Minutes of the 2013 Competition Meeting of the New England Canoe and Kayak Association (NECKRA)


November 10, 2013

12:00 – 2:30 pm

Home of Steve Miller


Attendees: Steve Miller (host), Priscilla Reinertsen, Ted VanDusen, Bob Allen, Paul Glasscock, Heidi Henkel (by phone), Dave Vandorpe, Rosemary Longo-Nutt, Jack Beusmans.


Minutes by Jack Beusmans.


1.  Lunch provided by NECKRA and Steve Miller


2.  2014 Races and Race Packet


A.      Race attendance and analysis


Discussed the reports on Flatwater and Downriver Race attendance submitted at the 2013 NECKRA Annual Meeting.  Downriver participation has been fairly steady over the last couple of years, but is down from early 2000s; participation by kayaks has increased somewhat. Flatwater participation in both kayaks and canoes has seen a steady decline over the past years.


Possible reasons for the decline were discussed.  These include a move from kayaks to surfskis and times being tough generally, making it harder for people to travel and attend races. 


It was recognized that “people who train together, race together.” Discussed ways to encourage and facilitate people training together.  Need to increase communication among NECKRA members.  Use Facebook and PaddlersConnection to organize meetups.  NECKRA could publish a digest of where and when people train.


Discussed possibility of organizing an adult youth series for 2014; concept is to have a short (at most 2 mile) untimed race after the adult races; youth members participating in more than 2 or 3 races would get a price. Logistics were identified as a major obstacle for this to really work.  Discussed the promotion of youth programs associated with a club, where it would be easy for kids to race regularly.  Need an adult coach to get things going and to supervise racing; would probably need to pay a coach.    NECKRA could sponsor such a coach.  NECKRA could organize clinics at local clubs.


Heidi volunteered to organize a clinic for kayak and canoe performance paddling at Vermont Canoe Touring Center in Brattleboro in 2014.  Ted suggested that it would be great to have two events to build continuity/momentum. 


B.  Discussion of possible changes to the Flatwater and Downriver racing schedules


No changes were identified.


C.  Other events for NECKRA in addition to races; the “catchment and service pool”


Two canoe orienteering events were held in 2013; not obvious if they led to more interest in NECKRA.  Will continue to include them in 2014 Flatwater point series.


Need ways to tie into “competitive crowd” to get them interested in NECKRA. Possibility includes various canoe triathlons. Could offer free advertising in NECKRA’s race package in return for advertising with them.  Need to make flyers advertising NECKRA races available at triathlons.


D.  Goals for NECKRA membership and ways to promote this


Monica Schnitzger (membership chair) has pointed out that a large number of people hadn’t renewed their membership in 2013.  Would be good if we could follow-up with them with a simple email message to find out why.


Steve pointed out that there are a lot of people participating in races who are not NECKRA members.   Perhaps it needs to be made clearer what the benefits of NECKRA membership are.


E.  NECKRA grants and scholarships


Ted mentioned the Orange Boathouse as offering promise for a youth program.  Needs to be explored further.


F.  Scoring clarification for downriver canoe points


No clarifications needed.


G.  Approval of NECKRA membership in USACK for 2014

NECKRA’s membership in USACK for 2014 was unanimously approved.


H.  Other


It was decided that people who join NECKRA after September 1st will be members for the subsequent year.

It was suggested that the Competitive Paddler feature kids and other special paddlers in future articles.