Bear Mountain Challenge race info

The Bear Mountain Challenge (on the Hudson River at Cold Spring, NY) is this Sunday, and I’m thinking of going. It would be my first real race, and my goals would be to (1) finish, and (2) learn about races. I don’t have many worries about (1), because the race is only 14 or 16 miles, depending on whom you believe, and I regularly paddle more than that.

But I don’t know about the river conditions or what route the race takes. Anybody know? I’m pretty comfortable on the Hudson at the G.W. Bridge in a Kirton Tercel (17’x20" sprint trainer), so I imagine I’m okay. But if I have to do a crossing and there are major eddies, I might take a more stable boat.

Will it be acceptable to average maybe 5.5 mph? I know many people will go faster. I haven’t found any information on the time limit.

Will there be anybody there to sell me racing equipment? I don’t think I will have time to get a proper drinking system set up, so I may have to rely on my Platypus and whatever I can cobble together on site. Maybe a bit of duct tape to hold the tube to my shirt, if I’m going high-tech.

Finally, any good ideas about tying a Tercel to the roof of a rental car? No rack, just contoured foam. The boat has almost nothing to tie to (no lines or fittings on deck). I’m thinking of two belly bands, one on either end of the coaming (with the coaming facing upward) and a strap at the stern, wedged under the rudder to keep the boat from sliding backward. I’ve tied a canoe to many rental cars, but this will be a new challenge.

Thanks for any and all information, including answers to questions I didn’t think to ask.

– Mark

How about this…

Foundry Dock Park; Cold Spring, NY

Entry Fee $40 - Race day sign up $50

Course: 16 mile loop

9:00 AM - Check In

10:30 AM - Race

3:30 PM - Finish party and Awards


It’s one of the prettiest stretches of the Hudson.

Email Ray (link on Mayor’s cup website) or call Terry at Hudson Valley Outfitters for details. The website isn’t very helpful.


Nice stretch of river
The listed 10:30 start is about max ebb for Sunday - about 1 knot.

There are typically some big whirls just off Constitution Island. They are not particularly violent or dangerous, but they can present some strong eddy lines to cross. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with them, and they can be avoided entirely by simply staying 30 or so yards away from the cliff face.

Other than that there are no tricky bits.

Really Nice Ray-ce
Pun intended. Ray puts on a smooth event, as noted by such little homespun races as the Mayor’s Cup-smile.

The course itself is, as Lyn said (Hi Lyn!), one of the prettiest stretches of the Hudson. You’ll pass by Anthony’s Nose, a mountain that overlooks the Bear Mt. Bridge, and be right opposite West Point. Aside from potential boat wakes, and some rolling refracting swell the Hudson is known for (mini-rollers), it’s definitely paddleable in a Tercel, particularly if you’re comfortable in the mighty Hudson around the GWB.

As far as drinking tube paraphernalia, there is Cold Spring Outfitters right in town, about a 1/4 away from the race/reg site. What time they open and what they carry will be a crapshoot. Bring the duct tape, JIC. Good luck with the tie downs-if strapping to a rental car, bow and stern lines are de rigeur.

There will be a strong turnout for this race. The good Mr. Glickman will be there, as will the usual suspects from this area. The Jersey crowd (Lars, Craig, Joe, et al) will be showing, Team Bay Creek spearheaded by Dan ‘The Man’ Murn from Rochachacha is coming, and even some of the Beverly surf ski contingent are talking of making the drive down. It will be fast, but a good crowd and a great race for your first one. 'Hope to see you there.


website vs Ray

That is indeed what the website says, but the organizer posted to the nyckayaker mail list recently these slightly inconsistent details: 14 miles, 8:30 registration, 10:00 start.

Anyway, I got the answer to the big question: can I handle the conditions in a Tercel. See you all on Sunday. Thanks for the information.

– Mark

Anticipated times?
I can’t find last year’s results anywhere.

Just curious, what are the anticipated times for the leaders in the various classes?

great race and proud to say a GSKR member took first in a strong regional race:

Congrats to Craig Impens !

thanks, fun race
Thanks, all, for your advice. I did the race in 2:25, for an average of 5.8 mph, ignoring current and assuming 14.1 miles for the course (whose length is in some dispute). The top time was 1:58, or about 7.2 mph, so I have something to work toward :slight_smile:

Nicely organized event. Lovely piece of river, too. I will be racing again, once the blisters heal.

– Mark

Ditto to Craig
Family obligations precluded me from attempting my first race.