rapids.

RIVER RACE WINNERS:

Two person Racing Canoe: Ed Oleksyk and Frank Oleksyk — 50:15

Two Man Recreation Canoe: Bill MacDonald and Tom Carey — 52:25

Two Woman Canoe: Kathy King and Nora Quigley —1:19:33

Mixed Recreation Canoe: Deb and Dave Bachand — 56:59

Junior-Senior Recreational Canoe: Randy and Savanna Redetzke — 1:04:29

One-Man Recreation Canoe: Rich Webber — 58:35

Masters: Douglas and Sandra Quigley: 1:05:32

Great Canadian Canoe: Sean Courtney and Brian Mondor — 1:01:54

Kayak Long: Mark Wendolowski — 48:58

Kayak Short: Keith Duggan — 54:07

Woman Kayak Any Length: Jeanne Breton — 58:32

Two-Person Kayak Any Length: Jim and Dan Mitchell —1:08:08

Rubber Raft: Sal Timmins and Jason Contwin — 1:29:47

Duck Pluck winners

Grand Prize — $1,000 — Damien St. Peter

Second Prize — $500 — Barbara Meservey

Third Prize — $300 Lung Suburu

Fourth Prize — $200 — Sal LeDonne

Fifth Price — $100 — Meagan Snow

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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