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St. Charles Canoe Club’s 44th Annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race

The St. Charles Canoe Club will host its 44th annual Current Buster Canoe and Kayak Race.  This long-standing iconic event will take place on May 7th, and has seen local, regional, national, and Olympic champions, as well as “first time” paddlers to the beautiful Fox River Valley.  Starting at Pottawatomie Park near downtown St. Charles, the race is nine miles long, four and a half miles upstream and four and a half back, with unique “S” curve buoy turns at the finish line area.

For the “relaxed racer,” there is a shorter six mile course up and back; don’t be afraid of the upstream part, because you can paddle near the shore line where there is hardly any current, making for an easy passage.  C1 and K1 races are in the morning and C2, as well as rec. kayaks and canoes in the afternoon.

See our web page for more detail: http://www.stcharlescanoeclub.com/.  You can also find us on facebook.

So, don’t be afraid – come on out and enjoy the Fox River.  This is also a good way to get ready for the Des Plaines and Mid-American canoe races later.

Karl Teske – St. Charles Canoe Club

2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

03/29/2017 7:00 PM CDT

Durty Nellie’s – 180 N Smith St, Palatine, IL 60067

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is a film contest awarding winning films in 10 categories. The winners and other shortlisted films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is produced by Rapid Media. Rapid Media also publishes four leading paddlesports magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots and Kayak Angler magazines. Your ticket to a Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour stop includes a free one-year digital edition subscription to any/all four of the above magazines. Special offer details are available in your evening program.

This year we have booked the upstairs area as well, so there will be no outside distractions!

Doors open at 6pm.

More information and online registration: 2017 Reel Paddling Film Fest

Tickets available at https://events.ticketprinting.com/event/22561

Check Out the New Website for the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon

Our new webmaster has updated the website and it will be continually updated throughout the year (personally, I think she is doing a good job – Don).

Thanks to George Jaros who handled our website for many years.  We appreciate your fine work, George.

SAVE THE DATE

The 60TH ANNUAL DES PLAINES RIVER CANOE AND KAYAK MARATHON will be held Sunday, May 21.  Registration opens March 1.   Go to Canoemarathon.com for more information, including registration forms and online registration.

Check out photos from past marathons (photos copyright © 2007 by Cliff Doll):

Ralph Frese and daughter

 

Kansas City Kayaker Embarks on Expedition to Set World Record for Miles Paddled

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 12, 2017) – Traci Lynn Martin, an experienced expedition kayaker, will launch an attempt at a world record for the most miles kayaked in one year. She gets underway March 9, 2017.

Martin was diagnosed with debilitating and painful rheumatoid arthritis in 2010. Despite suffering from this condition, she continues paddling and has won a wide range of competitions in several states, setting several course records in the process. She’s now taking her skill and strength to an ambitious next level, as she aims to paddle 8,600 miles in less than one year.

“My goal is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most miles kayaked in one year,” Martin said. “In the process, I hope to encourage and inspire individuals with chronic health conditions to reach for their dreams and never give up.”

Launching at Port Huron, Mich., Martin will circumnavigate the five Great Lakes, several rivers, and the Atlantic coast of the United States and Canada. Her goal is to finish the route in 265 days, with her finish ceremony at Lake Erie Metro Park, Michigan, in December 2017.

Martin’s expedition is entitled “The Stellar Tour de Force,” and while she paddles, a filmmaking crew will document her efforts. The accompanying film, “Just Around the Pointe,” aims to capture the experiences, terrain, and people Martin meets along her journey.

The expedition route traverses U.S. and Canadian shores, as well as five provinces and 14 states. In addition to the five Great Lakes, she will face wind, waves, and weather on the St. Lawrence River Seaway, the Hudson River, and on the Atlantic Ocean near Nova Scotia as she heads to New York Harbor. Martin’s return expedition travels along the Erie Canal to Lake Oneida, and back onto Lake Ontario via the Oneida and Oswego Rivers.

Martin will be wearing a tracking device so friends, family, and fans may view her progress through RaceOwl.com. She also is inviting all local paddlers, and those who love the waterways she’ll explore, to join her as she negotiates the route.

Find complete details, including route and timeline, at JustAroundthePointe.com

About Traci Lynn Martin

Traci Lynn Martin is a registered nurse who works at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. She is an avid outdoors enthusiast and experienced kayak racer who has won numerous races in several states.  She was diagnosed with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, but continued to paddle and race, setting several course records and earning many wins.

She’s set her sights on completing a one-of-a-kind adventure, with the goal of paddling more miles in less time than anyone ever has; she’ll do it while reminding people who face chronic illness that nothing is impossible.

Learn more about Martin’s competitive statistics, goals, and vision about her attempt at http://www.justaroundthepointe.com/meet-my-team.

About the Record

The current world record, held by Marcin Gienieczko of Poland, is 3,462.89 miles (5,573 kilometers).  Unofficially, Freya Hoffmeister of Germany completed the longest solo kayak expedition to-date. She paddled 8,570 miles in about 360 days.

About the Documentary, “Just Around the Pointe”

Patty Dillon is the writer, producer, and director of the documentary film about Martin’s journey entitled, “Just Around the Pointe.” Dillon has extensive experience as a filmmaker and her work was featured on CNN, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She’s earned multiple award nominations for her documentaries.

Dillon’s joined by her director of photography and co-producer, Jeremy Osbern. He has worked with some of the top names in the film business, including George Clooney, Lada Gaga, Jason Bateman, and  Zach Galifianakis, just to name a few.

Chris Blunk is the film’s senior producer, and his many film credits include “Jayhawkers,” a narrative feature about Wilt Chamberlain and Phog Allen; “The Sublime and Beautiful,” which premiered at Slamdance and which Candy Factory optioned for distribution. He’s also produced “AIR: The Musical,” which was distributed in North America, Australia, China, Taiwan, and South Africa.

View the trailer for “Just Around the Pointe” at: https://vimeo.com/184781882

Dragon Boat Racing Returns to the South Side

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival Debuts New Location, Craft Beer Village, and More

BLUE ISLAND, ILLINOIS, February 15, 2017 — Dragon Boat racing is back in Blue Island this summer, with a new, larger venue, more events, and some great additions like craft beer, food, merchandise, and more. The 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled for June 1-3, 2017, at the MWRD Waterfall Park along the Cal-Sag. This year’s festival also includes welcome receptions at Rock Island Public House and Double Play Saloon the evenings of June 1 and 2 after team practices, and an after-party June 3 at The Blue Island Beer Company.

“Last year, we fell in love with the atmosphere surrounding the first dragon boat festival hosted here on the south side,” says festival organizer Kevin Brown. “It’s so much more than a great day on the water. It’s a celebration of sport, community, and fun, interesting people. We also loved that newcomers to the sport can compete with little training or instruction – if you can paddle, you can race in a dragon boat!”

Brown says finding a new site was necessary to expand the event, and to better accommodate festival attendees with amenities like public transit access, abundant, free parking, and multiple food and drink options.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the MWRD, City of Blue Island administration, police and fire, the U.S. Coast Guard, Metra, and so many incredible local businesses and organizations to make this festival location a reality,” says Brown. “Paddlers and spectators will be blown away by the incredible views of the races from sites like the new Chatham Street pedestrian bridge – part of the forthcoming Cal-Sag trail connection through Blue Island – as well as the proximity to Blue Island’s beautiful historic uptown, and all that Olde Western avenue has to offer.”

Individual and team registration is underway at www.chicagodragonboats.com, as well as a description of available festival sponsorship opportunities – many of which include team entries for businesses and the community organization, school, or church of their selection.

“We’ve structured this event to highlight what we feel is the most exciting thing dragon boat racing brings to our communities,” says Brown. “Dragon boat racing is about pride, it’s about inclusivity, it’s about teambuilding and communication skills, being outside and being physical – and almost anyone can do it.”

About the 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

Date: Thursday June 1, Friday June 2, and Saturday June 3, 2017

Time: Practice Sessions: 4-8 pm Thursday and Friday, Dragon Boat Races: Saturday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Location: MWRD SEPA Waterfall & Park along the Cal-Sag, Blue Island, IL

Description: The Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival caters to a variety of groups, including businesses, organizations, churches, families, competitive sports enthusiasts, and those who crave outdoor summer activity on a stunning dragon boat regatta course. Personal satisfaction, team development, and friendship are among the many benefits participants experience, and many companies, organizations, and schools have found that the social atmosphere and teambuilding aspects of dragon boat racing assist with ongoing constructive communication for their employees, members, and students.

Thursday and Friday’s activities include team practice sessions with instructors from Great White North Dragon Boat Racing (GWN), as well as a team welcome reception at Rock Island Public House. GWN also provides the dragon boats, paddles, and life jackets for participants.

Saturday’s activities include the dragon boat races, awards ceremony, craft beer village featuring the Southland’s best food and craft beer, and after party at the Blue Island Beer Company.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival, to register as an individual or team, or to explore sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.chicagodragonboats.com.

Contact:

Kevin & Sara Brown

Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

219-895-0437 or kevin@chicagodragonboats.com

Mark Your Calendars – May 21, 2017 – The 60TH Annual Des Plaines River Canoe & Kayak Marathon

For the first time in event history – the river is free flowing – no more portaging dams!

Check out the pictures from the 2016 event (below) – great paddling, great food, great music, and great cameraderie – be part of a tradition – and make it your tradition.

For more information – check out www.canoemarathon.com

2017 Marathon flyer: DPM

2016 Marathon photos:

1. Music to Entertain
2. Pizzas in the Wood Oven
3. Pizza Options
4. Or Sandwiches
5. Fun Lunch
6. Valued Sponsor
7. The T-shirt Tent
8. Keeping Boats Safe
9. Inside the Canoe Corral
10. Coast Guard Station
11. Boat Numbers are a MUST
12. Guidance to t-shirts and patches
13. Checking the score board
14. Emergency help just in case
15. Finally done
16. Near the Takeout
17. Reading the Boat Numbers
18. Scoring the Finishers
19. The Course
20. The Finish Line
22. All done paddling – takeout
23. Race Head Quarters
24. Thank you all for hall
25. Dangers of Dams
26. Thank you Forest Preserves of Cook County
27. Trophies waiting for their recipients
29. Announcing the winners
30. Some winners
31. The Score Board
32. One of the best

 

Calling / Requesting / Soliciting All Paddlesport Event Organizers

With this year’s paddling season drawing to a close – except for some die-hard paddlers that love breaking ice – it is time to think about next year.

IPC has an events calendar where we list all paddlesports-related events we become aware of. This also helps in promoting your event(s).

If you are a paddlesport event organizer, or know someone who is – whether a competition/race, a river cleanup, a paddling festival or any other event involving paddlesport – canoe/kayak/SUP/raft- on a river, lake,  bayou (ok – we may not have some here in Illinois) – please forward such information to

news@illinoispaddling.org – or to spconsult@comcast.net

We would like to compile a master list for next year’s events to publish in upcoming newsletters with details (so include background on – and details of – the event). Hopefully, we can also avoid having major events take place on the same weekend.

If you have any questions, please forward these to spconsult@comcast.net

Thank you – Sigrid Pilgrim, Director, PR & Marketing

Just Around the Pointe – Guinness World Record Attempt

Dear Paddlers,

On March 13, 2017, Traci Lynn Martin, an experienced expedition kayaker and successful ultra-endurance competitive kayaker, will begin her attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.

“My goal,” explains Traci, “is to set a new Guinness World Record for the most miles kayaked in one year and in the process, to encourage and inspire individuals with chronic health conditions to reach for their dreams and don’t ever give up.”

In 2010, Traci was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a debilitating disease. Despite the diagnosis, she continues to race and has placed first in several competitions. She has set three course records in the mixed tandem division, and has set course records in the women’s solo division of various races.

The Stellar Tour de Force record-breaking attempt will include:

  • 2 Countries- USA and Canada
  • 5 Canadian Provinces – Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia
  • 14 States – Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Maine, Pennsylvania, New York,  New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey
  • The 5 Great Lakes
  • The St. Lawrence River Seaway
  • The Hudson River to Troy, New York
  • The Erie Canal System to Lake Oneida and back onto Lake Ontario (via the Oneida and Oswego Rivers)
  • 8,600 miles in 265 days!

At the same time, a documentary will be filmed. See the documentary trailer here: https://vimeo.com/184781882

View the website for the trip with details, route, and projected timeline: http://justaroundthepointe.com

Traci would love to have members of your group paddle along with her when she is in your area.  You will be able to track Traci’s progress and location on RaceOwl.com beginning in March 2017.  She is also in need of people who are willing to deliver supplies to her along the shoreline of her route.

For comments/questions, you may reach Traci at justartoundthepointe@gmail.com.

If you would like to be included in trip updates and future press releases about Traci Martin’s epic journey, please reply back with your agreement to “opt-in” and include your group/association name and email address.

We look forward to sharing Traci’s journey with you!

Mary Strope, Media Coordinator for Traci Martin

MaryStrope@comcast.net

 

Great Rivers of Chicago Roundtable Discussion

In early September of this year, advance word was distributed to a myriad of Chicago area organizations of a pending presentation of interest to those concerned with the future of Chicago’s three river systems: the Chicago River, the Calumet River, and the Des Plaines River. This presentation in late September was in effect a report of studies and discussions over recent years coordinated by the Chicago’s Metropolitan Planning Council and directed towards enhancing multiple uses of these urban waterways. In attendance at this Roundtable Discussion were around one hundred representatives from public and private organizations, including “yours truly” from the Illinois Paddling Council. While I doubt that heretofore many, if any, IPC members were aware of this developing study and planning effort, I am glad to report on what I have learned about the intended future of our “Great Rivers.”

Study objectives over the next 25 years include development of enhanced recreational use of these rivers and their adjoining shorelines, including paddlesport and even swimming. Indeed, there are some individuals now swimming in sections of these rivers, including some of the planning study leadership. In some other cities which now include radiation in the treatment of their wastewater, river swimming is even more commonplace.

However, enhanced and varied recreational opportunity is not the only objective of the planning effort. Some sections of all three of these rivers will provide for transportation of both people and enhanced barge traffic. Still other sections will evolve into increased residential, industrial, park land, commercial usage or in some cases, remain as forested riverfront for both human recreation and colonization by wildlife. The Metropolitan Planning Council is hoping now to expand and organize further the development of these riverfront resources.

Unaware in the 1970s and 80s that formal governmental interest was developing in the retention of a portion of this forested riverfront, some of the paddlesport community nevertheless became involved in the Cook County Clean Streams Committee. This group consisted of both river preservationists and government representatives who met monthly at Forest Preserve Headquarters to alert one another to sources of stream pollution and the accumulation of natural and man-made debris and to seek resolution of these intrusions on what few examples of “municipal wilderness” remained.

More recently, Don Mueggenborg and I have appeared at several meetings of the Forest Preserves of Cook County Board (aka the Cook County Board) to present requests on behalf of the IPC and the Des Plaines Marathon for removal of lingering low rise dams and the enactment of other measures to enhance use by the paddlesport community. Friends of the Chicago River has been a vigorous member of the Metropolitan Planning Commission and has very effectively engaged the public in river involvement and advocacy, as has the Chicago Harbor Safety Committee.

What Next? We all need to watch for word of further activity by the Metropolitan Planning Commission and offer whatever opinions and input we can muster! This planning effort is not solely an attempt to convert the 150 plus miles of the Chicago, Des Plaines, and Calumet Rivers within Chicago to the equivalent of wild and scenic rivers. Rather, it is an effort to work together to coordinate the planning and enactment of associated residential, industrial, transportation, and recreational uses along those many miles of riverfront.

And so, with all of this river-related Chicago planning underway on many fronts, what new projects were announced at the Roundtable for which public or private interests are actively moving ahead? Well, for the moment, none that I could tell. However, one idea expressed that seemed relatively possible to a non-planner like me was the establishment of barge-based floating cafes or theaters to attract more people to more sections of rivers than provided by current tour boats and canoe/kayak rental and launching sites. The potential interest of more people with more money and more imagination being exposed to a river does increase the likelihood of outcomes consistent with this planning.

Meanwhile, Lake County Forest Preserve has removed the two remaining low-rise dams on its Des Plaines River, rendering the DP River Canoe and Kayak Marathon dam-free for the first time in its 60-year-history.

We can certainly be grateful for the participation in this discussion of Josh Ellis, a Director of the Metropolitan Planning Council and leader of the Roundtable Discussion, and the four discussion panelists: Kim Wasserman-Nieto of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, John Quail – Director of Watershed Planning for Friends of the Chicago River, Arnold Randall – Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and David Reifman – Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

…. Jack Snarr