Viewing entries tagged

Boat Bash Snow Crash: Franklin making name for itself with downhill kayak race

Boat Bash Snow Crash: Franklin making name for itself with downhill kayak race



The race course needed snow trucked in, but paddlers still made a go of the Boat Bash Snow Crash.

Already known as a destination for whitewater kayaking on the Winnipesaukee River, Franklin is making a name for itself by hosting this unique downhill kayak race at Veterans Memorial Ski Area.

In what is believed to be the only event of its kind in New England, some two dozen competitors went head-to-head Saturday in the second annual Boat Bash.

The event was co-sponsored by the Franklin Outing Club and Mill City Park, the former having promoted community skiing in Franklin since 1961; the latter created in 2017 to promote the construction of a whitewater park on the Winnipesaukee in the downtown.

Tim Morrill, who is co-president of the Franklin Outing Club and also a member of the nonprofit that is promoting Mill City Park, said he and Marty Parichand saw snow kayak racing on the internet, thought it would be cool to have in Franklin "and last year we did it."

The 2018 races, like the inaugural ones, were held despite a paucity of snow and were a fundraiser for both the outing club and Mill City Park.

Temperatures were in the mid-40s on Saturday and there were noticeable bald spots at the ski area, whereas last year, the weather was cold and the hill was icy.

The side-by-side race course was given a couple long, swooping curves, said Morrill, while the original course was straighter, and bent only at the bottom so that several racers went off course and right into the ski lodge.

The 2018 course was built at the last minute, said Morrill, with snow trucked in from parking lots all over Franklin. The ski area's groomer pushed the snow up and down the 550-foot-plus course and an excavator was brought in on Friday to shape the track; volunteers used shovels and rakes to fine-tune it.

"It's beautiful," said Morrill, noting that the track was working well and giving racers an exciting ride. He added that the track is also unique: "It's the only one on the East Coast that we know of."

Sam Durfee of Concord was named the overall winner of the Boat Bash and will receive outdoor equipment as his prize.

Parichand, who is the executive director of Mill City Park and also a downhill kayak racer, said Franklin is increasingly on the radar of many whitewater enthusiasts because it offers the closest reliable rapids to Boston.

Mill City Park, he said, is "re-envisioning the Winnipesaukee River as a whitewater mecca" and events like the Boat Bash Snow Crash help do that.

There are 300 whitewater parks throughout the United States, Parichand said, 30 of them in Colorado alone, but there are none in New England, "and we're hoping to be the first one."

Photo Courtesy of NH Union Leader




The First Boat Bash Snow Crash was a success despite the 25+ mph gusts and the well below freezing temperatures. As Northern Yankees we are hearty, as such, every New England state was represented in the over 140 people that came out to our inaugural event. The event was a collaboration between the Franklin Outing Club and Mill City Park, which brought in positive donations for both groups.

However, this event would not be possible without our gracious sponsors and volunteers!

Thank you all for making this event a reality!

Donations |

Rowell's Services, Beck & Bellucci, New England Pro Greens & Turf, JA Garneau, Grevior Furniture, Franklin Studio, Blackfly Canoe, Franklin Savings Bank, Morrill's Landscaping, SKR Site Work, Sweet Protection, LiquidLogic, Hidden Collective, Franklin Fire Department and Outdoor New England.

Volunteers |

Mark Pickard, Steve Nelson, The Stanley's, Colby Morrill, Chris Downey, Dave Curdie, Tom Atwood, Steve Donahue, The Mullavey's, Scott Burns, Chad Carey, Cheryl Joyce, Eric Keck, The Coulter's, Jamie Parent, The Ford's, Alan Carigan, Bob Lucas, Orli Gottleib, Rob Schafsteck, Jeremy Laucks, Owen P, The Grevior's, Jim Jones, Daniel Fithian, James Detzel, Dominic Capozzi and CREEKBOAT MAN!


Laconia Daily Sun | Community Announcements

FRANKLIN — The East's First Annual Dual Snow Kayak Race will be held on Saturday, March 4, at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area at 361 Flaghole Road in Franklin. The day-long festivities begin at 10 a.m. and run until 10 p.m.

Activities include the active participation in the sport of downhill kayaking, optional dual racing, or just enjoying the event as a spectator. Day- and evening-long entertainment will feature race events and prizes, live music, silent auction, raffles, kayak vendors and concession sales in the ski area's lodge, and more.

"The Franklin Outing Club Winter Carnival is excited to be adding such a unique sporting event to celebrate its 55th Winter Carnival," said Kathy Fuller, Franklin Outing Club board member. "We enjoy attracting new families to the Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area and this first annual event is the perfect way to see many new smiling faces adorning the mountain."

"Those involved with the creation of Trestle View Park understood the interaction between whitewater kayakers and the City of Franklin," added Marty Parichand of the Mill City Park at Franklin Falls. "This Winter Kayaking Event is the next step in that relationship. The event will be a fun and music-filled afternoon for all to enjoy with the benefits supporting the Franklin Outing Club and Mill City Park. This kayak sledding experience is the only one of its kind on the East Coast, which will surely have people of all ages attracted to Franklin's Veteran Memorial Recreational Ski Area."

Admission prices are: $5 general entrance fee, $20 for admission and snow kayaking from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (before the official races begin), and $25 to enter dual races (starting at 3 p.m.). For insurance purposes, kayakers under 18 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times and all kayakers will wear helmets and sign a release of liability agreement.
The event proceeds will benefit the Franklin Outing Club and the Mill City Park at Franklin Falls nonprofit organizations. To become an event sponsor, email
Established in 1960, Veteran's Memorial Recreation Ski Area is a volunteer recreation area run by the Franklin Outing Club. The VMRSA has been holding Winter Carnival events to celebrate this community resource and serve as a fundraiser since a year after the Area's opening. Recently, the VMRSA has expanded its year-round recreational opportunities to include such activities as affordable skiing for families; free skating; free snowmobile and cross-country skiing trails; disc golf; hiking, biking and walking trails; and more. You can learn more about the Veterans Memorial Recreation Ski Area by visiting or, by calling Ellen Coulter at 934-0148.

Established in 2016, Mill City Park at Franklin Falls is a nonprofit adventure park with plans to create a whitewater park, mountain bike pump track, community garden, historic mill ruin trail and event space. Mill City Parks' purpose is to create an iconic outdoor community park through environmental restoration, historic preservation, community sustainability and economic development initiatives. Mill City Park will consist of New England's first whitewater park and mountain bike pump track free for people to use and able to host national and international amateur sports competitions. The park will also include a community garden and historical mill ruin trail providing learning and charitable food opportunities for the region. Learn more about the Mill City Park at Franklin Falls at, by calling Marty Parichand at 931-4775, or by visiting