On October 14, 2017 we recommend you join WWALS on the Withlacoochee River from Nankin Boat Ramp to Madison Highway, stopping at McIntyre Spring and Arnold Springs, with many shoals.
But if you have a mind to race that day instead, here are three opportunities for you:
- Fargo to White Springs,
- the entire length of the Suwannee River
- from Suwannee River State Park to Manatee Springs State Park
Phil Hubbard getting ready July 29, 2017 for Mere Mortals Paddling Race 2017 on the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers
None of these races are by WWALS; we are merely listing them for your information.
1. Suwannee Challenge and Marathon from Fargo to White Springs
This one has a seven main categories of canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards times two (male or female) or more (if tandem)
- Suwannee River Marathon, Hwy 6 to White Springs, ½ day — 26 mi
- Suwannee River Challenge, Fargo to White Springs, 1 day — 50 mi
2. Suwannee River 230 Ultimate Challenge 2017 the entire length of the Suwannee River
This one says it is by Rod Price Adventure, and it has an Eventbrite registration form. It’s from Griff’s Fish Camp (upstream of Fargo) to the town of Suwannee at the mouth of the river, ending October 18, 2017.
Racers will have 100 hours to paddle 230 miles across the state of Florida to the town of Suwannee on the Gulf of Mexico.
Racers are encouraged, but not required, to have a support crew. There will be at least six designated checkpoints where paddlers must check in. These are also areas where racers can rest and be re-supplied. Because this race is limited to 50 boats, there are only five different divisions. We expect the serious paddlers to show up with fast boats. All registrants will receive a poly pro race shirt. All finishers will receive commemorative medals. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each division.
There are no boat or other classes for this one: you pays your money and you races. The eventbrite form says there’s some sort of relation of this one with #1 above.
There’s an overnight stop at Branford with motel included.
GRAND PRIZE $200 to the winner of this 2 day 103 mile endurance kayak race on the mighty Suwannee River! This is a 2 day event and is a benefit challenge for Canine Services Training Center a non-profit organization specializing in training service dogs for veterans with PTSD and people on the Autism Spectrum. Test your mental toughness and physical endurance while raising awareness and money for a great organization!
WWALS Outings Committee Chair Phil Hubbard found out about these races when he raced with the Florida Competition Paddlers Association July 29th in the Mere Mortals Paddling Race 2017:
This race started at Suwannee River State Park upstream 1.5 miles the downstream past the ramp SRSP then up the Withlacoochee 1.5 miles from SRSP ramp then back for 6 miles. 3 mile race was up and back Suwannee only. 12 mile race was the 6 mile twice.
He says these were mostly serious competitors with serious racing equipment, some of whom train 3-5 days a week, and two of the women are representing the USA in competition in Japan later this year in an outrigger canoe.
That one was listed on www.paddleguru.com.
Apparently there is no single place where you can find out all the races, other than go to one and learn by word of mouth. Phil did not hear about any other races on our rivers this fall.
And if you don’t want to race, come join WWALS on the Withlacoochee River from Nankin Boat Ramp to Madison Highway that same October 14, 2017.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!