The 7th Annual Great Russian River Race is a fundraiser for Russian Riverkeeper, a local environmental non-profit which protects the Russian River through advocacy, education, and building community throughout the watershed.
The Great Russian River Race (GR3 for short!) is actually two races in one!
1) The Short Course
It's approx. 4 miles long and the more popular choice. It's for recreational paddlers. Limited boat rentals are available for the short course, or you can bring your own boat!
The Short Course starts at a private beach with the finish line at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville. This stretch of river is relatively wide with long pool sections and much deeper than the Healdsburg course with no portages! There are no major hazards on this course and we will have safety teams stationed along the route if help is needed in several areas.
2) The Long Course
This one is approx. 8 miles long and for pro paddlers as well as intermediate-to-experienced paddlers with a significant level of fitness and must provide their own boat. No rentals are available for this one!
The Long Course starts at the Steelhead Beach with the same finish line at Johnson’s Beach. There are 4-5 riffle sections with turns to negotiate in the first 4 miles with no portages required and only a couple shallow sections. If river conditions change dramatically, we will send a course update the week of the race to all racers.
Race Registration closes at Noon on
Friday, June 2. No walk-ins on Race Day.
For both races, the cost is $50 per person, not including boat rental.
After the Race, there will be a free Race Party on Johnson's Beach from 12-4 p.m. with live music, food trucks, vendors and beer. Invite your friends and family! Camping is also available at Johnson's Beach.
Age Restrictions: Ages 5-12 may ride in a double boat with a parent. Ages 13-15 may be in
single boats only with parental/adult supervision during the Race. Ages 16-17
just need a waiver signed by a parent. For everyone under 18, a parent must be present to sign a waiver upon check-in. All boaters must be able to swim.
Safety comes first at Johnson's Beach, so we request adherence to the following rules:
- No outside alcohol permitted--this will be strictly enforced.
- No BBQs.
- No pets.
- No glass.
- No outside shade structures, umbrellas or canopies.
PERSONAL FLOATATION DEVICES (PFD’S) ARE MANDATORY TO PADDLE ON THE RIVER. They are included with your boat rental. If bringing your own boat, bring your own PFD.
The respective race divisions are broken down
below. Our goal is to hold a fair race and you are responsible for
entering the right division for your boat – call or email us
if you have questions. “Pro" refers to ANY lightweight composite racing
surfskis, kayaks and canoes (fiberglass, Kevlar, carbon or prepreg) and these
craft are only allowed to compete in the Long Course. You may enter a plastic or wood kayak/canoe in the Long Course but you will be racing against faster boats. “Recreational”
refers to all other craft including sea kayaks, general kayaks and canoes that
are made of plastic or aluminum. Pro boats in the Short Course are NOT awarded prizes due to unfair advantage, so enter Long course if you want to win. Longer sea kayaks (more than 18 ft.) should
enter the Long Course. Prone paddleboards are welcome to enter, and will be placed in the SUP division.
Historically, most people enter the Short Course
hence there are more divisions. In the Long Course, if you are entering in a
double boat, canoes and kayaks will be racing against each other. Also, if you
enter the Long Course in a single kayak, you will be racing against pro paddlers
4-Mile SHORT COURSE (Recreational craft only)
- Single Kayak (Men, Women)
- Single SUP (Men, Women)
- Double Canoe (Men, Women, Co-ed)
- Double Kayak (Men, Women, Co-ed)
- Family Double (any craft that holds 2 with one adult and one child 12 and under)
8-Mile LONG COURSE (Pro or recreational craft)
- Single Kayak/Surfski (Men, Women)
- Double Kayak/Canoe (Men, Women, Co-ed)
- Single SUP (Men, Women)
Note: If registration is low in the 8 mile Race,
divisions may be combined.