Local boat builder organizes first annual Ralph Morrow Event

SARANAC LAKE - A local boat builder and paddling enthusiast has organized a canoe and kayak event for Sunday, July 5 to run in conjunction with the annual Hamner guide boat races in Saranac Lake. Tim Doyle announced last week the launch of the inaugural Ralph Morrow Canoe and Kayak Event. Morrow was a local boat builder who passed away in 2008 - a man Doyle says inspired him to become a builder himself.

"Most everything I know about boat building I learned from Ralph," Doyle said. "I'm happy to kick off this event in his honor."

Doyle stressed that the Ralph Morrow is not meant to compete or draw paddlers away from the Hamner. In fact, he hopes his event will be complementary to the popular guide boat classic.

"The Hamner is a race," Doyle said. "The Ralph Morrow is an event for kids, adults and families to have fun with. It's purely recreational."

Doyle notes that the event will bring back the war canoe and rub-a-dub categories. The war canoe features at least eight paddlers in a large canoe, and the rub-a-dub puts four adults in one regular size canoe.

"The Mountaineers Rugby team has issued a challenge to anyone who wants to face them in the war canoe category," Doyle said. "As for the rub-a-dub, it's not a race so much as it is a challenge to make it to the end of the course without flipping."

The event will start at 11 a.m. at the state boat launch of Riverside, across from Lake View Deli. For registration fees and more information, contact Doyle at 891-2577.

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