Nearly 200 participants in 99 boats hit the water on Sunday

The weather and water conditions couldn't have been much better Sunday for one of the area's true “Rites of Spring.”

Nearly 200 people turned out for the 2018 Wayne County Canoe Classic.

They basked in the late April sunshine, which raised the air temperature to 65 degrees and water temperature to 42.

This provided local folks a welcome respite from what's been a brutal and lingering winter … a chance to be active and embrace the great outdoors.

***Jaycees

This year's edition of the event was once again organized and hosted by the Honesdale Area Jaycees, a local service organization whose members work hard all year to help enrich their community.

“We couldn't have asked for a better day,” said Jaycee Steve Daniels.

“The weather finally cooperated and so we had a great turnout. Local businesses and people from all over the region really support us. Without them, none of this can happen.”

Current Jaycees President Jay Nacinovich was quick to agree, saying: “Every year it seems to get bigger and better. We can't thank everyone enough … from the folks who come out to race to local businesses that sponsor us.”

While no precise records are available, Daniels and Nacinovich believe the Canoe Classic has been going for at least 40 years.

“There's definitely something for everyone here and that's kind of the idea,” Steve said.

“We have people who take it seriously and want to compete. But, we also have a lot of folks who just want to enjoy the day and have a good time.”

Weather permitting, next year's Wayne County Canoe Classic will take place the first Sunday after the opening of trout season.

For further information on the Jaycees in general and the Canoe Classic in particular, please visit the website (honesdaleareajaycees.com) of the Facebook page.

***Ride the Rapids

The Canoe Classic begins each year in Dyberry Township at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

Canoes and kayaks of all shapes and sizes are launched every two minutes and proceed down the Dyberry Creek toward Honesdale.

From there, they enter the Lackawaxen River and continue traveling toward their final destination, which is Firemen's Field in White Mills.

The journey covers about 9.1 miles in total.

“This is one of our biggest events of the year,” Nacinovich said. “It raises a lot of awareness and a lot of money so we can put on some of our smaller events.”

***By the Numbers

The fastest time of the day was posted by the tag-team combination of David and Charlie Bruno.

This dynamic duo finished first in the Open Racing division with a blistering time of one hour, 10 minutes and 22 seconds.

Trailing by just seven seconds and earning a silver medal was the pairing of Dave Gustin and John Finnen (1:10:27).

The remaining divisions and their top three finishers in each follow...

•Women's Short Class: Raynell Lenz and Kay Bates (1:22:27); Kristyna Poseca and Carley Gustin (1:29:32); Robin Rosler and Dawn Costello (1:40:23).

•Junior-Senior High School: Airyll Rockwell (1:18:44); Caleb Lavelle (1:35:16).

•Women's Solo Kayak: Official results pending notification.

•Men's Short Class: Sean and Michael O'Rourke (1:22:53); Scott Donovan and Eric Daniels (1:23:11); Mike Brownell and Chaz Augello (1:23:32).

•Men's Solo Kayak: Daniel Harmon (1:13:30); Brian Ammon (1:14:26); Brad Fridinger (1:18:04).

•Parent-Child Short: Craig Benson and Jeff Benson (1:22:35); Dustin Edsall and Bill Edsall (1:24:02); Scott Arnold and Connor MacBain (1:24:07).

•Tandem Kayak: Tim Wood and Sadie Wood (1:32:26); Joe Cronin and Jean Cronin (1:33:47); Dave Figura and Bill Putz (1:34:30).

•Men's Solo Canoe Short: Bruce Codington (1:14:47); Nick Hindley (1:16:09); John Koenig (1:17:07).

•Mixed Short: Bob Bates and Carley Bates (1:13:35); Jack Burcher and Bonnie Beers (1:18:10); Ellie Skinner and Jesse Yatsonsky (1:20:58).