Jack Barker Memorial Race & Fun Paddle set for Sunday, May 19

BUCKHANNON — The annual Jack Barker Memorial Race & Fun Paddle will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Kayakers, canoers, and stand up paddle boarders are invited to paddle the beautiful Buckhannon River.

The event will take place at Buckhannon Riverwalk/Wood St. Park Boat Ramp (54 Wood Street, Buckhannon WV). Registration will open at 10 AM, with the main event will start at noon. The main event is a 3.8-mile out and back paddle from Riverwalk Park boat ramp to the Tennerton Street bridge and back.

Participants can sign up as a competitive racer in the following divisions: Stand Up Paddleboard, 1 person kayak/canoe, 2 person kayak/canoe, and new this year is the 2+ people canoe/raft option! There is also a non-competitive fun paddle option.

In 2023, Robert Barbour won the men’s kayak division in 38:36. Stephanie Barker won the women’s kayak division in 1:01:02. Evan Young won the SUP division in 45:37. The duo pair Wesley Allan and R.D. Allan from Mannington, WV won the C-2 Standard division in 45:38. The duo pair James Walker and Harrison Walk from Buckhannon, WV won the C-2 Stock division in 48:51.

After the main event, there will be a shorter sprint race geared towards kids/families, but anyone is welcome to attend. The sprint race will start around 2PM, and is an out & back paddle from Riverwalk Park boat ramp to the Poe Street Bridge and back.

Kayaks will be available from Trubie Run Outfitters. Call (913) 207-9798 for more information on kayak rental availability.

Participants are asked to donate $10 to partake in the event (Kids paddle free!). All participants will receive a reusable canvas bag and event sticker. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Buckhannon River Watershed Association’s clean water initiatives. You can learn more about our clean water projects here: buckhannonriver.org

This local race has a long history. The first canoe race was held as part of the Strawberry Festival in 1977. The race was then renamed to honor the legacy of Jack Barker in 2002. Jack Barker was an avid paddler of the Buckhannon and on any given day from March to October would be on the river. Jack was also passionate about canoe racing, competing in various events and often placing in the top 10 in the national arena. In 1989, he placed first in the United States Canoe Association C-2 Aluminum division with his partner Rick Hart. This year, the Buckhannon River Watershed Association is organizing the event.

For more information and event registration, visit tiny.cc/JackBarkerPaddle or contact them at buckhannonriverwatershed@gmail.com.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!