Yarmouth to launch Royal River canoe race

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YARMOUTH — The town will be holding its first canoe race on the Royal River next month.

The Run of the Royal, which will take place Saturday, May 14,  is being organized by the Royal River Conservation Trust. Early registration ends April 22 and registration closes May 9.

The race, which is the first of its kind in Yarmouth, is modeled after the Run of the Charles in Boston.

“We sort of copied it, but we wanted to bring it to Yarmouth,” RRCT board member David Steckler said. “We have a beautiful river and a lot of people like to canoe.”

For its first year, the race will be a corporate challenge and next year will be open to the general public, although Steckler said some public teams will be allowed. Steckler said RRCT decided to have companies compete because they would be able to form large enough teams.

The relay race requires teams of eight people. There will be four legs in the race, with two people paddling each leg. Steckler said teams of six will be accepted, but two people will have to paddle two legs.

The race will begin and end at the Yarmouth Historical Society at 118 Elm St. According to Steckler, the 2 1/2-mile round trip will take approximately 40 minutes per leg. 

The public is welcome to observe the race and enjoy food and music at the historical society. A trio from 317 Main Community Music Center will be performing and food trucks will be on site. The event will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

There will also be a Royal River-themed art show at the historical society that will feature local artists. The art and music are both free and open to the public to enjoy.

For paddling teams, the early registration fee is $475, or $425 for members of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce. Registering by May 9 will cost $550, or $500 for chamber members. Canoes and paddles will be provided.

The money will go back to the RRCT and be used to help restore the Royal River. Steckler said the money may be used for water quality monitoring.

According to Steckler, as of Monday, 11 teams had registered, including crews from L.L. Bean, Bayview Dental, Hancock Lumber, Pierce Atwood, Cascon, Tyler Technologies, Aging Excellence, Brentwood Center for Health and Rehab, and Terrence J. DeWan and Associates.

Every company that participates will get a plaque, and the first-, second-, and third-place teams will get medals for each team member.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.