Second annual ‘Paddle Battle’ kicks off July 26

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO  |  Paddle boarders race through the water Saturday in the first ever Paddle Battle LI.

Paddle boarders race through the water last year in the first ever Paddle Battle LI. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Get ready to work those upper-body muscles as the second annual Paddle Battle LI, which benefits two East End charities, pushes off on the Peconic River Saturday, July 26.

Young and old are encouraged to race stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and canoes as part of the festivities. There will be up to eight races with age divisions ranging from 13 to 60+.

If difficulty is a concern, there’s no need to worry—up to eight races during the day will range from a 2.5-mile amateur race to a 12-mile elite class race for those who have more experience. Some races allow people to work in pairs, and medals will be awarded to the victors in each race.

If you’re simply interested in watching but want a chance to win something too, there will be a $10 raffle on shore for a chance to win a stand-up paddleboard, courtesy of Focus SUP Boards.

All proceeds from Paddle Battle LI will benefit The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation and the East End Tourism Alliance. The event is in conjunction with the Long Island Convention & Visitor Bureau’s mission to “create events on Long Island that help to promote tourism, recreation, and economic development, while also focusing on the environment and its waterways.”

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation operates the New York State Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program. The organization also plays an integral role in preserving and protecting the local marine environment through education, rehabilitation and research.

“There are very few paddle races on Long Island; we are excited to bring it back again this year,” said Bryan DeLuca, president of the East End Tourism Alliance.

Check in begins at 7:30 a.m. at the end of McDermott Ave. along the riverside parking lot. Races begin at 9 a.m.

Registration is online at paddlebattleli.com. Entry fees are $50 per person in advance and $65 per person the day of the race.

Rental canoes and kayaks are available for $40. Life vests are required in order to race.

In the event of severe weather Paddle Battle LI will be held on Sunday, July 27.

For more information contact Jim at Peconic Paddler at (631) 727-9895 or check out their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PaddleBattleLongIsland.