Great Muskoka Paddling Experience happens this morning in Bracebridge

Paddlers will be out on the Muskoka River in droves today during the 6th annual Great Muskoka Paddling Experience.

The start line of the fundraiser for the Muskoka Watershed Council is in Bracebridge Bay, 1.4km from the put-in at Annie Williams Park where the finish line is as well.

As always, there are three OMCKRA sanctioned races taking place this year open to all levels of participants. Kayaks, canoes, SUPs and North Canoes are welcome.

The 10km race turnarounds on the mark opposite the Santa’s Village Park and returns upstream finishing at Annie Williams Park.

The 20 km race enters the south branch of the Muskoka River, continues to the 1st turnaround marker short of Muskoka Falls, returns to main branch, continue downstream to the turnaround marker at Santa’s Village Park finishing upstream at Annie Williams Park.

The 5km race will starts after the 20 and 10km races at Bracebridge Bay, going downstream to the turnaround marker at Hairpin Bend and finishing at Annie Williams Park. There will be safety and checkpoint patrol boats present on the river.

The weather for today is expected to be a mixed bag with a few showers ending in the morning then mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Wind northwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High 15. UV index 3 or moderate.

Organizers say to bring rain gear and dress for the worst and it will be better than that.

The Lions of Bracebridge will be serving hot breakfast and lunch meals starting at 7:30am.  Proceeds go to Lions’ charities.

A pre-race scouting paddle was made to check out the 5, 10 & 20km race course. And remember the Fall colours seem likely to peak this weekend at Muskoka.

You can still register Saturday morning. To find out how and for more information, visit http://www.muskokapaddlingexperience.com

(photo via MuskokPaddlingExperience.com)

Great Muskoka Paddling Experience includes SUPs this year

(August 26, 2015 BRACEBRIDGE) More races, more prizes, more fun! That’s what organizers have in store for anyone who takes part in the fifth annual Great Muskoka Paddling Experience on October 10. The event is for paddlers of all ages and skill levels and features categories for kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards (SUP).

With the rising popularity of SUPs, a special 5 km race has been added to the 20 km long course, 10 km short course and 2.5 km fun run. The 5 km race is open for a limited number of categories (recreational canoe and kayaks, planing paddleboards paddled by novices, ICF K1 Sprinters, and Hobie foot pedal driven) and  the female and male SUP winners of this race will each be awarded a carbon-fiber displacement SUP donated by KayakSportCanada.

Trophies and medals will be awarded to the top finishers in the more than 35 categories and all participants are eligible for the prize draws, with prizes donated by Paddle Shack, LIV Outside and Algonquin Outfitters. The event, sanctioned by the Ontario Marathon Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (OMCKRA), is also the site of the 2015 Provincial Marathon Championships, so it will be a great opportunity to check out some of the fastest equipment and paddlers in the province.

The 2015 Great Muskoka Paddling Experience will take place on Saturday, October 10th at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge. For more information, visit www.muskokapaddlingexperience.com.