The fifth annual Great Peconic Race will be held this Saturday, September 8, with paddlers starting at Wade’s Beach on Shelter Island.
The race will circumnavigate Shelter Island in a 19-mile track designed to accommodate paddlers of various skill level. The race will also include a 9-mile race, an untimed 3-mile course, and a sprint for children. The proceeds from this year’s race will go to The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve and its children’s water education program. The children’s program will develop a paddle component with the help of race director Fergis Sloan and race founder Billy Baldwin.
The Great Peconic Race itself is an open-water paddle race with varying weather conditions and currents. All paddle crafts are welcome including paddleboards, surf ski, OC1-OC6, kayaks, coastal rowers, and prone boards. Although paddlers of all skill levels are welcome to compete in each race, it is recommended that only advanced paddlers enter the 19-mile race.
There will also be a party on the beach following the races that will include a catered lunch, drinks, music, paddle craft demos, and massages. All racers have access to the beach party and spectator tickets for the lunch may be purchased online. Lunch tickets will not be available the day of the race.
Registration will open at7 AM, with the first race starting at 8:30 AM after an 8 AM captain’s meeting. Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers in each class and all racers will receive a medal and a rash guard.
The Great Peconic Race is intended to honor the memory of Ted Baldwin, Billy Baldwin’s brother. Ted grew up in North Sea on Little Peconic Bay and was a dedicated water enthusiast until his death in 2010. “Ted was a true water lover,” said Billy Baldwin. “There wasn’t a sport or activity on the water that he had not tried while growing up on the bay.” The race will begin in the water Ted loved, said Baldwin.
For additional information and online registry for the event, visit www.greatpeconicrace.com.