Epic Paddle 2011 to George Washington Bridge

| December 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

2011 Epic Paddle

The 2011 Epic Paddle was held on Sunday, October 9. This annual paddle was conceived as a long-distance training session for the Growth Program but has quickly evolved into one of the signature paddles many in NYO look forward to at the end of the season. The previous year, Epic 2010 was one of the most harrowing paddles in NYO history dealing with strong winds, currents and rough water and cold temperatures on a 12-mile course to Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty. Epic 2011 proved to be less technical paddling and more endurance but held under much more favorable conditions.

The weather was relatively warm and the waters completely calm for the early morning start of the 15-mile journey. Practically the entire NYO Fleet was on the water including all three OC6’s, two OC1’s and one OC2. Of the 22 paddlers who participated in this paddle, 14 had less than 2 years of experience. The George Washington Bridge, nearly eight miles away, was clearly visible. It is a commanding landmark in the Hudson River and, except for 5 of the more experienced paddlers, none had ever made the journey.

We passed many of the familiar sights of our typical paddles…the Ferry Terminal, the Cruise Ship Terminal and the 72nd Street Boathouse. Soon enough, many of the paddlers were seeing new sites…Grant’s Tomb, West Harlem Piers and the infamous water treatment plant. The NYO Fleet paddled onward with our sights set on the Little Red Lighthouse dwarfed by the east tower of George Washington Bridge.

The buildings of Manhattan and Edgewater, NJ start to thin out as we progress north into shorelines preserved as parkland. Pretty soon, the traffic noise of the GWB is blaring several hundred feet above us. We spend about 20 minutes admiring this new and unfamiliar territory taking the opportunity fuel up and take a quick dip in the Hudson. Several of our newer members get their first lessons in the smaller canoes.

The current starts to shift and we ride it back to our boathouse. In the end, we paddled a leisurely 15-miles over a period of 3 hours. In typical fashion after every major feat, we gorge ourselves with food and beer at the Frying Pan as we celebrate our big achievement.

NYO – 2011 Epic Paddle to GWB from poi on Vimeo.

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