The growing KayaXpedition festival will be held June 8-9 this year, for its second run in Chesapeake, Virginia, giving people of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to compete or just be introduced to all of the paddling disciplines.
The weekend festival will include guided kayak tours, instructional courses, canoeing, kayak fishing and a competitive six-mile race that will benefit Team River Runner, an organization that supports paddling activities for wounded warriors. Registration for the festival’s events is now open at KayaXpedition.com.
The second-annual KayaXpedition festival runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days at waterway locations throughout the city. This year’s kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding festival will be one of the highlighted events in the city’s celebration of its 50th anniversary.
During the weekend local outfitters, along with the Chesapeake Parks & Recreation Department, will lead guided tours, instructional courses and paddling demonstrations to introduce people to the sports.
The festival kicks off with a six-mile race and fun paddle across Great Bridge Lock Park. Additional paddling events will be held at Great Bridge Lock Park, Oak Grove Lake Park, Northwest River Park and other waterways throughout Chesapeake.
“We’re excited about this year’s KayaXpedition and the variety of sessions being offered,” says Kevin Kaul, parks coordinator for Chesapeake Parks and Recreation. “KayaXpedition is the perfect opportunity to introduce beginners to paddling in an encouraging environment while also allowing more experienced paddlers to hone their skills.”
The 2013 KayaXpedition events include:
Guided Canoe Birding Tour – Led by local outfitters, participants can practice their paddling while exploring the scenic waterways and wetlands, keeping their eyes peeled for the local wildlife inhabiting the surrounding area.
Guided War Canoe Trip – In a 15-person war canoe, paddlers can tour the historic Great Bridge waterways and the site of the Revolutionary War victory that pushed the last of the British soldiers out of Virginia in 1775.
Kayak Fishing Class – This on-water seminar will provide participants with detailed instruction and guidance about the growing sport of kayak fishing.
Kayaking Test Drive – Participants will have the chance to test out different boats and ask questions to seasoned outfitters and local paddlers.
“Quick Start Your Kayak” Class – This course, offered both days of the festival, will provide an introduction of paddling strokes and practices for beginners while reviewing techniques for more proficient paddlers.
Six-Mile Race and Fun Paddle – A competitive and fun paddle race will take place at Great Bridge Lock Park at 8 a.m. The race will follow a six-mile course and serve as a fundraiser for the local chapter of Team River Runner, a national nonprofit organization providing active duty service members and veterans the opportunity to find health, healing and new challenges through paddling sports.
Registration for KayaXpedition is required for all events prior to June 8, with the exception of the “Kayaking Test Drive” demonstration. The cost per session varies from $10 to $100. Tickets may be purchased locally at all Chesapeake community centers or online at www.KayaXpedition.com. Individual paddlers and groups are encouraged to register early, as space is limited for each session.
Nestled in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Chesapeake’s convenient, mid-Atlantic location is within 750 miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population and just minutes from neighboring destinations including Norfolk’s downtown scene, the Virginia Beach oceanfront and historic Colonial Williamsburg.
For more information about KayaXpedition or to register, visit KayaXpedition.com or contact Chesapeake Parks and Recreation at 757-382-6411.