Announcing the Inaugural Great Russian River Race, May 7 2011

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So, it is no surprise that an event dubbed The Great Russian River Race has been organized for May 2011. The Russian River has been hosting river events as far back as 1908. This begs the question: what took them so long? Maybe it’s the wine. No matter- Russian Riverkeeper, the organization behind the event and the main advocate for protecting the Russian River since 1993, has planned a stellar inaugural event.

On May 7th, 2011 The Great Russian River Race will attract some of the world’s top canoeing and kayaking athletes, local adventurers, social paddlers and corporate teams to race in two separate events. Advanced and expert paddlers will compete in a class II, 15-mile Bridge-to-Bridge Race starting at the Alexander Bridge and finishing at the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge. Intermediate and corporate team paddlers will do battle over the 5-mile Rio Lindo Race, starting north of Healdsburg and finishing at the Memorial Bridge.

Waiting for the winners at the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge will be the River Race Party (11-4pm) and over $5k in cash and prizes. Athletes may use their own kayaks, canoes, and surfskis or rent from River’s Edge Kayak and Canoe, the professional outfitter that will manage the river operations, safety and logistics.

Here’s how to get started:
1. Organize a team or teams for your workplace, social group, non-profit organization or family.
2. Download the Entry Form here: GR3Registration
3. Complete one form per two person team and write down your team name and mark the team category.
4. Calculate registration fees: $50 per racer and an extra $30 if you need to rent a canoe.
5. Send in payment and form and start working on a small sign for your teams boat!

Race details here: GR3RaceDetails

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sonoma County Regional Parks to contribute to the installation of the Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Dam. A portion will also go to Russian Riverkeeper’s Clean Campus Clean Creeks program. The program teaches area high school students about urban runoff pollution and helps them become part of the solution by building pollution reducing rain gardens on their campus.

For more information on the Russian Riverkeeper organization check out: RussianRiverkeeper.org

If you enter the race and have some great photographs, be sure to send them to: bo@paddlinglife.net Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up in the money shot!