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UMM sets 20th annual East River Challenge canoe race

Gabor Degre | BDN
Gabor Degre | BDN
By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff

MACHIAS — Students in the Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management program at the University of Maine at Machias are sponsoring the 20th annual East River Challenge, a canoe race down the East Machias River on April 23.

The race is organized by students in the Recreation Management Program Planning course at UMM. Funds raised through the event help purchase equipment for recreation courses on campus.

Part of the Maine Canoe and Kayak Race Organization race series, the East River Challenge is a 6-mile canoe race that starts at Palmer’s Landing on Hadley Lake and winds its way down the East Machias River. The final leg of the race is a challenging set of rapids through Mill Park in East Machias.

Registration is at 10 a.m. Saturday at Palmer’s Landing with a race briefing at 10:30 a.m. Around 11:45 a.m. the fastest racers should be making their way through the rapids in the center of East Machias at Mill Park. An awards ceremony will be held at the park’s bandstand, located between the two bridges in East Machias, after the race.

The race is open to anyone 12 or older, and there is a registration fee of $12 per boat. All racers must wear approved personal flotation devices and protective helmets.

A raffle for a kayak with paddle and life jacket will be held the day of the race. Russ Perry of Coca-Cola of Northern New England donated the kayak, and Rob and Jen Scribner of Sunrise Canoe and Kayak donated the accessories. Raffle tickets are being sold at the Center for Life Long Learning on the UMM campus leading up to the event. Tickets also will be available on race day at Palmer’s Landing and at Mill Park near the finish line. The winner will be drawn during the awards ceremony immediately after the completion of the race.

For more information about the race, contact Bill Eckart at 255-1249 or

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