BAINBRIDGE – More than 1,000 canoe racers and many more spectators will ascend on Bainbridge, New York for the 54th Annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta, which is set to formally begin on May 27th and conclude on May 30th. The Regatta is organized by the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce and features canoe racing throughout the weekend, as well as various engaging activities – which will be held at the General Clinton Park in Bainbridge.
The GCCR features the longest one-day flat water canoe race in North America. The arduous seventy-mile journey on the Susquehanna River – starting in Cooperstown and finishing in Bainbridge – will take at least seven hours for pro paddlers and as many as fourteen hours for others. Paddlers from all over North America travel to NY to grapple with the flat water in the first leg of the prestigious Triple Crown of Canoe Racing. Contrary to last year, the reigning champions of the Pro Class, Andy Triebold and Steve Lajoie, will not be racing in the same boat. Triebold will instead be racing with Rebecca Davis, in pursuit of becoming the first mixed boat to win the overall in the Pro Class. Lajoie, on the other hand, will be joining local canoeist, Matt Rudnitsky of Gilbertsville, in an effort to take the C2 Pro title. The splitting of Triebold and Lajoie could leave the Pro Class wide-open for other canoers.
The 54th GCCR will start racing two days earlier than the usual Friday commencement. On Wednesday, May 25th, racers are scheduled to compete in the Pine Ridge Grocery Dash for Cash. The race will launch at 7 p.m. from an area of the river adjacent to Main Street in Sidney. Only four classes will be competing: C2 Men’s, C2 Mixed, C2 Women’s, and C1. All will race concurrently, competing for cash and prizes.
The weekend will commence in Sidney with the Generation Gap races on Friday night. On Saturday, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from all over the Northeast will race, along with additional youth competitions taking place. Sunday will include the ten person Grand Prix Relay Race beginning in Oneonta and a fifteen-mile sprint race beginning in Wells Bridge. Additionally, Sunday will comprise the first Stand Up Paddleboard race in GCCR history. It will be held at 3pm in Bainbridge at General Clinton Park. Free SUP demo rides will also be available on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., compliments of Foxworks and Canoe and Kayak Rentals.
Along with playing host to the SUP race and demo rides, the General Clinton Park is home to the finish line for every race from Wednesday until Monday. The finish line is not, however, the only appeal to spectators, as the park supplies a surplus of events separate from river racing.
The General Clinton Park will open on Friday with a new event: The Taste of the Regatta. Local wineries, breweries, and distillers will feature their products in the park. Following, at 7pm, Aric McKown is scheduled to take the stage with an Elvis tribute show.
Kid’s Day will highlight Saturday. Throughout the day, children’s entertainment will be provided, as well as a bicycle give away at 6pm, compliments of Main Event Amusements. Animal Adventure (www.theanimaladventurepark.com), Jeff the Magic Man (www.jeffthemagicman.com), and Lily Silly Puppets (www.lilysilly.com) are anticipated to entertain spectators in the afternoon.
The 9th Annual Dan Elwood 5K Run and One Mile Walk for Hospice will also be held on Saturday, occurring at 9 a.m. Transpiring simultaneously will be the General Clinton Clash Wrestling Tournament in memory of Gary Seymour. In the evening, the Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce will induct the fifth class of paddlers and event contributors into the General Clinton Hall of Fame. A meet and greet will be held at 4 p.m., followed by the ceremony at 5 p.m. Admission to the ceremony is free. A ticket must be presented, however, to get into the tent. Light snacks will be served and after the ceremony the Jericho Arts Council will raffle off Adirondack chairs painted by local artists to benefit their organization. At 8 p.m., country music artists, The Beadle Brothers, will take the stage. The night will draw to a close with a fireworks display at 10pm, sponsored by ACCO Brands and NBT Bank.
Main Event Amusements (www.maineventamusements.com) from Syracuse will, once again, provide the carnival. Wristband ride specials will be featured all weekend. There will be a variety of midway foods and a craft/flea market open for shopping.
Sunday features the Dundee Ales and Lagers Regatta Music Festival from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. A mixture of diverse local talent will perform, starting with the Binghamton natives, Wreckless Marci, at 1 p.m. Subsequently, Randy McStine (www.thefringetrio.com) will make his return to Bainbridge, playing a selection of classic rock and originals of his own. The next band scheduled to perform is local favorites, The Woodshed Prophets (www.woodshedprophets). To conclude the night, singer/songwriter Kolby Oakley (www.kolbyoakley.com) will step on stage. Kolby, who currently resides in Nashville, TN, will be back home for a visit. His arsenal of songs includes covers of today’s country favorites and songs crafted by himself. Apart from the music scene, there will be a motorcycle ride starting at Bob’s Diner in Bainbridge at 10 a.m. It will end at 2pm in General Clinton Park. It is sponsored by the Red Knights Motorcycle Club. Free admission to the park will be granted to bikers participating in the bike show, occurring in front of the pavilion. Prizes will be bestowed at 3 p.m. Sunday’s schedule also includes a cornhole tournament at 1 p.m. with prizes.
Monday will conclude the GCCR with the seventy-mile endurance race. The race is set to begin at 6am at Otsego Lake in Cooperstown. The voyage down the Susquehanna River will end in Bainbridge. Based on past years, the first canoes are anticipated to finish at approximately 2p.m. WCDO (FM 101/AM 1490) will broadcast the race live throughout Monday. They will also be streaming online via www.wcdosports.com, allowing those residing inside and outside of the United States to tune in.
Admission to the park with a vehicle will be $8 per carload on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Weekend passes will also be available for $15 at the gate. Parking admission on Friday is free, compliments of Sidney Federal Credit Union.
The Bainbridge Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of our loyal sponsors – ACCO Brands; Bassett Healthcare; Brewery Ommegang; Budweiser; Commerce Chenango; Community Bank; Coughlin Gerhart; Dundee Ales and Lagers; Edward J. Curley, CFP; John’s Garage; NBT Bank; Northern Eagle Beverages; Pine Ridge Grocery; Plexicomm; Price Chopper; Sidney Federal Credit Union; Unadilla Laminated Products; Uptown Industries; WCDO AM/FM; Zaveral Racing Equipment.
Information on directions, hours, event info, race entries, and any other information is available on our website (www.canoeregatta.org) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pages/General-Clinton-Canoe-Regatta/268406529888510)