Look back

Auburn's Benny McIntosh left the pack behind by the time he reached Genesee Street en route to winning his segment of the Great Race.

Aug. 15, 1994

(No paper Aug. 13, 1994)

Unsettled weather was a last-minute entrant in the 17th annual Great Race Sunday, and no one could predict its performance.

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Just after 7:30 a.m., volunteers were waist-deep in the choppy waters off Emerson Park, setting up steel girders for the canoe finish line. Jim Hanley, director of the annual triathlon, predicted if the winds picked up, there might be 70-75 boats going over.

More than 20 volunteer boats were standing by to help anybody going into the drink. Hanley said the paddlers' main concern would be the south wind, as the waves would be hard to paddle into for the two miles away from Deauville Island. On the return trip, if the crafts got sideways to the wind, they'd be more prone to flip over.

Timing is everything for canoeists, Hanley said. And for novices in rough weather, heavy canoes are the best bet. "It's better to have one of the old aluminum battleships," he said.

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— Compiled by David Wilcox