AUBURN — The Great Falls Land Trust will hold its second annual Boats ‘n’ Brews River Race on Saturday, June 24, before the kickoff of the annual Brewfest. 

The race will go from 9 a.m. to noon, starting at the Festival Plaza boat launch on Main Street and wrapping up at the Durham Public Boat Launch on Route 136. 

Registration and check-in is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Participants are encouraged to arrive in time to check in and unload boats in advance of the 9 a.m. mass start time.

The cost is $30 for a single canoe or kayak and $40 for a double canoe or kayak.

“Last year, we had over 50 racers for the event and are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year,” race spokesman Wes Davis said. 

According to Great Falls Land Trust, the race is about seven miles, and includes a section of rapids typically rated Class I or II.

“We recommend that racers stay toward the middle of the river as they go through the rapids and aim for the “downstream V” (the dark water with whitewater edges that loosely forms a ‘V’ shape and indicates the deepest and most obstacle-free path through a rapid),” Davis said in a news release on the event.

“Racers are able to experience unique sections of the Androscoggin River, paddling past the iconic Lewiston canals, beyond the confluence of the Little Androscoggin River and through Dressers Rips, with many other recreational enthusiasts,” Davis said.

Shuttle service will be available for transport from the finish in Durham back to Auburn or boaters can arrange for pickups at the Durham boat launch. 

Prizes will be awarded at Festival Plaza to the top two finishers in each category and an additional prize will be awarded to the boat or paddler in each category with the best costume.

The race will go on rain or shine.

For more information or to register online, go to androscogginlandtrust.org.

RACE RULES

• Once entered, do not quit the race without notifying the sweep boat (the last boat). The race cannot end until all are safely accounted for

• The Androscoggin Land Trust, its sponsors and volunteers, are not responsible for lost or stolen articles

• Alcohol is prohibited in the race and race areas

• Smoking is prohibited at the put in and take out sites

• Competitors must stop to assist any capsized, swamped or otherwise endangered team unless certain that the team is fully capable of safely returning to shore

• PFDs (personal floatation devices) must be worn by all participants. PFDs should fit snugly

• Finish line is at the Durham Boat Launch.

• Always yield to the lead canoe/kayak. Physical contact between canoes/kayaks may be grounds for disqualification

• Have Fun!

RIVER COURSE

• From the start at the Pedestrian Bridge which connects the Simard Payne Railroad and the Bonney Parks, a ¼ mile of flatwater to the Bernard Lown Peace Bridge (aka green covered, South Bridge).

• 1 ½ miles of flatwater to Dresser Rips (class II or III rips depending on water levels)

• We recommend that racers stay toward the middle of the river as they go through the rips and aim for the “downstream V” (dark water with whitewater edges that loosely forms a ‘V’ shape and indicates the deepest and most obstacle-free path through a rapid).

• After the rips, .3 miles of flat water to the turnpike overpass bridge.

• .6 miles past the turnpike overpass you may encounter easy rips.

• Continue to the Durham Boat Launch on roughly 3.7 miles of flat water to the finish line. The boat launch is within a small cove so look for the flags!


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