Spring officially has sprung. And how does one know that, for sure? Well, the fact that the popular St. George River Race celebrated its 40th anniversary on Saturday, March 30 indicates as much.

Under cloudy skies with air temperatures in the mid-40s, paddlers in canoes, kayaks and even one on a stand-up paddleboard worked their way down the cold, high and fast river to christen the new whitewater season.

As usual, there were plenty of spills and chills for those whose craft could not remain upright.

Watch video and see 150 photos below.

Ultimately, 109 craft carrying 173 paddlers made the treacherous trek down the boulder- and branch-filled liquid gauntlet.

Kayker Ben Randall of Sabattus finished the course with the fastest time in 40 minutes and 58 seconds.

The popular, much-anticipated Waldo County YMCA-sponsored river race events are timeless rites of spring — and begin the state's historic paddle season.

The 40th annual St. George River Race was Saturday, March 30, a trek that began at the Searsmont Methodist Church on Route 131 and finished in Appleton.

The race started at the St. George Bridge in Searsmont Village, before three miles of dead water, one mile of rapids, two miles of dead water and curves with one Class III drop. This race has Class II and III rapids — plus or minus depending on the water level.

The 46th annual Passagasawakeag (Passy) River Race is Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at the Littlefield Farm in Waldo. Registration is 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and the cost is $20 per paddler.

That race starts at the Littlefield Farm, then one mile of flat water with many curves, passes under a cement bridge, then one mile of flat water, followed by a short stretch of Class I rapids, two miles of flat water to Rolerson's Bridge and then Class I, II and III whitewater for one and a half miles before a flat-water finish.

There was concern the river might not be ice-free for the "Passy" race, but that issue has been alleviated and the event is on.

For more information, call Karen Varney at 207-338-4598 or email her at kvarney@waldocountyymca.org.

The results, with paddlers' town of residence listed if available, from the St. George River Race were:

Century — 1, Chip Loring, Old Town, and Ander Thibaud, Mount Desert Island, 48:50; 2, Mike Bridges, Appleton, and Sue Conover, Camden, 51:45; 3, Hughes Kraft, Cape Elizabeth, and John Lightner, Belfast, 55:45; and 4, Tim Pease and Brad Flannery, 1:03:38.

Clydesdale — 1, Rick Farnsworth, Portland, and Morgan Baxter, Gorham, 49:13; 2, Dan Littlefield, Belfast, and Greg Dorr, Bangor, 49:48.00; and 3, Frank Pavalkis, Northport, and Jacob Newcomb, Waldoboro, did not finish.

College —1, Kellen Doyle, Orono, and Tess McNamara, Eliot, 53:43.

High school — 1, Lincoln Graf, Searsmont, and Brigham Graf, Searsmont, 1:01.59; and 2, Jack Burke, Newburgh,  and Heron Wagner, Hampden, 1:03:08.

Junior/Senior ages 12 and under — 1, Matt Dingle, Rockport, and Ethan Dingle, Rockport, 48:56; 2, Andy Price, Portland, and Alex Price, Portland, 57:33; 3, James Pearson, Appleton, and Odin Pearson, Appleton, 1:01;05; and 4, Lee Graf, Searsmont, and Greta Graf, Searsmont, 1:03:01.

Junior/Senior ages 13 and older — 1, Andre de Lannee, Orono, and Jeff Owen, Orono, 47:41; 2, Eric Taylor, Bangor, and Gilman Taylor, Bangor, 54:10; 3, Glen Widmer, Montville, and Isaac Widmer, Montville, 54:21; 4, Dan Kelley, Corinth, and Colby Kelley, Corinth, 55:27; 5, Aaron Winslow, Belmont, and Kayden Richards, Belfast, 55:51; 6, John Dietter, Rockport, and Oliver Dietter, Rockport, 58:25; and 7, Nathan Harrington, Brooks, and Isaac Harrington, Brooks, 1:02:20.

Kayak — 1, Ben Randall, Sabattus, 40:58; 2, Hank Thorburn, Harpswell, 42:11; 3, Bryan McCarthy, Hope, 43:05; 4, Andrew Cooper, Orrs Island, 44:01; 5, Justin Varney, Northport, 46:05; 6, Ray Wirth, Monroe, 50:26; and 7, Ben Fuller, Cushing, 52:32.

Kayak short — 1, Brian Foley, Orono, 47:54; 2, Jay Baltes, Brunswick, 49:50; 3, Dan Beaumert, Levant, 50:30; 4, Mark Bamford, Bucksport, 51:34; 5, Larry Merrill, Orrington, 52:34; 6, Glenn Montgomery, Belfast, 55:28; and 7, Matt Jamison, Hampden, did not finish.

Kayak women — 1, Jess Stirling, Richmond, 54:03; 2, Aili Hartikka, Bath, 1:08:04; 3, Alexandra Home, Hampden, did not finish; and 5, Jennifer Bambrick, Levant, did not finish.

Kayak weekend warrior — 1, Jeff Sands, Dexter, 48:33; 2, Chris Clarke, Thomaston, 49:16; 3, Chris Steiner, Thomaston, 54:53; 4, Mark Gaffney, 59:17; 5, Chris Schreiber, Tenants Harbor, 1:02:46; and 6, Justin Diamond, Searsport, 1:21:37.

OC1 — 1, Rod McLain, Stockton Springs, 43:05; 2, Barry Dana, Solon, 46:00; 3, Chris Dalton, 50:54; 4, Bill Deighan, Newburgh, 51:29; 5, Nolan Steele, Hope, 52:20; 6, Brian Battista, Parsonsfield, 53:01; 7, Dick Kelley, Brewer, 53:04; 8, David Stearns, 54:14; 9, R.W. Estella, Bangor, 57:05; and 10, Craig Cunningham, Kennebunk, 1:01:43.

OC1R — 1, Chris Corey, Topsham, 45:09; 2, Rick Gause, North Yarmouth, 50:48; 3, Jake Feener, Patten, 52:32; 4, Jeff Dick, Newcastle, 1:01:08; 5, Hank Walker, 1:01:30; 6, Alan Stearns, Hallowell, 1:04:14; 7, Erik Pearson, Richmond, 1:06:05; and 8, John Picone, Bangor, 1:18:02.

OC1W — 1, Sarah Quaintance, 58:08.

OC2M — 1, Nolan Mabee, Bangor, and James Mabee, Bangor, 44:27; 2, Ashton Mabee, Bangor, and Clayton Cole, Corinth, 45:35; and 3, Damon Galipeau, Indian Island, and Apemesim Galipeau, Indian Island, 45:35.

OC2 mix — 1, Eric Gallandt and Ellen Mallory, 46:49.

OC2 mix rec — 1, Caitlin May, Belfast, and Aaron Cross, Morrill, 48:00; 2, Nicole Grohoski, Ellsworth, and Shaun Burke, Ellsworth, 48:40; 3, Robert Martin, Dedham, and Ellen Hall, Bangor, 49:09; 4, Bess Koffman, Waterville, and Noah Pollock, Waterville, 50:27; 5, Christian Halstead, Searsmont, and Emily Jolliffe, Searsmont, 50:37; 6, Sarah Dingle, Rockport, and Max Dingle, Rockport, 51:18; 7, Alivia Moore, Newport, and Terry Wescott, Thorndike, 53:34; 8, Tom Moriarty, Milford, and Meghan Kennedy, Bristol, 53:27; 9, Johnson Whippie, Westport Island, and Becca Abuza, Wiscasset, 53:40; 10, River Robertson, Eliot, and Abby Robertson, Eliot, 54:38; 11, Martin Hamilton, Medford, and Margaret Hughes, Washington, 57:09; 12, Erica Buswell, Searsport, and Scott Giroux, Searsport, 57:56; 13, Noah Kolodji and Libby Washburn, 1:00:41; 14, Edgar Lamb, Orono, and Madilyn Terrill, Hallowell,1:00:48; 15, Caitlin Powell, Harborside, and Jon Doty, Farmington, 1:02:02; 16, Sean Kluttz, Portland, and Jade Kluttz, Portland, 1:02:50; 17, Daisy Drinkwater, Orono, and Kell Fremouw, Orono,1:03:09; and 18, Matt Jacobson, Camden, and Erin Jackson, Camden, 1:21:36.

OC2RM — 1, Mark Ranco, Bangor, and Chris Francis, Bangor, 44:33; 2, Brian Wagner and Kevin Coombs, Belfast, 50:02; 3, D.W. Smith, Lamoine, and David Lee, Hancock, 50:16; 4, Richard May, Belfast, and James Seymour, Portland, 52:08; 5, Ben Potter and Aaron King, 53:36; 6, Bob McDonough, Bangor, and Aiden McDonough, Bangor, 55:45; 7, Adam Williams and Ryan Marquez, 56:30; and 8, Chris Michael, Camden, and Abe Goodale, Camden, 1:34:38.

OC2RS — 1, Christain Andrus, Hope, and Larry Turner, Camden, 49:09; 2, Kate Ziminsky, Freeport, and Greg Shute, Alna, 50:02; 3, Nick Bambrick, Levant, and Edmond Hatch, Hermon, 55:07; 4, Joe McGowan and True Bragg, 55:40; 5, Scott Howell, Blue Hill, and Ian Howell, Blue Hill, 56:55; and 6, Robert Hanscome, Bar Harbor, and Adam Sawyer, Trenton, 59:35.

OC2W — 1, Peggy McKee, Bangor, and Hannah Rubin, Bangor, 50:56; 2, Jen Adams, Westport, and Hannah Baggs, Westport Island, 58:07; and 3, Nadejda Stanicoff, Camden, and Annie Bailey, Tenants Harbor, 1:24:23.

OC2WW — 1, Maria Povec, Rockport, and Josh Povec, Rockport, 53:00; 2, David Conover, Camden, and Lucy Green, Nobleboro, 57:30; 3, Dominic Gioia, Camden, and Colin Malone, Hope, 57:37; 4, Shaun Roberts, West Bath, and Ron Roberts, Embden, 58:37; and 5, Alan Bragg, Rockport, and Tyler Pearse, Hope, 1:06:09.

Paddleboard — 1, Emmanuel Boss, 1:02.57.

The following are classifications for the races:

Kayak short (KS): Kayaks up to and including 13 feet 4 inches.

Kayak (KW): Any length.

Kayak (K): Kayaks 13-5 and above.

Kayak Weekend Warrior (KWW): For beginner and intermediate kayakers.

Open Canoe Racing (OC1): One person.

Open Canoe Recreational (OC1R): One person.

Open Canoe Racing or Recreational (OC1W): One woman.

Open Canoe Racing (OC2M): Two-person racing canoes 16-6t o 18-6.

Open Canoe Mixed (OC2Mix): One male, one female in race-length canoe.

Open Canoe Recreational (OC2MixRec): One male, one female, recreational canoe.

Open Canoe Recreational Short (OC2RS): Two-person canoes under 16-6.

Open Canoe Recreational Medium (OC2RM): Two-person canoes 16-6 to18-6.

Open Canoe Weekend (OC2WW): Two person (for beginner and intermediate paddlers).

Open Canoe Two Women (OC2W): Any length canoe.

Open Canoe Recreation Junior/Senior (OC2Jr/Sr Rec): One adult, one child (12 years or younger).

Open Canoe Recreation Junior/Senior (OC2Jr/Sr Rec): One adult, one junior ages 13-16.

Century Recreation — Two person, combined ages more than 100 recreational boat.

High School — Two high school students, recreational boat.

College (KW, KM, OC2, OC1W, OC1M) — Recreational crafts only.

Clydesdale —Two person, combined weight over 425 pounds.