Lumber River Challenge

Does any one have any comment on the Lumber River Challenge (river conditions) -I mean if the river deep enough to be paddle with an ICF carbon boat without scratches?


How good are you?
There is little rock to worry about. Mostly cypress stobbs and normal detritus, like branches and stuff.

Steven Knight takes his ICF kayak down every yearwith no serious complaints. He keeps on coming back, as do the guys in the graphite C-1s. If the water is low and you have an under stern rudder it can get problematical though…

Great race either way…


If this is
The same iceman who did Jim Normandins race last year

You should have no troubles that you can not handle in an ICF boat.

We take the Comp Cruiser each year
We did punch a hole in the bow one year when we tried to jump a log, but that was a very low year.

Knowing you, you won’t have any problems.

I’ll see if I can get the level, and then give you a heads up compared to other years.

There has been a lot of rain in NC in the past month, so I am guessing it is going to be good

Jack L

For anyone wondering where this race
is It is in Lumberton, NC on Serpt 18

There is a 20 miler and a 10 miler.

Race registration is at the boat landing, on 74 near Boardman starting at 8:00 AM classes for canoes and kayaks- racing and rec.

If you need more info let me know

jack L

Just check the gage at Boardman.
Right now it is at 2.52.

Last year it was 2.29 at race time, and there were lots of sand bars and snags, and one log to carry over

Jack L

Jim’s Race
Yep, I did that one -it was a fun race on a trouble free venue. I would rudder deal with boat wakes than rock scratching the hull of my boat :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Thanks for the info.

Water Levels
Hi Jack,

Do you have a link to the water level? so I can keep an eye on it. In addition, what is the ideal water level and/or a low water level but still doable…

I haven’t found a lot of info regarding this race (but what has been said on Is there a link and/or web site? Really, I would like to see the course via Google earth or something, but I don’t know whether it starts and/or ends. I guess it’s a down river race…

Any info would be much appreciated!

Here is the link

– Last Updated: Aug-20-10 4:49 PM EST –,00060

Below 2 sucks!
3 or better is not too bad, (doable)
4 and above is ideal
In 2008 it was 8.07 and the water was in the woods.

It is a down river race, and is mostly through swampy forest.
It used to be a 40 miler, but at low water there are shaols just after the 20 mile mark so they shortened it.

for more info contact William MCDUFFIE - 910-948-3238

I think you would enjoy it
If it is low, you just pull up to the sand bar and drag or carry your boat across and then get in on the other side.

no rocks to worry about -just nice soft white sand

Jack L

Good info

“no rocks to worry about -just nice soft white sand”

you know me well enough,…, LoL I like soft white sand (no rocks) :smiley:

Similar to the Suwannee, but
no high banks and smaller.

jack L

Scouted the course
Moe and I paddled the whole course yesterday. The level was about 2.7 ft, so a bit higher than last year. Levels have been dropping steadily. There seems to be more deadfall than in previous years. I was in an ICF K-1, and it was fine, but it is an old beater K-1 with an overstern rudder. Not a boat where I care about scratches on the hull.

There were two places where I had to portage around a log all the way across the river, and also a couple of places where I was able to squeeze under a log. For those of you in canoes, depending on the river level, you may not be able to squeeze through some of those spots. There were also a lot of logs just barely submerged that I was able to jump… if the water drops, they’ll be out of the water. On the other hand, if the water rises, those logs I squeezed under might be too low.

I will do the race in the same boat I used yesterday, as it works well for me. Moe is looking into taking a safari boat. The worst parts of the course are in the second half, between Princess Anne and Fair Bluff.

We’ll do some rain dances between now and then.

You guys missed a good one (two days)on the French Broad River earlier in the spring.

Put it on your schedule for next year.

Jack L

The Labor Day scouting mission
cost me a few new scuffs on my carbon K-1 trainer, but river level was not necessarily to blame. Throughout the run I was glad to have had an over-stern rudder. To me, the amount of debris along the river seems to be accumulating lately, although there are signs of it having been cut, since power boats are not uncommon. There’s a log jam near the 20-mile finish, but there’s a portageable bypass. As Melissa mentioned, I’m switching boats for the race.

As of today the level
is a terribly low 1.97

Looks like a lot of pulling over sand bars and whatever !

No rain in sight between now and Saturday.

Jack L

Yep, have been checking…
Have been checking, and it does not look good to me… :(:(:frowning:

Suwannee is pretty low too -a complete disappointment!

Lake Crabtree Race October 3
As an alternative to the Lumber Challenge, the Triangle Paddle racing Club is hosting a race at Lake Crabtree, just outside Raleigh, NC , on October 3rd. More info can be found at and canoes are welcome. Distance will be shorter, only 10 km, but there will be a very competitive ICF K1 field. Lake Crabtree is also the site for the 2011 USACK Marathon Team trials in May.

Back to the Lumber. This morning the gauge was down to 23 inches (1.93 ft) and a flow of ~130 cfs with no rain in the forecast. It’s going to go lower… but I’ve been doing this race since 1998 in every water level possible and it can be run - even when it was a 40 mile course!

Good luck to to all those who’ll be on the starting line,

Do they have a ATV class…
at the Lumber ?

Jack L

At the rate it’s going
We’re looking at levels like 2007. IIRC, that’s the year you punched the hole in the canoe, Jack. And I believe Steve Knight broke his under stern rudder. A real drag, literally.

Still, we’re armed and ready… Moe in my safari-type solo, and me in the ultra-beater K-1, the one with the hole cut over my feet, and the aluminum tubes riveted on to reinforce the broken cockpit coaming.

Hope the rest of y’all will show up and share in the misery! It will be fun, in a certain sick kind of way…

That’s why we always pick the prize
goodies with the duct tape !

Maybe this year we can talk Lynn into letting us pick prior to the race. Or at least include a roll with our registration.

See you there

Jack L