The weekend before last I headed to the New Haven Race in Bristol, Vt., in hopes of photographing some of Vermont’s rarely documented local paddlers. This particular mission was especially exciting to me as traveling to Vermont always gives me a real sense of being in the mountains. The rivers there are steep, the people are friendly, and it’s not often you see portraits of the local paddlers at their home run for the unique, two-lap Ledges race. The time-trial race starts from a ramp next to the road and extends just over a half-mile to 15-foot Toaster Falls. Each racer is allowed two laps. In the end, Tino Specht claimed both the creek- and longboat titles with blistering times pushing the four-minute mark. There was something else unique, however, off the water, beyond the race times, that keeps bringing me back north. I can’t put my finger on it, so I tried to capture it in the faces of the passionate racers who call this stretch home.

Click HERE to see more of Martin’s recent photos
And HERE to see more photos from last year’s Ledges race
And HERE to see the full results.

Nick Gottlieb_New Haven River Local_" I live 15 min away!"
Nick Gottlieb, New Haven local: “I’m lucky I live 15 minutes away!”

MIke Macdonald_"I enjoy the socail aspect of this river"
Mike MacDonald: “I enjoy the social aspect of this river.”

Vermont Kayaking
Hugh Pritchard, previous New Haven Ledges race winner: “I love the continuousness of this river. You stay focused the whole way down.”

Vermont Kayaking
Daphnee Tuzlak, the only female racer: “My favorite section of the river is below Toaster … ”

© scott martin-8609 copy
Scott Gilbert, previous New Haven Ledges Race Winner: “I grew up close to the New Haven River. It’s one of my favorites.”

Michael Mainer_ "The New Haven River is my after work run, it's great!"
Michael Mainer: “The New Haven River is my after work run … it’s great!”

Vermont Kayaking
Jackie the dog: “I love all the attention!”