For Hometown News
SEBASTIAN - The annual paddling race on the St. Sebastian River, "Up the River with a Paddle," will bring together recreational and competitive paddlers, kayakers, canoers, stand-up paddle boarders and anyone who can make it up the river with a paddle.
Organizers aim to draw paddlers of all ages and skill levels from around the state.
The event will be held Nov. l7 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Dale Wimbrow Park, 11805 Roseland Road in Sebastian.
Proceeds will benefit By the River, the Treasure Coast's independent, residential community for low-income seniors, founded by internationally known spiritual teacher, Ma Jaya. The race is sanctioned by the American Canoe Association and hosted by Florida Outdoor Center.
"We're looking forward to lots of friendly competition on the water. Last year's event was a lot of fun for everyone and very exciting," said Joe Coakley, board member of By the River.
"We hope this event will stir the emotions of everyone for the need to assist seniors who are in need of affordable housing in Indian River County."
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., but advanced registration is suggested.
Individual and tandem races kick-off at l0 a.m., with short and long distances, such as parent/child, kids fun, masters 50 plus and elite categories, as well as the "Beat Mike Beck Challenge" for cash prizes. Mr. Beck is a former member of the U.S.A. national kayaking team and Guiness world record holder in 24-hour kayaking.
Team races in a six-man elephant canoe bring lots of excitement, when teams from local businesses, organizations and groups compete for the title of best team in the county.
Last year's event brought a nail-biting finish when two teams tied and had to race again to gain the championship. Nurse On Call won the competition.
The event is free and open to the public, who are welcome to enjoy the food, festivities and entertainment and cheer on their favorite racers.
Entry fees begin at $5 for kids under l4, $35 for individual adult racers and up for team competitions. Entry fee discounts will be given to ACA members (and includes ACA insurance for all racers).
Those who register prior to the event will receive a free event T-shirt and swag bag.
For more information on signing up for the races or to donate, sponsor or volunteer, please contact Florida Outdoor Center at (772) 202-0220 or Bhagavati Hausman at By the River at (772) 913-5144 and www.BytheRiver.org.
To register, visit www.flocracing.com/13.html.