There’s a new annual event coming to town this August — The David Thompson Paddlesport Classic.
Slated to take place over the third weekend of August (August 18-20), participants will paddle and portage 125 km along 19th century explorer David Thompson’s canoe route along the Columbia River from Mica Creek to the finish line above Revelstoke dam.
“More than a race, the ‘Classic’ expects to become an annual highlight experience of the paddling community with a field of over 200 canoes, kayaks, war canoes and rowboats — about 800 enthusiasts,” rsce organizer Bill Pollock said in a statement.
The event is based on the three-day Adirondack Canoe Classic, a 145- km race run annually for 33 years in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Pollock competed in that event 20 times and is promoting The David Thompson Paddlesport Classic as a ‘British Columbia paddling experience’ connecting recreation, history and the splendor of Lake Revelstoke.
Lake Revelstoke is ideal for this and the old Big Bend Highway is perfect for short portages to break up the paddling.
“The age range of the participants is 10 to 75 and up in many boat and age classes,” Pollock said. “It is hoped that the event will eventually bring an influx of over 2,500 outdoor oriented people to our region. It will attract marathon and competitive canoe enthusiasts but also a large contingent of in-it-to-finish folks in the Open Touring Class.”
Briefly the itinerary is as follows:
Day One: At 5 km from the start at Mica Creek is the first 500-metre portage on an old paved part of the Big Bend road. Another 14 km of paddling brings you to the 1.6 km portage through the abandoned airfield at Bigmouth Creek. The finish line for Day 1 is 21 km further at the Goldstream Creek boat launch. The total distance for Day 1 is about 42 km.
Day Two: 27 km from the Goldstream Creek boat launch brings you to a 400 m portage through Downie Point. Then one paddles 1.5 km east across the Downie Creek estuary to a 650 m portage along the old Big Bend road on the south side of the Downie estuary. Then back to the lake for a 14 km paddle to another 400 m portage on the old highway. Then a short 2 km paddle to end Day 2 near Mars Creek. Total distance is about 46 km.
Day Three: Paddle from Mars Creek 19.5 km to a 400 m portage at the Wadey (Laforme) Recreation Site. Then a 7.5 km paddle to Martha Creek Provincial Park and a 1.25 km hike through that campground to the beach followed by an 8.5 km paddle to the finish line at the 5 Mile Boat Launch near the Revelstoke Dam. Total distance is about 37 km.
Bill is organizing the event for the Revelstoke Paddlesport Association and hopes to get support from public, private and businesses interested in developing tourism in the area and the province.
The Revelstoke Paddlesport Association is a not-for-profit BC Society whose purpose is to develop, provide and promote recreational and competitive paddle sports activities and events in and around the city of Revelstoke. If you would like to help out, sponsor or paddle in the event contact Bill Pollock at (250) 814–7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information check out the Revelstoke Paddlesport Association web site at www.paddlerevelstoke.ca.