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UMM Students Organize 20th Annual East River Challenge

Added on: April 15, 2011

April 23rd canoe race to feature thrills and spills

East River ChallengeMACHIAS, Maine – Students in the Environmental Recreation and Tourism Management program at the University of Maine at Machias have been busy planning the 20th Annual East River Challenge, an exciting canoe race down the East Machias River on Saturday, April 23.

Part of the MaCKRO (Maine Canoe and Kayak Race Organization) race series, the East River Challenge is a six-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. at Palmer’s Landing followed by 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, following the race.

The race is open to anyone 12 years 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. Raffle tickets are being sold at the Center for Life Long Learning (Fitness Center) on the UMM campus leading up to the event. There will also be tickets 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 following the completion of the race.

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.

The Race Committee would like to express its special appreciation to Russ Perry of Coca-Cola of Northern New England for donating the kayak, and to Rob and Jen Scribner of Sunrise Canoe and Kayak for donating the accessories. The committee would also like to thank the Selectmen of East Machias, the Maine Warden Service, and the numerous volunteers who help out with the event.

The race has a 20-year history of thrills, spills, and lots of excitement. So, bring your canoe and start your own annual racing tradition. Or, just come and watch the fun!

For more information about the race, please contact Bill Eckart at (207) 255-1249 or


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