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Get ready to paddle

Becky Regan
bregan@tahoedailytribune.com

Wednesday Night Paddle Races

Who: Standup paddlers of all ages and ability levels

What: Weekly paddle races

Where: Lakeview Commons

When: Registration opens at 5:30 p.m. and races start at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday.

How much: $20 (also includes dinner)

New trophies are freshly carved, the evening forecast is calling for clear skies and paddlers are dusting off the old board for the first race of the season.

The weekly Wednesday paddleboard races, hosted by South Tahoe Standup Paddle, return to Lakeview Commons today for the third season. Today’s opening day race was almost postponed due to bad weather, but evening forecasts are calling for temperatures in the 60s — warm enough to get the paddling tradition started.

“People are coming in from Truckee, North Shore, Carson and Sacramento. There are so many people already planning to come so to call that off wouldn’t be a good thing,” said South Tahoe Standup Paddle owner Chris Brackett. “People have really been looking forward to this.”

Registration opens at 5:30 p.m., followed by a brief riders meeting at 6:15 p.m. and the race at 6:30 p.m. Paddlers will complete three laps around red and blue buoys and finish by jumping off their boards and running across a finish line set up on the water’s edge. There are usually drag race competitions after the main event.

Brackett expects about 50 paddlers to race today. By the end of the season, there are usually more than 100 paddlers in the water for the Wednesday evening races.

Racers of all ages and ability levels are welcome to register for $20, which also includes a fully-catered dinner spread and some sweet swag.

Brackett will give out 490 trophies to racers this year and expects to give out 33 tonight. He is also offering $15 board rentals to all racers, and encourages new paddlers to sign up for a mini lesson to get a feel for paddling.

The fastest racers usually charge over the finish line in 25 minutes, and beginning paddlers usually finish closer to an hour. But finish times are not important, Brackett said. Wednesday night paddle races are all about having fun, bringing the community together and ushering in summer out on the water.

For more information swing by South Tahoe Paddle at 3115 Harrison Ave. or call 530-416-4829.


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