Paddleboarders race on the Kanawha River in one of three competitions held during the Watersports Weekend. (Photo by Betsy Allen)
Those with an adventurous spirit took to the water this Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10, for the Winfield Watersports Weekend.
On Friday, those interested in learning how to navigate a stand up paddleboard came out for free lessons from the Appalachian Boarding Company. Later that evening, paddleboarders enjoyed a sunset float sponsored by the City of Winfield. In addition to the activities on the water, there were food trucks and live music featuring Marla Hopkins.
Saturday was the big day for water-related events, with the morning starting out with a 5K float from the Winfield boat ramp to the high school and back. Cyclists participating in the Bridge to Bridge 100K Road Bike Tour from Point Pleasant to Winfield also stopped to check out ongoing activities at Winfield Watersports Weekend.
Later that afternoon, three paddleboard races were held: a youth race for ages 12 and under; a beginner race for ages 13 and up; and the Paddle Royale for amateur and professional paddleboarders. The race course was from the boat ramp a short distance upriver and back. The Paddle Royale featured an extra challenge with an additional lap.
At the conclusion of the last race, there was an awards ceremony in which the winners of the three races were honored.
Winners of the Youth Paddle Race were Carter Young – first place; Sam Turley, second place; and Chloe Harper, third place.
Winners of the Beginner Paddle Race for ages thirteen and up were Sophie Young – first place; Case Wells – second place; and Ava Young, third place.
Winners of the Paddle Royale were Evan Young – first place; Gideon Casto – second place; Doug Kirk – third place; Jimbo Navy – fourth place; and Brooke Young – fifth place.
A great number of rubber ducks were released into the Kanawha River for the 2023 Rubber Duck Race. Both individuals and local businesses purchased ducks for the 50/50 race which supported Backpack Buddy, a local organization which provides food to Putnam County students in the summer. After the duck race, children on paddleboards competed to see who could catch the most ducks. The winner was awarded a big bag of popcorn.
If you missed this year’s Winfield Watersports Weekend, Appalachian Boarding Company will be offering stand up paddleboarding lessons this July and August at the Winfield boat ramp as well as the City of Hurricane’s reservoir. Keep checking the Appalachian Boarding Company’s Facebook page for more information about upcoming events.