To help raise awareness of the importance of the Hudson River to New York, environmental watchdog group and Hudson River advocate Riverkeeper, in conjunction with the New York City Sports Commission, is presenting The 1st Annual New York Water Fest, a day-long event of water paddling fun, featuring New York City’s first premier Hudson River water race, the Mayor’s Cup, New York City Kayak Championships and the Big Apple Splash-Hudson River Float, on Sunday, October 8, 8a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at North Cove Marina (Battery Park City) and Pier 96 (57th St. & Hudson River), Manhattan.

Water Fest will kick-off with the “Mayor’s Cup,” an elite kayaking race around the island of Manhattan and New York City’s largest water event, in which two-time Olympic gold medalist kayaker Greg Barton will compete. The race will begin at the North Cove Marina at 8:00 a.m. The day continues with the “Big Apple Splash,” a five- to six-mile, amateur, non-motorized raft race, leaving from Pier 96 at 1:00 p.m. and ending at North Cove. Following the water races, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. there will be environmental advocacy booths, environmental product vendors and a stage featuring music and entertainment for all to enjoy. An award ceremony for the winners of each of the races will take place at 4:30 p.m.

The registration fee for the races is $100 per participant, which includes a gourmet lunch, raft rental equipment and event t-shirt. The entertainment and award ceremony are free to attend. For details on registering, contact (914) 478-4501, ext. 231.

Mayor’s Cup, New York City Kayak Championships,