Are you a competitive kayaker or Jon Boat owner? Have you never kayaked a day in your life, but always thought it is something that you could like to try?
Either way you are in luck thanks to the Second Annual Kayaking for Kids Kayak Race, which will take place on Saturday, Aug. 4.
If you don’t own a kayak, but want to participate, then don’t worry. There will be kayak rentals available through Sheltowee Trace Outfitters, which can be contacted at 1-800-541-RAFT or through the company’s website at http://www.ky-rafting.com/.
“If you think you want to participate and you need a kayak, you need to go ahead and call them so they will have enough set aside for everybody to use that day,” said Whitley County Projects Director Amber Owens, who is helping to organize the race.
“They are going to bring some extras that people haven’t reserved just in case someone shows up on the day of the race that doesn’t know. It is a $20 rental fee through Sheltowee.”
Race day registration is $30, but participants can still take advantage of the pre-registration fee of $20 through the end of this week.
The race will start at the Ballard Ford East river access point, and conclude at the Red Bird boat ramp about 2.5 miles down stream.
The river was up during last year’s race and flowing fast so it only took the winner about 25 minutes to complete the trip.
“I’ll be curious to see what the time is this year,” Owens noted.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. on Aug. 4 and the race begins at 10 a.m.
Owens said participants can drop their kayaks off at Ballard Ford East that morning, and then take their cars to the finishing point at Red Bird boat ramp. Lee Bryant will shuttle people back to the starting point.
Proceeds from the race will provide 25 Upward basketball scholarships for children in Corbin and 25 Upward basketball scholarships for children in Williamsburg.
Owens said that the scholarships are for children, whose parents can’t afford the participation fee.
The remainder of the proceeds from the race will be divided between family resource centers in Williamsburg, Whitley County and Corbin.
“We had a $5,000 goal for fundraising this year, and we have way exceeded that goal,” Owens noted. “We will have a significant amount more money to give to family resource centers at each elementary school.”
The first place kayak winner will receive a dry bag backpack as a prize.
“It is a full-sized backpack. It is waterproof and seals. Hopefully it will encourage people to come back to river, bring it with them and spend a day out there,” Owens said.
The Jon Boat winner will receive a gift card from Bass Pro.
Owens said that after speaking with Sheltowee Trace officials, organizers decided against having canoes in the race because they are more likely to tip over than kayaks, especially for novice operators.
Last year’s race drew about 50 people between spectators and participants.
“This year we are hoping for bigger numbers. We definitely raised more money this year than last year,” Owens said.
“It is fun for people of all ages. Judge Pat White brings his kids and puts them in the boat with him. They have a fun day on the river. We have a woman, who is preregistered with one of the sponsors, and she is going to bring her son and they are going to do a double kayak.”
Woodbine Search and Rescue will have a boat on hand to assist any racers that get into trouble.
For more information about the race, contact Owens at (606) 549-6000.