On Saturday morning Sept. 14 in Onancock on Virginia's Eastern Shore, paddlers will launch for the 15th Annual Onancock Challenge canoe, kayak and SUP races. The starting mark: "On your mark, Get set—GO" starts a day of fun with skills clinics and a cook-out for a full day of celebrating our paddling community.
The Onancock Challenge is a 5K and 10K course open to all categories of boats and ages. There are surf skis, K1s, outrigger canoes, SUPs, and kayaks and canoes of all sizes. You can test your mettle against national champions, an Olympic gold medalist, or bring a group of friends and just have fun. Don’t have a boat or SUP? Reserve one for just $20.
For kids, there is the "Tween Bridges" Kids Kayak Challenge. In this event, kids race between bridges on Onancock's Central Branch. Be forwarned: Many of our local kids have been training for this event during the SouthEast Expeditions Kids Kayak Camp and are ready for the "Challenge."
New this year, the Onancock Challenge has been added to the Stellar Surfskis and Team River Runner point race series, which serves wounded warriors through kayaking. Chuck Conley, who represents the organization, will give a Forward Stroke Clinic in Onancock on Sept. 7 for those who want to take boost their competitive edge for the following week’s race.
The night before the race, come to Onancock’s Second Friday Art Stroll, Sept. 13, 5-8 p.m. for race pre-registration, pick up your t-shirts and have refreshments at SouthEast Expeditions at the Wharf.
On Saturday afternoon, there will be clinics and on-water fun, from perfecting your forward stroke, learning how to do self-rescues and stand-up paddleboard (SUP). We may even try a little Flowga (yoga on an SUP).
Saturday’s post-race party on Mallards deck from 1-3 p.m. will feature an Eastern Shore Seafood Boil, with music by Chef Johnny Mo. Tickets will be sold in advance for $15.
Pre-register for the race for $15 or register day-of for $20; $10 for kids 12 and under (includes a cool T-shirt). Clinics and post-race meal tickets are extra. Call SouthEast Expeditions at[masked]FUN, email [masked] or find us on Facebook to register or if you’d like to join our volunteer team!