“We stayed with him the first 25 feet and then he started paddling.”
That was Joe Coldiron’s joking remark about trying to keep up with Kent Bentley, who paddled his sleek, homemade cedar-strip kayak to first place overall Saturday (Oct. 5) in the 7th annual Soc & Sam Sandy Canoe and Kayak race.
Bentley finished the six-mile race, from Jeremy Gullett/Raccoon Bridge to the Greenup boat ramp on the Little Sandy River, in one hour and 13 minutes.
That was three minutes over his wining time last year as a month-long drought had left the river with little current to assist the paddlers.
Tim Rogers and Rick Horton took first place in the canoe division, finishing three minutes behind Bentley.
Second-place kayak finisher Jason Madden said he managed to kept Bentley in sight all the way but couldn’t catch him.
His time was one hour and 15 minutes.
Coldiron and his partner in the canoe, Rancie Hannah, covered the six miles in one hour and 18 minutes to finish fourth overall.
Two women from Lexington, Kelly and Bev Burton, were the only contestants in a two-person kayak.
“We finished somewhere in the middle,” Kelly Burton said.
More importantly, they said, through the generosity of people who sponsored them in the Lexington area, they raised $500 for Kentucky Cancer Link.
“It’s a solid state-wide organization that buys wigs and bras and other accessories to help women stricken by the disease,” Bev Burton said.
Bentley’s kayak was taken for display in front of an Old Fashion Days crowd at the main stage in downtown Greenup, where race founder and organizer Tom Clay handed awards to the first three winners in both the canoe and kayak divisions.
The $10 fee for each paddler went for upkeep at the veterans’ cemetery near the south end of the Industrial Parkway.
The race is held as a part of the events making up Old Fashion Days, which finished its run Oct. 5.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 932-3619.