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Competition was lively in Wisconsin River Canoe Races
In Muscoda
Muscoda Canoe Races_
TEAM THREE GENERATION was seen paddling hard and having a good time in the special 'Voyageur Canoe Race' division of the recent Wisconsin River Canoe Races. Young Henry Cupp reported seeing six turtles and two eagles during the paddle.

MUSCODA - It was a beautiful day on the river for the 2022 Muscoda Canoe Races, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin Canoe Racing Association and the Avoca-Blue River-Muscoda Lions Club. 

Water levels in the river were a little low on race day, and that made for a slower run down the course, according to one contestant.

There were three races this year: a 21-mile run, an eight-mile run, and a special Lions Club ‘Voyageur Canoe Contest.’

Muscoda Canoe Races - Calvin Hassel
CALVIN HASSEL, a formidable competitor and multi-times national champion, is seen expertly paddling his C-1 race canoe in the Wisconsin River Canoe Races. Hassel had the fastest time in the 21-mile race division.

The two fastest times in the 21-mile race, were both multi-year contestants. Those were oft-time national champion Calvin Hassel in the single-canoe category, and Dan Goltz and Jaya Ellison in the tandem-canoe category.

Muscoda Canoe Races - Goltz and Ellison
Dan Goltz, WDNR Wildlife Biologist in the Viroqua office, and his paddling partner Jaya Ellison, are seen competing in the 21-mile division race in the Wisconsin River Canoe Races. The two posted the second fastest time in their C-2 race canoe.

Hassel hails from Nebraska, and completed the 21-mile course in a time of two hours, 32 minutes. Tandem team Goltz and Ellison completed the course in a time of two hours, 37 minutes.

“Calvin was kind enough to let us stick with him until the railroad bridge at Lone Rock,” Goltz said of the formidable Hassel.  “Then, he got serious, and dropped us like a dead carp.”

According to some, Goltz has ‘owned’ the race in prior years.

“I don’t think I have ever owned the race,” Goltz responded.  “Last year, my regular paddling partner Judd and I were able to stick with Calvin all day, and even sneak ahead of him before the finish.  A C-2 canoe like ours should be faster than a C-1 canoe like Hassel’s, so that just shows what a beast Calvin is.”

Goltz and Ellison teamed up for the race after Goltz’s regular paddling partner was unable to compete.

“Jaya Ellison is from Burlington, and was planning to race with her partner Fritz Hansen, and I was going to race with my normal partner, Judson Steinback of LaCrosse,” Goltz said.  “Judd let me know he couldn’t make it, and Fritz was nice enough to offer me his seat, so I jumped in with Jaya.  Jaya and I had paddled the course together a week earlier, so it was a good fit and an easy decision.  She is an expert paddler and kept us on a great course down the river.”

The two fastest times in the eight-mile race were both tandem-canoe teams.

The fastest time was Duncan Bathe and Ken Koscik with a time of one hour, one minute, 21 seconds. Second fastest was father-son team Brice and Brandon Berger with a time of one hour, three minutes, 42 seconds.

Muscoda Canoe Races - Team Schneider embarks
Team Schneider is seen at embarkation at the Gotham Boat Landing in the Voyageur Canoe Race division of the Wisconsin River Canoe Races. The team displays the traditional 'paddles up' salute of Voyageur canoeists.

The competition was fierce between the two teams of Voyageur Canoe competitors – Team Three-Generation in the wolf canoe, and Team Schneider in the eagle canoe.

Muscoda Canoe Races - Team Schneider
TEAM SCHNEIDER, paddling in the eagle canoe, was first across the finish line in the special 'Voyageur Canoe Race' division of the Wisconsin River Canoe Races. Team members include, from left, Julius Schneider, Al Anderson, Eric Snyder, Jack Jennetta, and Jackson Newman.

“We’ve changed our name to Team Cupp Crusher,” team leader Julius Schneider said.

Muscoda Canoe Races - three generations
Team Three Generations in the special 'Voyageur Canoe Race' division of the recent Wisconsin River Canoe Races took its name from the three generations of Cupp family men who were part of the team - Mark Cupp, son Samuel Cupp, and grandson Henry Cupp. Other members of the team included Amanda King, Travis Luebe, and Maddie and Ercill Faga.

“They may be calling themselves ‘Cupp Crushers,’ but their team only had one Lions Club member on it,” Mark Cupp said of Team Schneider. “Our team had multiple Lions Club members, and isn’t a nefarious bunch of Richland Center types.”

Safe to say, it was a beautiful day, and a good time was had by all. Following the race, contestants gathered to enjoy a tasty lunch provided by the Muscoda Lions. Diners enjoyed succulent pulled pork, with beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and the beverage of their choice.

Timm Zumm of Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway (FLOW) provided ‘safety boat’ services, accompanied by a friend Steve Wolk of Spring Green.