BAINBRIDGE – Six individuals will be inducted into the General Clinton Canoe Regatta Hall of Fame during the 55th annual Regatta, to be held May 26 through May 29 in Bainbridge.
The sixth class of inductees will be honored at General Clinton Park on Saturday, May 27 with an informal food and beverage offering, to be followed by the Hall of Fame ceremony. Regatta organizers plan the induction festivities for 4 p.m.
The paddling inductees this year are collectively known for their decades of commitment to the sport of marathon canoeing, the extra effort in promoting the Regatta itself, and getting family members involved. Combined, they total more than 90 completed 70-mile endurance races from Cooperstown to Bainbridge. Two others, in the contributors category, are being recognized for their many years of volunteer efforts toward the growth and success of the events at General Clinton Park and leadership in support of Regatta Weekend.
The class of 2017 includes:
• Roberta Shapiro (Whitesboro, NY): One of the first dynamic female paddlers, coming from the Utica region where she was always involved in the New York Marathon Canoe Racing Association (NYMCRA). One mixed victory with Bob Rapant among her 21 finishes. Encouraged paddlers in her area to participate in the Clinton races.
• Al Shaver Jr. (Meridale, NY): Numerous top ten placings among his 27 finishes, Al has been part of a “Shaver Revolution” in which 30-plus family members have paddled the Susquehanna. Also a long-time race committee member who took particular interest in cleaning debris and trimming dangerous limbs and branches from the river following the rough winter season.
• Dick Foster (Rush, NY): One of the early paddlers known for his expertise in “reading the river”. Two 70-mile victories (1976 standard aluminum and 1989 Pro Masters) highlight 18 finishes. 2004 inductee of U.S. Canoe Association’s Hall of Fame. Also one of the founding members of the NYMCRA and participant in two World Masters Class races.
• Ed Curley (Sidney NY): 29 finishes only begins to tell the story. 1991 Regatta chairman did double duty with race committee and paddling more than two decades. Several amateur wins. Organizes and runs the 35-mile Wessels Race – the tune-up for the Regatta – and holds regular training sessions to help all paddlers prepare for the racing season.
• Sam DiNoto (Bainbridge, NY): Deceased. Original Regatta committee member in 1962. Is best known for managing the chicken barbecue for more than 20 years. Sam obtained the sauce recipe, coordinated the food ordering, obtained a refrigerated trailer for food storage and staffed the BBQ booth with servers and Cooks until the last 70 miler was fed.
• Pam LeFever (Unadilla, NY): Deceased. A six-time chairwoman of the Regatta (2003-2008), Pam is considered the woman who literally “saved the event” by directing a rejuvenated committee. Also revived the tradition of hoisting 13 Original Colonies flags at General Clinton Park. A tribute to Pam in the form of a canoe parade, was held Saturday of Regatta Weekend.
– Submitted by the General Clinton Canoe Regatta