Thanks to Mother Nature’s lack of serving up frozen or the liquid form of H20 over the winter and early spring, paddlers on the Passagassawakeag River April 7 were, at times, not sure if they were coming or going.

For the second straight week, Waldo County YMCA race officials were forced to adapt to low water conditions, this time changing the traditional route of a nearly four-decade long event and having paddlers work down and then back up the river to the finish.

That was the scenario which faced canoeists and kayakers in the 39th annual Passagassawakeag River Race Saturday. This year’s race was the “Passy Shootout” on a course of about 4.5 miles.

Paddlers began at the bridge at the Littlefield Farm on the Savage Road, the same start as previous years. Racers met this year’s new challenge as they headed down stream for 2.5 miles. There they were directed by a race official to turn around at a buoy station and head back up stream.

There was one mandatory portage on the return upstream, around the Snowmobile Bridge drop. Racers exited to the right, which was marked with surveyors tape. Once they finished the portage they reentered the river to finish at the bridge on Poors Mill Road.

The race attracted 146 paddlers in 81 crafts. Jeff Sands of Bangor had the fastest time over the course, padding his kayak to a time of 32 minutes and 45 seconds.

“The race went really great,” said Dale Cross, YMCA director and race organizer. “[It] turned out to be unique, fun and really challenging.”

It was the first time Cross and his staff had to change the course to make paddlers go up and back due to too low water.

This year the event was shorted and paddlers worked down and back up the river, which was not as difficult as it normally would be due to the lack of a strong, high runoff.

Maine Sport Outfitters provided racers a hot dog lunch. The race was sponsored by Viking Lumber, Camden National Bank, Zaveral Racing Equipment, Old Town Canoe, Maine Sport Outfitters, Inner Sense Screen Printing, O’Donalds Concrete, Pepsico, J.T. Rosborough, Inc. and Hannaford.

The course usually starts at the Littlefield Farm. The first mile usually is flatwater with many curves. The course passes under a cement bridge to another mile of flat water followed by a short stretch of Class II rapids, then a two-mile stretch of flat water to the Rolerson’s bridge, then Class I, II and III whitewater for a mile and a half, leading to a flatwater stretch to the finish.

A mild winter with less than normal snowfall, and little subsequent spring run off, made the second canoe/kayak race of the 2012 season a different event.

That was true for the 190 paddlers in 111 crafts March 31 during the 33rd annual St. George River Race, which started in Searsmont and finished in Appleton.

The races were the first early-season canoe/kayak events, both sponsored by the Waldo County YMCA.

The individual results from the Passy race were:

Century (two person, combined ages of more than 100 years) — 1, Rick O’Donald, Newburgh, and Paul Brown, Belfast, 40:59.

Century Rec (two person, combined ages of more than 100 years, recreation boat) — 1, Clint Cushman, Hodgdon, and Peter Blood, Houlton, 37:39; 2, Dan Merrill, Stockton Springs, and Al Beeson, Bucksport, 44:08; 3, Doug Introne, Orono, and Chris Mares, Orono, 49:02; and 4, Bob Miller, Harmony, and Tom Moriarty, Milford, 49:38.

Clydesdale (two person, combined weight of more than 425 pounds) — 1, Mark Risinger, Newburgh, and Elijah Hughes, Bangor, 50:07.

College (recreation craft only) — 1, Alex Introne, Orono, and Grant Mullen, Falmouth, 41:26.

High School (two high school students, recreational boat) — 1, Christopher Introne and Dan Perry, Orono, and Ben Koehler and Schuyler Collett, Orono, 35:13; 2, Yuval Boss, Orono, and Calvin Hamilton, Orono, 42:15; 3, Joseph Desisto, Orono, and Laurie Hamilton, Orono, 42:23; 4, Mitchell Bartlett, Danforth, and Kenneth Winiarski, Forest Twp, 44:57; 5, Isaac McKillen-Godfried, Orono, and Ethan Vienneau, Milford, 51:02; 6, Chelsea Winiarski, Forest Twp, and Kim Stoddard, Danforth, 57:27; 7, Adreanna Phillips, and Philip Farley, 58:23; and 8, Bayleigh Rowe, and Cassidy Woo, 59:20.

Jr/Sr 12 and under (open canoe recreation, one adult, one child age 12 and younger) — 1, J.D. Burke, Newburgh, and Brady Burke, Newburgh, 46:38; 2, Bucky Owen, Orono, and Katie Owen, Orono, 53:22; and 3, Michael Bigos, Auburn, and Harrison Bigos-Lowe, Auburn, 1:00:54.

Junior/Senior 13-16 (open canoe recreation, one adult, one child age 13-16) — 1. Aaron Winslow, Belmont, and Jackson Winslow, Belmont, 44:47; 2, Terry Wescott, Thorndike, and Zachary Murray, 44:54; 3, Don Cross, Morrill, and Andrew Cross, Morrill, 48:17; 4, Bridget Winslow, Belmont, and Grant Starrett, Belfast, 50:59; and 5, Anna Simmons, Morrill, and Scott Thrasher, Madison, 55:33.

Kayak (kayaks 13 feet 5 inches and longer) — 1, Sands, Bangor, 32:45; 2, Ray Wirth, Belfast, 34:43; 3, Glenn Montgomery, Belfast, 43:11; and 4, Nathan Harrington, Knox, 44:35.

Kayak (two person) — 1, Emmanual Boss, Orono, and Hai Boss, Orono, 1:22:03; and 2, Brian Rahill, Orono, and Ella Allan-Rahill, Orono, 1:22:58 .

Kayak (weekend warriors, beginners and intermediates) — 1, Morgan Clifford, Brooks, 52:34; and 2, Matt Pyzynski, Bangor, 53:22.

Kayak (kayaks up to 13-4) — 1, Bruce Weik, Freedom, 35:43; 2, Ben Randall, Sabattus, 39:05; 3, Dan Kelley, Bucksport, 39:47; 4, William Hegstrom, Brooks, 40:46; 5, Mark Bamford, Bucksport, 41:53; 6, Dick Hanson, Orrington, 42:45; 7, John Carter, Surry, 44:26; 8, Larry Merrill, Orrington, 45:32; and 9, Steven Harrington, Knox, 47:02.

Kayak Women (any length craft) — 1, Leslie Gregory, Swanville, 42:40; and 2, Jessica Pyzynski, Bangor, 57:53.

OC1 (open canoe racing, one person) — 1, Bill Deighan, Newburgh, 38:03; and 2, Bob Martin, Dedham, 38:55.

OC1R (open canoe recreation, one person) — 1, Brian Battista, Parsonsfield, 39:47; 2, Greg Shute, Alna, 43:09; 3, Chris Dalton, Bangor, 43:44; 4, Mike Kelley, Carmel, 44:44; 5, DW Smith, Lamoine, 45:09; 6, Bob Winslow, Belfast, 48:19; 7, Jason Cross, Hampden, 52:14; and 8, Dan Cassidy, Bangor, 57:12.

OC1W (open canoe racing or recreation, one woman) — 1, Susannah Owen, Orono, 1:05:20.

OC2M (open canoe racing, two person, 16-6 to 18-6) — 1, Tommy Owen, Orono, and Jeff Owen, Orono, 34:38; and 2, Dick Kelley, Brewer, and Brian Kelley, Brewer, 36:59.

OC2Mix (open canoe mixed, one male, one female in race length canoe) — 1, Priscilla Reinertsen, Contoocook, N.H., and Al Paradise, Pittsfield, N.H., 39:59; and 2, Dale Cross, Morrill, and Caitlin Cross, Morrill, 41:35.

OC2MixRec (open canoe recreation, one male, one female) — 1, Chip Loring, Old Town, Ander Thibaud, Mount Desert, 38:52; 2, Eliza Stoll, Newburgh, and Tom Cronkite, Monson, 41:17; 3, Bob Mitchell, Buxton, and Sandra Mitchell, Buxton, 45:37; 4, Ashley Rosborough, Bar Harbor, and Mark Rosborough, Ellsworth, 46:23; 5, Mike Belliveau, Old Town, and Dianne Kopec, Old Town, 54:12; and 6, Fiona Sorensen Hamilton, Orono, and Grodon Hamilton, Orono, 54:31.

OC2RM (open canoe recreational medium, two person, canoes 16-6 to 18-6) — 1, Gary Martin, Hampden, and Matt Morin, Orrington, 35:08; 2, Aaron Cross, Morrill, and Cliff Littlefield, Morrill, 37:08; 3, Clayton Cole, Corinth, and Justin Wardwell, Hampden, 38:13; 4, Christopher Deane, Canaan, and John Goulet, Bradford, 38:23; 5, Justin Varney, Northport, and Evan Hutchins, Swanville, 40:38; 6, Eric Taylor, Dedham, and Aseidas Blauvelt, Ellsworth, 41:27; and 7, Dave Conley, Weston, and James Berry, Weston, 48:50.

OC2RS (open canoe recreation short, two person, canoes shorter than 16-6) — 1, Brad Krog, Bowdoin, and Dawn Krog, Bowdoin, 41:07; 2, David Cassidy, Bangor, and Tom Cassidy, Glenburn, 41:08; 3, Caleb Heffuer, Bar Harbor, and Tim Billings, Seal Harbor, 45:26; 4, Jeff Chase, Bowdoin, and Doug Lakin, Unity, 45:35; 5, Jon Thurston, Searsmont, and Glen Widmer, Montville, 45:35; and 6, Justin Kinney, Cumberland, and Arren Pesot, Crouseville, 45:59 .

OC2W (open canoe, two women, any length canoe) — 1, Tammy Kelley, Lamoine, and Lori Pearly, Hampden, 48:29; and 2, Kailey Schmidt, Orono, and Samantha Nadeau, Orono, 51:02.

OC2WW (open canoe, weekend warriors, two person for beginners and intermediates) — 1, Lyndon Whitcomb, Morrill, and Andrew Plessner, Morrill, 47:53; and 2, Jiawei Zou, Orono, and Dan Baumert, Levant, 51:31.

Courier Publications Sports Director Ken Waltz can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at kwaltz@villagesoup.com.