Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup

My First Kayak Race

The first time I entered a race in my kayak was at the Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup. I competed in the Cross Narrows Challenge in 2016, a six-mile race from Skansie Park to Owen Beach and back. The weather was calm with patches of fog. They had timed the start to be 20 minutes before slack tide. As long as you were fast enough, there would be very little current to contend with. Otherwise, the current in the Narrows would build and you’d have to take a ferry angle to get across. I finished in one hour, ten minutes, and forty-seven seconds. The fastest time that year was just over fifty-four minutes. The winner was about thirty years younger than me and paddled a surf ski, so I was pretty happy with my time.

Paddling in Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup's Cross-Narrows Challenge in 2016

I’ll Be Back!

After cancelling in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, the Paddlers Cup will return April 23-24, 2022. They aren’t doing the Cross Narrows Challenge this year, but I will still be there. Instead of racing, this time, I’m sponsoring. NC Kayaks makes a habit of supporting local orginizations that we feel are important to the paddling community. The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team are committed to introducing youth to the sport of Olympic Sprint Canoe and Kayak Racing, so they definitely fit the bill.

Image captured from my GoPro during Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup's Cross-Narrows Challenge in 2016
A screengrab from my GoPro mid-Narrows

Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup April 23-24, 2022

The weekend is full of paddle sport racing – youth, 5k or 10k distance races, and sprints on Saturday and dragon boat races on Sunday. Whether you’re racing or observing, or just looking for an outdoor event to check out, we’d love for you to come visit us at our booth. We’ll have several kayaks available for demos throughout the weekend. Hope to see you there!


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