Photo Courtesy: Northwest Paddle Fest.
ISSAQUAH, Washington – The Northwest Paddling Festival at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Friday May 12 and Saturday May 13, is pleased to announce the addition of a Red Paddle Dragon World Series Race to its lineup. The Dragon World Series is the world’s first team SUP racing competition, with races taking place around the world, culminating in the Dragon World Championships in Barbados in October 2017.
Anyone entering the Dragon Series race at the Northwest Paddling Festival will automatically be entered to win a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip to the World Championships!
Dragon SUP racing takes place on four-person boards and mixes the intensity of SUP racing with the camaraderie of team spirit. Seasoned SUP-ers are welcome to enter the event along with casual cruisers and complete newbies. For those more interested in individual competition, there will also be the annual Northwest Paddling Challenge – for kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and outriggers – with a six-mile course and a two-mile course.
Red Paddle Dragon Race World Series. | Photos via: Red Paddle Co.
The Northwest Paddling Festival is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. During the two-day celebration, attendees can demo kayaks and stand up paddle boards, take kayak tours, attend seminars and check out more than 60 paddle sports businesses. There’s no better place to learn how to get started in paddling or find the latest gear and accessories. The event and seminars are free. There is a nominal fee of $10 to demo canoes, kayaks and SUPs. Those who register for the Paddling Challenge will receive a wrist band which is good for the whole day of demos.
Seminars are for all experience levels and include: Introduction to SUP; Choosing the Right Kayak for Your Paddling Goals; Tips for Car Topping your Kayak; Dressing for Paddle Sports; Sea Kayak Camping in Bear Country; Freeze-dried no More: Dutch Oven Cooking in the Backcountry. A complete schedule and seminar descriptions can be found at: www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com
There’s plenty for the kids to do and learn as well. Beach Camp at Sunset Bay will be offering a kids and paddling seminar; Issaquah Hatchery a coloring activity; and kids eight years and older can kayak in a single or double up with their parents. Even the youngest of paddlers can join in the fun testing out the Aqua Paddler paddle boats. And new for 2017 is a climbing wall.
Red Paddle – Dragon World Series Race: Saturday May 13, 2:00 p.m.
Red Dragon four-person boards are 22 feet long, 34 inches wide and 8 inches thick. Four-person teams will race in head-to-head, out-and-back sprints, two teams at a time. The event is tournament-style, so the winners of each race move on to the next heat and keep competing until eliminated or in the finals. Red Dragon boards will be provided and must be used. Registration will take place onsite throughout the day Friday and Saturday morning. Races start at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Northwest Paddle Fest.
Northwest Paddling Challenge: Saturday May 13, 10:30 a.m.
This spectator-friendly race features a six-mile course of kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders and outriggers in a three-lap race along the shores. There will also be a two-mile course for those interested in a shorter run or just new to racing. The cost to register is $35 and includes a competitor race T-shirt and a wrist band for on-water demos during the remainder of the event. Pre-registration can be done at www.northwestpaddlingfestival.com or day-of at the event.
- When: Friday May 12 - Saturday, May 13, 2017
- Hours: Friday 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Where: Sunset Beach at Lake Sammamish State Park, 2000 N.W. Sammamish Road, Issaquah, WA. From I-90: Drive east to exit #15, and follow the signs to Lake Sammamish State Park.
Parking: Parking is available at Lake Sammamish State Park using a Washington State Discover Pass. A one-day pass is $10 or an annual pass is available for $30. Passes can be purchased at the Park entrance. Passes are also available online or at select retailers for an additional handling fee.