On Saturday, May 3rd 2008, the mighty Mississippi will shut down, except for a bunch of dedicated canoe and kayak racers. It’s the 27th running of the largest canoe and kayak race in the southeastern U.S – the Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race.
Over 500 recreational and expert paddlers will compete from all over the world. Olympic and world champion racers from the US and from as far away as Spain and South Africa will compete at this years event.
This year the event will showcase elite paddlers, US Olympic Paddler Greg Barton and Pan Am Medalist Michael Herbert. In the past other world renowned paddlers have participated in the race; Karen Lukanovich, South African Paddlers, Oscar & Herman Chalupsky, World Class Paddlers Rocky Caldwell, Dale Burris, Clifton & John Rickey, European Champion Paddlers Ekaitz Sayes, and US Wildwater National Team Member Chris Hipgrave.
Race director, Joe Royer makes sure the race is open to all paddlers and not just elite athletes. The race has been voted the “best Race in America” and provides paddlers a chance to match skills against the second longest river in the U.S.
The start of the race will be
at the mouth of Wolf River. The course
will take paddlers out of the Wolf River into the
Mississippi River; down under the I-40
bridge; on past Mud Island Park and up
into the Memphis Harbor to finish.
(5,000 meters or 3.1 miles)