If you have previous canoe and/or kayak experience then you won’t want to miss participating in the 2016 Grand River Canoe & Kayak Race taking place on Saturday, April 23.
Sponsored by the Lake Metroparks, the 8.5 mile race on the wild and wonderful Grand River starts at the Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark in Harpersfield in Ashtabula County and concludes at Hidden Valley Park in Madison Township. Awards will go to the top three finishers in each race category. Participants must declare a race class.
Classes in the Canoe Division include Novice A (combined age of 65 and younger), Novice B (combined age of 65 and older), Over & Under ( one participant 15 years and younger and the other participant is 18 or older), Coed, Pleasure (all canoes, non-racing type) and Master (age 40 and older).
Classes in the Kayak Division include Women’s Solo Kayak, Men’s Down River (longer than 14 feet), Men’s Kayak (14 feet or shorter), Double Kayak and Non-Conforming (race for time only and not awards).
All participants may also want to compete in the annual Maddest Hat Contest. Design a hat and wear your river-worthy headgear and the most creative headgear will win a prize. You must wear the hat during the entire race and the hats must fit under the bridges you encounter during the race.
Participants must have previous canoe and kayak experience and must be at least 10 years of age. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The first canoes and kayaks will depart at 9 a.m. leaving at one minute intervals. The last boat will depart at 10 a.m.
Shuttles will be provided to and from the start line and finish line from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (or the completion of the race). Special Note: Personal flotation devices (life jackets) must be worn by all racers at all times during the race or the racer will be disqualified. In case of inclement weather or high water, Lake Metroparks reserves the right to postpone or cancel this event.
Cost is $12 per person if you pre-register by April 21 and $20 per person on the day of the event. Call 440-256-2118 for more information or to pre-register. You can also pre-register for the Grand River Canoe & Kayak Race online at www.lakemetroparks.com.
The Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark is located near the intersection of Interstate 90 and State Route 534 (the exit for Geneva-on-the-Lake). Go south on Route 534 to the intersection of Route 307. Turn right and then left at the next intersection. It is approximately a one hour drive from Cleveland.