Hodgson quickest to Chili and Beans

Maybe it was a faster current, maybe it was just hunger. Either way, Whitehorse's Tim Hodgson was even quicker this year than last in getting to the grub in the Chili and Beans Downriver Race on Wednesday. Hodgson canoed the 18.

Maybe it was a faster current, maybe it was just hunger. Either way, Whitehorse’s Tim Hodgson was even quicker this year than last in getting to the grub in the Chili and Beans Downriver Race on Wednesday.

Hodgson canoed the 18.5-ki lometre race from Rotary Peace Park to the Takhini Bridge in one hour, 22 minutes, six minutes faster than his winning time last year.

“The water is high and sometimes it makes the river unrecognizable,” said Hodgson. “There are currents where there’s not usually currents.”

A total of 21 paddlers in 14 boats took part in the 11th annual race. Though faster than last year, Hodgson was still nine minutes off of the course record set by Greg McHale in 2007. It was Hodgson’s third win of the season, having won the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club’s first two races of the season.

Taking second by four minutes, but first place for solo kayaks, was Peter Coates. Third overall and first for men’s C-2 was a team of David Gonda and Mike Code.

Code has paddled in the Yukon River Quest but Gonda was in just his second race. He’s more known for his prowess on a bike, twice winning the Yukon Mountain Bike Championships and this year racing for the rideokanagan.com team out of Penticton, B.C.

“I enjoyed it a lot. It was nice just to get out on the calm water and getting into a rhythm and just paddling,” said Gonda.

Though open to paddlers of all levels, the Chili and Beans race is purposely casual in hopes of attracting beginner racers.

“The whole idea is to get paddlers out to a marathon paddle who might not necessarily race, but could get a little bit of a feel for what it’s like to race,” said race organizer Patricia McKenna. “We try to make it fun, thus the Chili and Bean name to encourage more recreational paddlers.

“Through the years we’ve had a few paddlers come to this race who have then decided to train and race the Yukon River Quest or the (Yukon) 360.”

The Yukon 360 is the next race on the Yukon Canoe and Kayak Club’s calendar, and happens over the Discovery Day long weekend. This year’s 360 will take place on the Nusutlin River, spanning 198 kilometres, ending on Teslin Lake, and will take two days to complete.

Hodgson, a former Team Canada paddler who has won medals at the national level, plans to take up the challenge.

“I’ll do that and it’ll be fun,” said Hodgson. “It’s a river I haven’t paddled in 18 years, so it’ll be fun to do, just to see that river again.”

Results

1st Tim Hodgson

(men C-1) – 1:22

2nd Peter Coates

(men K-1) – 1:26

3rd David Gonda/Mike Code

(men C-2) – 1:29

4th Jeff Cousins/Megan Seiling

(mixed K-2) – 1:30

5th Pat McKenna/Liz Bosely

(women C-2) – 1:31

6th Dave MacLellan

(men K-1) – 1:32

7th Barbara Adam

(women K-1) – 1:34

8th Trudy Dunn

(women K-1) – 1:36

9th Caleb Light/Jayden Soroka

(mixed C-2) – 1:38

10th Lene Neilsen

(women K-1) – 1:40

11th Naomi Gladish/

Lia Johnson

(women C-2) – 1:41

12th Carol Gottlieb

(women K-1) – 1:42

13th Ken Todd/

Glen Piwowar

(men C-2) – 1:54

14th Marjorie Crawford/

Tony de le Mare

(mixed C-2) – 2:06

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com