Paddle to the finish

Grand River Kayak Race draws nearly 50 competitors
Julie Angell
Jun 29, 2014


Kayakers of all skill levels made big waves in Grand River Saturday morning at the fifth annual Grand River Kayak Race.

“It’s grown quite a bit,” race coordinator Karl Tucker said. “I think there’s 40 ... between 40 to 50 participants.”

Kayakers pushed off the shore, paddled lightly to the starting line and then took off in a sprint, digging paddles into the water and waking up the calm river waters. A crowd gathered at the bridge across from Felix’s Marina overlooking the channel leading out to the river and cheered on 40-50 athletes of all skill levels.

Saturday morning’s competition opened with the open 8-mile race, followed by a surfski race and youth competitions.

Tammy Hartman and her family are from Holland have been participants in the race since it began five years ago.

“It’s close to home. … The kids have a chance to race with their dad and it’s new,” Hartman said.

Hartman’s daughters, Chloe, 10 and Olivia, 12, are some of the youngest kayakers, yet they took the competition seriously as they inspected each of their kayaks and warmed up before the race took off.

Chloe Hartman paddled along the bayou giving tips to her grandmother, with whom she would share the boat for the youth tandem category.

Race lengths ranged from a quarter mile to 3 miles and 8 miles down the Grand River and back to Stearn’s Bayou.

Race categories included youth solo, youth tandem (one youth and one adult), amateur, kayak and surfski and stand-up-paddle.


Barry Soetoro

Trying to pick out Lani in the picture...hoping she wasn't cooped up inside all day posting alleged off-topic twaddle on Trib...


Oh no, Lani was enjoying the beautiful weather on the water - but not in the kayak. And any off-topic posting was done when taking a break from the sun.

Barry Soetoro

Whew! For a minute there I thought you may have went ahead and registered and competed in the 8 miler - without the sponsorship of Barry S. and his fellow Beer Summiters.


I would never have plowed ahead without the support of a group whose description sounds like a polka band.


wow.. i was really amazed by that..paddling is not easy, yet they made it.. good job.. keep it up.thanks for sharing it to us..
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