Paddle a canoe or kayak down a calm river, and you have a nice relaxing day. Make that river the Mississippi, and you have a challenge. Add competition to the mix, and the adrenalin starts flowing. If you have a rowboat, a kayak or a canoe, you can participate in the South Side Boat Club’s Riverfront Races in Quincy, Illinois, on September 20 and 21, 2014.
Boat racing in Quincy dates back to 1886 when the South Side Boat Club was formed. For 70 years crews from Quincy competed in regional and international competition, winning a national championship in 1904 and coming in second place in the 1934 World Rowing Championship in Liege, Belgium. In 2012 the Quincy 5 Miler and the 15 mile Bear Creek Grunt were started in memory of Allie Lymenstull, a former Quincy rower who talked often of the old rowing days.
The Quincy 5 Miler Race is on Saturday starting at noon from the Canton Chute (Knapheide Landing) Boat Ramp. The finish line is in front of the South Side Boat Club, where food and drinks will be served. Local blues band The King Bees will entertain at 2 p.m. following the awards ceremony.
The Bear Creek Grunt, a 15 mile adventure-type race, starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the Bear Creek Landing Area and ends at the South Side Boat Club.
Anyone can race, but you must bring your own boat that you can row, paddle or pedal. The cost is $25 for one race or $40 for both races. The fee includes a t-shirt and awards for winners of each class.
For more information or to register, please visit the Quincy 5 Miler web site. Quincy is located on the Mississippi River, about a five hour drive from Chicago, southwest down I-55 and then west on I-72.