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Sunday, July 4, 1999 -- Alderson
White Water Canoe Race
Story & photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Results]

Canoes on the Greenbrier
Perry/Humphreys has the advantage on Absher/Ross late in the race
The always popular Alderson 4th of July celebration set the stage for the 18th Annual White Water Canoe Race on Saturday afternoon, July 4th. A seven mile stretch of the Greenbrier River awaited the two-person teams competing in open canoes. They were racing from Fort Spring to the Alderson Mini Park where many more shorter canoe races were being held in conjunction with a full weekend of 4th of July festivities.

The afternoon air was stifling with the hot weather and low water levels ensuring that this would be no easy race. Pulling the canoes through several shallow sections of river was going to be a must. But, at least the chance to get in the water on several occasions might bring some relief from the relentless sun.

Stoddard Brothers
The Stoddard brothers doing their best to catch the leaders
Back to defend his title from the previous year's race Bubby Stoddard was racing with his brother Matt. Also back to do battle was the 1998 runner-up team of Lee and Leroy Meadows. From the very start it was these two teams vying for the 1999 winners trophy. With the winning teams in previous years racing down the river in under an hour, this year's low water meant teams would be spending a little more time out on the river.

Lee Meadows
Lee Meadows displays his battle scars from a hard earned victory
With the Meadows team constantly holding a small edge over the Stoddard team, the racers made their way down river. The racing was brutal as the sun beat down and the exposed rocks constantly made navigation difficult. At the finish line, it was the Meadows team holding on to their lead to take first overall in 1:22:26. Just two minutes back, the Stoddard team crossed the line at 1:24:29 to take second overall. But, you can be sure Bubby will be back next year to fight hard in his his bid to regain the Alderson Canoe Race bragging rights.