AuSable River Canoe Marathon Begins Time Trials

GRAYLING — The AuSable River Canoe Marathon returned to Grayling for its 2021 race, starting time trials on Wednesday with 22 canoes racing for the top sprint time to secure a good start in Saturday night’s race.

Mike Davis and Shane MacDowell recorded the best time in Wednesday’s time trials with a sprint time of 4:58.21.

“It was just nice pulling on the way upstream, and on the way down you were able to get a full paddle blade in the water and pull hard the whole time,” Davis said.

“Two years ago we raced together and we were right at 5 minutes, so to be faster than that, it’s great. It’s a good start to the week,” MacDowell added.

The time trials will continue on Thursday and Friday, and the paddlers are looking forward to competing on Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s great to be back. I mean we all do the sport because we love it,” MacDowell said. “And this is one of the best races out of the whole year.”