Nooksack River looks to be 'just right' for Ski to Sea

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 23, 2014 

Canoeists readying for the Ski to Sea race Sunday, May 25, can expect conditions on the Nooksack River to be just right.

"There's adequate flow. It's not too high and not too low, so we'll be all right," Race Director Pete Coy said. "It's in the Goldilocks zone, just right."

The seven-leg relay race that is Ski to Sea covers about 93 miles from Mt. Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay. Racers compete on everything from snow to roadways to trails to water.

Covering 181/2 miles, the canoe leg begins at Riverside Park in Everson and ends at Hovander Homestead Park near Ferndale.

Conditions have been tricky in previous years, with the river running high and fast in some years and lower and slower in others.

There may be a few snags in the river that canoeists need to avoid, Coy said, but those will be discussed with racers on race day. Each leg of the relay has day-of-race meetings to review the course with participants.

Up on the mountain, the snow also looks OK.

Last year's race was marred by heavy rain, which left many racers competing in the first few legs on the mountain feeling miserable.

"It couldn't help but improve," Coy said of the weather for race day this year.

There's a 60 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the low 60s, according to weather forecasts.

Coy expected some showers but also partial clearing.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com .

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