BAINBRIDGE – More than 1,000 paddlers and upwards of 15,000 spectators are expected in Bainbridge this weekend for the 47th Annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta.
Fifty canoe and kayak races will take place over the four days of competition, the highlight of which is Monday’s grueling 70-mile endurance race from Cooperstown to Bainbridge.
General Clinton Park in Bainbridge will be the center of activity during the event, which is sponsored annually by the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce. Festivities will begin this evening and continue through Monday evening. The family-friendly event features midway rides, live music, vendors, food concessions, fireworks displays and more, according to organizer John Harmon, who chaired the Regatta Committee for the first time this year.
“This is a big event for a lot of people,” Harmon said.
Initially conceived as a way of attracting tourists to the area, the regatta has grown into a world championship canoeing event and is now the first leg of the North American canoe racing Triple Crown. Each year the event attracts professional and amateur competitors from the U.S. and Canada, and occasionally even from Europe and Australia for the event, Harmon said. Not to mention thousands of spectators who come not just for the races. And between those races, they enjoy the sights, sounds and thrills at General Clinton Park.