Paddling up a stormThe 15th Annual Two Harbors Kayak Festival was held last weekend at Burlington Bay.
By: Sonja Peterson, Lake County News Chronicle
The 15th Annual Two Harbors Kayak Festival was held last weekend at Burlington Bay. The three-day event included the 18-mile Great River Energy Kayak Marathon, the Betty’s Pies Five-Mile Race, kids’ kayak relays, a climbing wall, group tours and clinics.The Supper with the Paddlers and an awards ceremony were held at the Earthwood Inn on Saturday night.
Windy weather was a challenge and many racers ended up making “wet exits” while battling the waves outside of the bay. But a combined total of 65 racers still finished, and other activities went smoothly in the calm waters of Burlington Bay.
New this year was a chip timing system to record finishing times electronically. This was also the first year that the Betty’s Pies Five-Mile Race was the final for the Western Lake Superior Paddleboard Series.
Last year, the festival’s founder, Ellen Anderson, passed away. At the Supper with the Paddlers, board members paid tribute to Anderson.
“People told her it couldn’t be done,” chair and beach director Scott Neustel said at the awards ceremony. “But no one could say no to Ellen.” Anderson spearheaded the effort to create the first festival, collecting sponsors and forming a board of directors. Since then, the festival has been running (and paddling) strong for fifteen years.
For results of the races and more information, visit kayakfestival.org.