Some wackiness going on before annual raft race

By Alvaro E. Alarcon
Hudson Valley Newspapers

Copied from an article in the The Daily Mail printed in late June or early July of 2006.

There’s a bit of intrigue involved with the July 16 Rip Van Winkle’s Wacky Raft Race, according to Marge Stabile of Greene County Tourism Promotion Department.

In the race, starting at 11 am. in Riverfront Park in Athens and ending at Dutchmen’s Landing in Catskill, teams build human-powered rafts and compete. Teams can be sponsored in amounts varying from $250 to $1,000, all set to benefit Ulster-Greene ARC Foundation, which assists people with epilepsy, autism, Down's syndromc and other conditions.

Stabile has been receiving a set of e-mails from somebody called “Someone who Knows, and Edward Strohsahl of Saugerties, both claiming to be from the Maiden Yacht Club, a local club of kayakers. The club’s Web site is

We’ve planted a mole [a common term in spycraft] ... a double-agent," Strohsahl admitted during a phone call to his office Friday, quipping, however, that everything in his club is all fun and joking around. “We’re really going for wacky here,” he added, later saying, “I’m not going to tell who the informant is”

“There has been some rumblings among the group that we may have a spy in our midst; you haven’t heard anything to confirm that, have you?" Strohsahl wrote in an e-mail to Stabile Wednesday.

Stabile received another e-mail on June 19, from Someone who Knows and referred to that person as a type of “Deep Throat” like that of Watergate.

“I may be able to help by leaking sensitive information to you from time to time." Someone who Knows wrote.

Later, in an e-mail on June 22, Someone who Knows describes the Malden club as "dysfunctional," yet at the same time the person admitted to being in the kayaking group’s innercircle and being privy to secrets.

"They're all wacky rafters,” Athens Mayor David Riley said, although he was unaware of the e-mails to Stabile.

He's not a race participant but he does go down to the water to watch the start.

The race brings the community together, the mayor said. "It's a lot of fun. Everybody's in a happy, cheerful mood."

“We really want this to he a huge success,’ Stabile said.

The last day to enter the race has been extended to July 13, To register, contact the tourism department at 943-3223.

“We are doing this to make sure all the wacky people out there can enter the race said Daniela Marino department director.