Whether people prefer to stand or sit, race or recreate, Savannah Riverkeeper will offer an event to satisfy all types of paddlers with its 11th annual Paddlefest along the Savannah River. Canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards are welcome on the water.
The six-mile race and recreational canoe/kayak route will begin at Savannah Rapids Pavilion and end at the Boat House in East Augusta. The first half of the course is all shoals, and the second half is deep flatwater. A recommended passage through the shoals will be available on race day. Categories for racers include male, female and mixed pairs.
“Paddlefest is a fun race if you’re an expert kayaker, and it’s a great event for beginners as well,” says Elena Richards, the Savannah Riverkeeper communications director. “It’s a great way to see a new part of the river. We also will have experienced safety teams on the water in strategic locations.”
All canoe and kayak paddlers are asked to take their vessels to a check-in booth at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion bridge, where volunteers will take the boats to the launch sites. After checking in, paddlers can take their vehicles to the Port Authority parking lot, 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta, and a shuttle bus will take them back to Savannah Rapids.
During registration, participants also can pay $5 to take part in a poker run. The first poker card will be handed out at check-in at the start and the last card will be dealt at check-in at the end of the paddle. Cards will be distributed at three locations on river as well. A prize will be awarded to the best poker hand in each of the three categories – canoe, kayak and SUP.
An awards ceremony with lunch and a live band will be held after the paddle. All proceeds from the event benefit Savannah Riverkeeper, which protects the entire river basin from the headwaters to the Savannah coast through education, advocacy and action.
If You Go:
When: Saturday, May 13; kayak and canoe race and recreational launches 9 a.m.; SUP launch 9:45 a.m.
Where: Savannah Rapids Pavilion (canoes and kayaks); 105 Riverfront Drive, Augusta (SUPs)
How Much: $35 for single canoes, kayaks and SUPs; $60 for two-person canoes and kayaks
More Info: (706) 826-8991 or savannahriverkeeper.org