06/02/2009: "Kayak & Canoe Races"
The San Juan Island Outrigger Canoe and Kayak Club is holding an island-style race series for all human-powered boats. The races will take place at Jackson Beach on the first (as in TODAY: Tuesday, June 2nd, at 5:00pm) and the third Tuesdays of every month from May to August.
Canoeists, kayakers and rowers will take off from the Net Shed at Jackson Beach and race around Dinner Island. Every race is sponsored by a different local restaurant and each week a lucky participant will win a gift certificate to that restaurant Cute idea: Race around Dinner Island to win a dinner.
“This series is intended to be a low-key fun set of races to encourage community participation in kayaking, canoeing and rowing. The community support has been terrific,” said David Halpern, who founded the club less than two years ago. “We asked a few restaurants if they’d sponsor a dinner for people racing around Dinner and they all said sure!”
Sponsors of the event are Blue Water, China Pearl, Golden Triangle, Hungry Clam, Pazzo Vivo, Pepper Mill and Rocky Bay Café. “Hopefully you’ll work up an appetite at the races,” Halpern says. “Win or lose, you know where to eat afterwards.”
And don’t think you have to be a former Olympic Kayaker, as Halpern is, to win a dinner. The race series has been set up to give all participants a shot at the prize. Everyone racing gets a raffle ticket. The fastest male and female each get three extra tickets. Placing second earns you two extra tickets and one extra for third. The winner each week is drawn from all the tickets submitted. In addition, if you win the race in a two-person kayak or a six-person outrigger canoe, everyone in the boat gets the extra tickets.
All human-powered boats are welcome. If you don’t have a boat but want to participate, the club can likely squeeze you into one of its six-person Hawaiian-style outriggers canoes. “We also have a few kayaks that might be available,” Halpern said, “but you’d need to let us know in advance if you’re coming without a boat.”
Though there is no entry fee, there is registration from 5pm to 5:15pm. People are encouraged to get there early and get the boats ready as the races will start promptly at 5:30. Every boat must have a lifejacket on board for each person and everyone should carry a whistle.
The club does not have a safety chase boat but racers are required to assist anyone who happens to capsize. Safety first. Fun second. Then Dinner!