For the last three years the Rusty Iron has continued to gain prominence as a great venue for the Pacific Northwest’s Hawaiian Canoe Paddlers to race their first long distance run of the season. The awards provided to winning teams in any class were stickers. Although this does seem like a bit of a let-down for paddlers used to earning bronze, pewter or gilded metal awards, like I did as a kid, times have changed. The Rusty Iron is a distance race, traditionally the first one of the year in the Northwest. It is put on by Pacific Outrigger Canoe Club, a small cadre of enthusiastic, yet none too green-behind-the-ears paddlers. The race runs from Cathedral Park in St. John’s, down to buoy 12, then back up to the Rail Bridge, and back down to Cathedral Park.
On the last Saturday in April, the weather can be as calamitous as anything in the Northwest. We’ve seen rain, sleet, snow, fog, lightning and pure unadulterated Northwest Sunshine. It’s a great race, and this year, if you place, you get one of these fine tributes. I look forward to seeing you there, I’m the bearded guy with the scowl, the binoculars and the stop watches. Cheers!