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Give Competitive Paddling a Try – You Might Just Find Fun, Friends, and Maybe Glory

The Illinois Paddling Council, affiliated with the United States Canoe Association (USCA) annually holds many events that qualify in its points program. USCA also has associated sister organizations in Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and other states, so once the “competitive” event bug bites you – you might just find yourself participating there as well and explore new rivers and make new friends.

 

Competitive paddling is fun, builds strength, increases stamina, improves paddling skills, forges friendships, gets you on new rivers, earns trophies and awards and can lead to “fame” – but above all – participants have lots of fun!

 

Check out the list of events on the IPC Events Calendar. If you’re not of a competitive nature – participate anyway – because you can have lots of fun even if you don’t win a trophy or medal.

 

You’ll be surprised by the many new paddling friends you may make!

Welcome to the World of Canoe/Kayak Racing in Illinois by Kevin Bradley

RECREATIONAL (CITIZEN’S) RACING – JUST PADDLE TO HAVE FUN

You like to paddle, want to get out there and have fun. Enjoy the camaraderie of hundreds of other paddlers.   Beat your neighbor or your buddy for braggin’ rights. Challenge yourself to finish the course, beat someone in your class, beat anyone, OR don’t care if you do but like to enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of our rivers and the camaraderie of friends. Or maybe just give yourself an excuse not to clean out the garage on that day (or mow the lawn or ???) but rather go paddling.

 

COMPETITIVE RACING – THAT’S WHEN PADDLING BECOMES SERIOUS

These are the people with the faster boats, better equipment.   They get out there and train several times a week. Although friendly, they are serious about racing. There is an Illinois State Championship Series in nine classes of canoe and kayak with breakdowns by age and sex. Juniors are especially welcome. Over the years we have had some of the best paddlers in the country race in Illinois.

 

PERSONAL NOTE

Many years ago, my friend Dave said “There is a race on the Des Plaines next week, you want to try it?” I tried it and liked it. We got our families and friends involved. The kids enjoyed it and we enjoyed paddling with the kids. The kids now have families of their own and last year I paddled the long course of the Mid-America with my grandson and then paddled the short course with my 10 year old grand-daughter. It was great and she proudly wears her Mid-America t-shirt to school frequently.

 

See you on the river!

pecatonica race