I'm part of a five-person team for an upcoming adventure race and we're looking for some advice on how to best divide teammates to match paddling speed in two canoes. The paddling will be about 2-4 hours total on flat water.
We have a 17' Wenonah Sundowner (Royalex with three seats) as one of our canoes. Our second canoe will be a slower design...either a borrowed Old Town Discovery 158 or a rental canoe (unknown type, but probably slow and stable).
Based on your expertise, to best match speeds do you think it's better to (a) Put the two strongest paddlers in the slow canoe and put the three remaining paddlers in the fast canoe or (b) Put one strong and one medium paddler in the fast canoe so we can put three people in the slow canoe (for the extra boost of having three "engines" in that canoe (assuming there's room for three people)) or (c) Some other arrangement altogether?
Any input you can provide is helpful and appreciated! We most likely won't have a chance to practice before the race, so we'd like to take our best shot at dividing up the team properly.