Making a splash
Aquatic enthusiasts will have a chance to paddle to their hearts content during Marion County Park and Lake’s third annual paddleboat race at 10 a.m. Aug. 9.
“Several years ago, I kept hearing people say that they wanted to do some boat races,” organizer Maggie Nichols said. “I just wanted to do something nice for the community.”
Nichols said the relay course would be set up in an oval.
“We set up buoys, and boaters hand off a baton in three different places,” Nichols said. “In the obstacle course, we rearrange the buoys in such a way that boaters have to weave between them.”
Cash prizes will be offered for each event.
“In the past years, we have taken a percentage of the entry fees for each event,” she said.
Categories include paddleboats, kayaks, bicycle boats, and canoes.
Those competing in the bicycle boat race may be any age.
For the rest of the races there are two age categories — under 12 and 12 and older.
Nichols also is looking for youthful entrepreneurs to provide snacks and refreshments.
“They would get to keep whatever money they make at the event,” she said.
- All boats must be inspected for zebra mussels and cannot have been in another body of water seven days prior to the event.
- Participants must furnish and wear a regulation life vest for each racer. Pets also must wear lifejackets while in boats.
- All boats (except kayaks) must have two or four people respectively. Kayaks may have only one person per boat.
- Paddleboat can be used in more than one category. For example, two people may paddle a four-person paddleboat.
- Each race will be considered a separate entry.
- Racers must remain seated at all times during the race.
- No rocking, pushing, pulling, or shoving of other boats will be permitted.
- Motor devices may not be used.
- No alcoholic beverages are allowed in boats.
- All lake rules must be followed.
Race organizers will remove all non-compliant boats and boaters from the lake. Entry forms must be turned in and paid for by race time.
More information is available from Nichols at (620) 382-2663 or lake Superintendent Steve Hudson at (620) 382-3240.