Sipsey kayak race back for second year

By RICK WATSON
Posted 6/29/18

SIPSEY — The second annual Sipsey Fork Kayak

Race, sponsored by the Sipsey Heritage Commission, is set for Saturday, July 14.There were 63 racers from all over Alabama and as far away as …

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Sipsey kayak race back for second year

Posted

SIPSEY — The second annual Sipsey Fork Kayak Race, sponsored by the Sipsey Heritage Commission, is set for Saturday, July 14.

There were 63 racers from all over Alabama and as far away as Arkansas who participated in the race last year. Planners expect the second annual race to have even better participation.

“We’ve had a lot of support and the prizes are better," said Martha Salomaa, one of the race organizers. "The grand prize this year is $100 and one of a kind handmade knife made by Tapio, a reindeer herder that lives just south of the Lapland region in Finland. I can promise you, no other race will offer this prize."

One Facebook picture showed a poster of this year’s race hanging in a remote cabin in Finland near the Russian border.

The 12-mile race from the spillway of the Lewis Smith Dam to the Sipsey Fork is a pristine waterway. It is not unusual to see deer, otters, rainbow trout, blue herons and even bald eagles on this stretch of river, according to Salomaa.

Sipsey Fire department helped shuttle people on race day last year. They plan on helping again this year. Also, several organizations from Dora High School helped with the logistics of the race.

The race kicks off Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 a.m. at the Riverside Fly Shop on Highway 69 in Bremen. The kayak/canoe race starts at 9 a.m.

The finish line is at Parker's Landing behind T&R Grocery at 5840 Sipsey Road, in Empire, just east of the town of Sipsey.

The racers should drop their boats and gear at Riverside Fly Shop from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. They should then drive to T&R Grocery, park vehicles, and be shuttled back to the race start at Riverside Fly Shop.

The safety briefing begins at 8:30 a.m. and boats go in the water at 8:45 a.m. The starting gun is at 9 a.m. All racers should be off the water by 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.kayaksipsey.com or the Sipsey Heritage Commission’s Facebook page.