The University of Maine at Farmington’s Mainely Outdoors program is excited to announce the 7th annual Canoe/Kayak Race and Fun Paddle on Sunday, April 30, on the Sandy River. The pre-race meeting is at 12:30 p.m. with the paddle event beginning at 1 p.m.

The Canoe/Kayak Race and Fun Paddle features an approximate 10-mile paddle beginning in Strong and ending in Fairbanks. The put-in location is at the Strong American Legion at the intersection of Route 4 and 145 and the take-out location is at the Little League ball field on Route 4. There will be a shuttle service to bring paddlers back to their vehicles.

This event is set up to be either competitive or simply a fun weekend paddle with all ability levels welcome. Participants 13 and older are welcome to compete in the timed race or to paddle for fun.

Started in 2011, the annual paddle event draws from 35 to 50 canoes and kayaks with participants coming from as far awary as New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

According to the Whitewater Classification System, this section of the Sandy River is identified as Class I—moving water with small disturbances on the surface and a few small waves, to Class II—easy rapids with smaller waves and clear channels that are obvious and where occasional maneuvering may be required.

Paddlers must provide their own canoe or kayak, paddles, personal floatation devices and other related equipment. Some equipment can be rented through Mainely Outdoors by contacting them at [email protected]

Registration fees are $10 per person and $5 for students. Registration forms can be completed by visiting the UMF Fitness and Recreation Center or on site the day of the race from 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Racing categories for participants include high school students, college students, men/women – ages 18-49, century – ages over 50, and family. Children ages 13 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

For race rules, registration form or more information, visit the Mainely Outdoors website at http://mainelyoutdoors/farmington, or call at 207-778-7494.

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