RUMSON WOMAN DIES KAYAKING IN MAINE

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The body of Susan Wakelin of Rumson was found early Tuesday morning off Deer Isle, Maine, seven hours after she’d been reported missing from a nighttime kayak outing, according to reports.

The Asbury Park Press, which ran a wire story, gives Wakelin’s age as 60, while the Star-Ledger report says she was 65. The Ledger says Wakelin was visiting for the summer and was enroute to her mother’s home when she failed to appear Monday night.

According to both accounts, Wakelin was wearing a life vest but not cold-water survival gear. The water temperature was 56 degrees. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

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STROKIN!

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Crews from Red Bank-based Navesink River Rowing are among the more than 3,000 rowers from 36 countries competing in this weekend’s FISA World Masters Rowing Regatta at Mercer County Park in West Windsor.

In 33 years of the Masters competition, this is only the second time the regatta has been held in the United States. The park’s lake, Mercer Lake, is the training site for the U.S. national rowing team that will compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Rudy Larini of the Star-Ledger has a page-one story today focusing on the eldest competitors, some of whom are well into their eighties.

The event began on Thursday and continues today and tomorrow.

Please click on the image above to enlarge.

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BORN TO ROW?

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Maybe Red Bank-based Navesink River Rowing, which is always looking for a good strong back, should give Bruce Springsteen a call.

The Star-Ledger’s MaryAnn Spoto has a story on Springsteen taking a stab at rowing a lifeguard boat in the ocean off the Manasquan Inlet on Tuesday.

Springsteen was at the ‘Squan beach to help the town celebrate the 75th anniversary of the re-opening of the inlet. Why? Because, well, what else is there to do on a Tuesday in August when both the Seeger Sessions tour and the Monmouth County Horse Show are over?

Anyway, from the article:

Janet Carbin, assistant chief guard for Manasquan beaches, said Springsteen took her up on her offer to try rowing a surfboat in the ocean off Manasquan Inlet beach.

“He thought it was hysterical,” Carbin said after the row. “I talked about my kids, he talked about a couple of things.”

But mostly in the 10-minute ocean venture, she gave him instructions on how to row, telling him to put more of his back into the effort rather than using his arms, she said.

After the row, he wandered around the crowds on the esplanade along the inlet. Wearing a white T-shirt, maroon Birdwell boardshorts and a baseball cap, Springsteen shook hands with those who recognized him and posed for photographs.

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BRUCE THE DAD

Rumsonite/Colts Neckian Bruce Springsteen accompanied his 14-year-old daughter, Jessica, to a horse-jumping competition in Saugerties, N.Y., recently.

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She did well. Even won $780.

Dad had dinner three nights in a row at the same restaurant in nearby Kingston, at least once with the missus, Patti Scialfa. Ate chicken and pasta, if you must know.

The Kingston Daily Freeman has all the details.

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ANOTHER GEORGE SHEEHAN, CLASSIC

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redbankgreen called George Sheehan Jr. a couple of Saturdays ago to find out what he was up to. First words out of his mouth: “I’m in my underwear getting ready to change into my shorts for a run.”

Well, thanks for putting that picture into our heads, George.

So why bring it up? Not to ruin your breakfast, or Sheehan’s, but because on reflection, it seems fitting here. Sheehan, you see, is a running pioneer of sorts, one old enough to have been derided as a “man in his underwear” when he did his training runs in the 1960s. And thanks to men and women like Sheehan who shrugged off such taunts, millions of people could later run through the streets of America without hearing any snide comments about underwear.

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DOC, IT’S MY LEGS!

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No question, the George Sheehan Classic is still an important event for Red Bank, bringing in several thousand participants and onlookers who spread around some cash and create a festive vibe in town for nearly 24 hours.

This year’s edition, the 13th since the old Asbury Park 10K was moved here and renamed for Doc Sheehan, will be run Saturday morning, augmented as usual by a popular a “runner’s expo” in Marine Park both Friday night and after the race.

It’s still one of the premier road races in this region, attracting world-class runners. And Broad Street takes on a completely different complexion with all those scantily-clad, sweaty runners embracing one another after conquering Tower Hill.

But let’s face it, Old George hasn’t got the freshest legs.

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JAZZIN’ ON THE RIVER

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Alternating drizzles and downpours made the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival a damp and occasionally drenching affair for a good part of the weekend.

But Saturday afternoon’s rain ended just in time for Toni Lynn Washington’s walloping show before a sparse crowd. "I don’t need no doctor," she sang, "cuz I know what’s ailin’ me…."

The sun finally broke through the clouds on Sunday, bringing out throngs and giving the festival a nice upbeat finish.

But oh, what might have been, right?