The Indy 500 of Paddle Racing
We toured the “pre-race” pit area where paddlers were making final preparations to their boats and gear.
Whoa… what’s this? We took this as a good omen for our 2 week expedition. We must look them up after the race.
The start of the race begins on Main Street. Racers line-up and run to their boats, ala LeMans style. The pre-race ceremonies where all the racers are introduced along with speeches by sponsors and city officials happen here. It really had that small town feel.
At 12:30 p.m. (GPS time) THE’RE OFF!
Team BAB (The Big-Ass-Boat team as we called them) were the first out of the chute. They wasted no time in taking the lead. Their rhythm and timing seemed to be perfect.
The goal here is not to get injured before arriving at your boat. There are a lot of miles to paddle and getting injured on Main Street before getting into your boat would be detrimental to the final objective.
Yet, there were others who take the race as a personal challenge to just finish in 3 days.
Watercrafts of all types and classes were there. Canoes, kayaks, double kayaks, homemade boats, etc…
We wished them all luck from the shore. In a couple of days we will follow. It will take us 2 weeks.
It was great to see and talk with racers from all walks of life. Perhaps the most interesting was the team from England who had a paraplegic and a blind man on their team. The race isn’t done for the money (the prizes are small). Most raise money for charities while many, do it just for the personal challenge. Someday, perhaps, we may join them.