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May 25, 2013

Clinton kings looking to extend reign

Two Saturdays ago, Andy Triebold and Steve Lajoie lost a canoe race on the Susquehanna River.

The men’s C-2 pro results of the 23rd annual Ed Wessels Canoe Regatta clearly show that Matt Streib and Steve Rankinen did indeed beat five-time defending General Clinton Canoe Regatta champions Triebold and Lajoie by 9 seconds in a May 11 event that totals about half the distance of the 70-mile Memorial Day race.

But there’s a hole in this story.

“They finished second with a hole in their boat,” Clinton Regatta co-chairman John Harmon said earlier this week. “They paddled the whole way cocked sideways so the water didn’t come into their canoe. I think they got the hole really early in the (Wessels) race, so they had to adjust their weight and figure out how to keep paddling.

“That’s a pretty good one right there,” he continued. “You have to be an awfully good paddler to do that in a race that’s about 30 miles.”

Without question, Michigan resident Triebold and Canadian Lajoie are awfully good at what they do.

The two cruised to the 2012 Clinton C-2 pro championship in 7 hours, 29 minutes, 16 seconds to hand first-class Clinton Hall of Famer Serge Corbin his first loss in 29 Cooperstown-to-Bainbridge trips down the Susquehanna.

Granted Corbin may have been a little rusty in his first appearance at the Clinton since winning his record 28th C-2 title with then-partner Jeff Kolka, but even that 2005 victory seemed to indicate a passing of the torch was near.

Corbin and Kolka won a dramatic sprint to the finish in 2005 to edge Triebold and then-partner Matt Rimer by 2 seconds. Corbin took the next six years off before returning to compete in the Clinton at age 55, largely because of his induction into the first Hall of Fame Class the Saturday before the Memorial Day 70-miler.

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