Every Kenduskeag is unlike any other, and this year will be no different.
The depth and flow rate of the Kenduskeag Stream will be lower than average for this time of year, yet there will still be plenty of water. Meanwhile temperatures in Bangor are expected to reach 57 degrees on Saturday, and absent any recent snow melt, water temperatures should be a little warmer than average as well. The biggest standout factor may be the number of paddlers. The fact that this is the race’s 50th anniversary together with the expected warm spring day should help bring in a big field. We would need close to 1600 paddlers to break the record.
As of Wednesday, April 13, the Kenduskeag is running at about 1000 cfs (cubic feet per second) which is just about average for this date. However, with no additional rainfall expected before race day and no contributing snow melt, the flow rate is likely to drop to somewhere near 500 cfs by Saturday.
While 500 cfs is a whole lot less water than 1,000 cfs, the good news is that the level will be well above the dismally low 100 cfs we had for the hull-sanding event that constituted the 2012 race.
Robert Lang’s course record of 1:50.08 is safe for another year, but this year’s winning time should easily be closer to two hours than to the three hour plus slog we saw in 2012. (See chart on left). Based on plotting winnings times and stream flow since 2010, I am projecting a winning time of 2 hours and 10 minutes for this year’s race.
Want more predictions? How about that there will be at least one big surprise in the top 10 overall, that at least one craft will capsize before the start, that more than a hundred craft will capsize at Six Mile Falls,, and that there will be a lot of smiles at the finish.
Hope to see y’all there!