Learn how to rescue yourself and others in the event of a capsize. This course will give you a chance to learn and practice some of the most tried and true kayak rescues!
East End Race Series
A friendly competition on Casco Bay for kayakers and paddleboarders
- 2023 Series Pass Includes Race T-shirt
- Single Race Entry
- Rental (per person, per race) Kayak or SUP
The East End Race Series is a ten-week series of friendly competitions for kayakers and paddleboarders with races scheduled every Monday evening July 3 – September 4. The first nine weeks will be our regular series, with a tenth “champions race” on September 4. We encourage both serious racers and more casual paddlers to join the fun. It’s a great way to connect with other paddlers, train your paddling muscles and enjoy an evening paddle on beautiful Casco Bay!
Purchase a series pass and compete as many weeks as you like, or join a single race for just $10. With a series pass you can decide each week which class you’ll join, so you can transition from the beginner to experienced classes or switch between SUP, K1 and K2.
Need a kayak or SUP to compete? All registered racers can rent a kayak or SUP from Portland Paddle for just $15 extra. Select this option when signing up.
9 Week Regular Series
- Check in between 5:15 and 5:45. If you intend to rent a boat from us or to switch your class from the previous week please arrive on the earlier side.
- Brief race meeting at 5:50, “butts in boats” at 6:00 for race start!
- Event expected to conclude between 7:30 and 8:00 each evening.
- There will be a brief “awards” ceremony at the end of race.
- Dates: 7/3, 7/10, 7/17, 7/24, 7/31, 8/7, 8/14, 8/21, 8/28
September 4th “champions race” will have a slightly earlier start time, a longer course, and other fun activities.
- Check in between 3:30 and 4:00.
- Race starts 4:15.
- Podium ceremony for champions race, points series, and superlatives estimated to occur at 7:00
We will rotate through courses each week, with 3-6 different courses possible to use over the season. Each course will range from 3-5 miles in length. Every race will start and end at the main beach at the East End Beach in Portland, Maine.
The course being used for each upcoming race will be announced the night before and communicated via our website and an email to registered participants. Detailed course descriptions and schedules will be posted on our website before the series begins. Weather conditions will guide our decisions about which course to use each week, but we intend to rotate such that each course is raced at least once and several of them twice over the course of the season.
Our “champions race” on September 4, the final in our series, will feature a 6-9 mile course.
Our races will involve paddling on the open waters of Casco Bay, where current, tides, wind, waves, cold water, boat traffic, and other hazards may be present. All crafts and their paddlers must be adequately prepared to handle these conditions, including by wearing a life jacket at all times.
We strongly recommend wearing a wetsuit or drysuit in case of immersion. Sit-inside kayaks must have appropriate features to allow paddlers to use established self rescue practices. SUPs, surf skis, and other sit-on-top vessels must be connected to the paddler by a leash or tether. Each craft is expected to have at least one paddler who has the prior training and experience to perform an established self rescue appropriate for the craft and venue, to help other members of their boat if necessary, and to carry the necessary equipment for said rescues.
Sea Kayak rescue skills training are available through Portland Paddle. Rescue equipment and wetsuits/drysuits may also be available for rent.
Experienced K1 – for any paddler who wants to go head to head with the fastest competitors! Kayaks must be at least 14 feet long. Any seated, double blade paddle propelled craft is considered a “kayak”, including touring sea kayaks, surf skis, racing kayaks, etc.
Beginner K1 – for the casual or first season racers. Kayaks must be at least 14 feet long. Any seated, double blade paddle propelled craft is considered a “kayak”, including touring sea kayaks, surf skis, racing kayaks, etc.
K2 – For any pair of paddlers in a tandem kayak which meets the safety standards!
SUP – For all stand up paddleboards
Participants should bring their own boat and equipment unless they have arranged for a rental from Portland Paddle as part of their race registration. Starts will be on water. Finishes will be on the beach.
Results will be posted on the Portland Paddle blog each evening following the conclusion of the race. There will be a small ceremony each evening announcing the results of that night to the participants.
Points will be awarded throughout the season in a “golf scoring” format, using the place finished in each race as the number of points awarded for that race.
Additionally, prizes will be awarded at the end of the season for superlatives such as fastest time, most improved, best spirit, etc.
To qualify for the September champions race, a racer must place in the top 5 in any one race in the season. Portland Paddle may adjust these criteria based on sign up amounts prior to the first race of the season. Other “fun races” at the September event will be open to all.
This is one of several courses that we plan to use for the 2023 race series. All course maps will be posted here by the start of the series.