When Alexandra and Jim Gunderson, owners of the Lakeside Inn, decided they wanted to organize a paddling festival, they wanted to have a variety of activities for everyone, from the serious dragon boat racer to the recreational kayaker. The Inaugural Mount Dora Paddle Fest offers a wide range of paddling options.
We’ll have races, eco-tours, kayak / canoe instruction, boat dealers and equipment vendors. Dragon Boat teams from around the state are coming to compete in Saturday’s sprint races on Lake Dora at Lakeside Inn. Pan Am Dragon Boats will be running the event.
The fun begins on Saturday, May 3rd at 9 am on the beach at the Lakeside Inn. Crews of twenty paddlers will compete in dragon boat sprints along with canoes, kayaks, surfskis, OC-1s, and stand-up paddleboards. At noon, local business sponsors and dignitaries will compete in the VIP Canoe Race. Following the awards ceremony at 4 pm, kayak instruction and paddle boat demonstrations will be held on the beach.
Saturday evening the Lakeside Inn is hosting a reception for all of the racers. Event Director Rod Price, will be presenting his slide show, “From the Amazon to the Yukon,” and doing a book signing afterwards.
Sunday features races for the more serious competitor and an eco tour for those seeking a leisurely paddle. Canoe and kayak racers can choose between a three-mile and ten-mile race from Lake Dora into Lake Beauclair and back. These races start from the beach at the Lakeside Inn at 9 am. There is also a Paddle, Run and Paddle Race to Trimble Park and back that starts at 10 am. Nature lovers can sign up for a two-hour eco tour that begins after the racers have left the beach.
Here is the schedule for the weekend:
6-8 pm Paddler’s Reception at the Lakeside Inn. Registration bag pick-up, meet and greet for paddlers, light snacks and a cash bar. At 7:30 pm Mike Kerkmann of Pan Am Dragon Boats will present a video program about dragon boat racing.
Please visit MountDoraPaddleFest.com for more information.
Photo Credit: ©NickR / Dollar Photo Club