Great Peconic Race Website: www.greatpeconicrace.com
The 4th annual Great Peconic Race – “GPR” – will be an exciting adventure for all levels of paddling skill, from elite, to advanced, to intermediate, and even for novice paddlers. All paddlable or rowable crafts are welcome to participate, including SUP, Surf Ski, OC1, OC6, Kayaks, Coastal Rowers, Prone and others. The premier 19.5 mile elite race course circumnavigates Shelter Island, beginning at Wades Beach in Noyac Bay and continues through Southold Bay, passing Greenport, and around into Gardiner's Bay, rounding the Nature Conservancy's nearly pristine 2100-acre Mashomack Preserve, passing Sag Harbor, and then returning to Wades, while battling wind, tidal currents and an occasional sea monster. We expect to have many spectators gathered on the shore around Shelter Island cheering the racers on.
This will be the first year also offering a 9-mile half course for those looking for longer "sprint" and a 3-mile course so everyone can join in on the fun.
Shelter Island is located in the beautiful Peconic Bays between the North and South Forks of Long Island.
The race honors Ted Baldwin’s love for the bays and proceeds this year will be donated in support of the Cornell Cooperative Marine Extension Program.
The 19.5-mile full course is an advanced recreational and elite race open to all seaworthy craft powered by oar or paddle. Participants can expect open bay conditions, including at times strong currents and any host of wind/wave conditions. There is no rain date; alternate courses are in place should there be rough or foggy conditions.
To be recognized as a race division there must be five or more crafts of the same type in a division. Other types of crafts are welcome to participate, but will not be awarded a trophy or cash prize. Cash prizes will be awarded only for the Elite 19.5 mile race. It will be at the race committee’s discretion to add new divisions, but prizes and trophies may not be available for those new divisions.
While we will have power boat escorts, EMT’s and ground truck support, there will be extended periods of time when you will be on your own and must be prepared to be independent and self sufficient. Basic safety gear and day provisions are required of all participants.
A Paddle for Ted
My brother Ted grew up in North Sea on Little Peconic Bay where he lived for the water. Ted loved to test the limits of his abilities, imagination and Mother Nature's patience and he always dared us to have as much fun as possible!
Ted was a true waterman, there wasn’t a sport, activity or an element of nature that he had not tried or loved to do. From designing a slalom course in Scallop Pond, our favorite ski hang out, to water ski jumps, hobbie catting around Robin’s Island, jet skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, wake boarding and, John Anderson’s (the Bay Constable at the time) favorite, “The human catapult.” Someone had to feed the fish.
Ted built bonfires on the beach most nights and often enjoyed the waters at night during full moon cruises in our boat or paddling in the back channels of North Sea. Ted would dig for clams or cherry stones or crab for blue claws in Davis creek in from of our house, and at night my pop would take us for lantern walks to Towd Point telling us ghost stories. Ted even got a few good rounds in at National Golf Links on Great Peconic Bay with his dad.
Ted had very little fear when it came to his abilities or whatever Mother Nature could through at him. This confidence was put to the greatest test as he battled a disease that eventually physically took Ted away from us.
This race is to honor Ted’s love for the waters on which he had so many adventures and fun, with the distance to honor his endurance, while supporting Cornell's Cooperative Marine Extension Program in Suffolk County.