Dig out your canoe! It’s time to paddle Diamond City’s new event, the Sugarloaf Canoe, Kayak and SUP Race and Paddlers Gathering. It’s coming up on Aug. 11, and is a pro and amateur event that’s fun for paddlers and spectators.
A closed loop course consists of a 6-mile Marathon Race; 2-mile Big Dog Race; 2-mile SUP Race; 2-mile Youth Race; 1-mile Hotshot Race; and a ¼-mile Sprint Race. Trophies for first, second and third place are presented for each race.
All the fun takes place at Roberts Lakeshore Resort located on Bull Shoals Lake East Sugarloaf Arm (follow the arrows). Spectators are free and the entire race is visible from the shoreline and hillside. Parking with shuttles is available. A grand prize of a new kayak will be awarded to one attendee. You must be present to win.
If you’re interested in racing, registration starts at 6 a.m. Races begin at 7:30 a.m. and continue until all are completed. Race day registration is $15 per paddler (Boy & Girl Scouts $10 per paddler). Forms are available online at Diamondcityar.org, or call Diamond City Hall at 870-422-7212.
Camping is available at Roberts Lakeshore Resort (RV hookups & campsites;870-422-7515); Diamond City Lakeside Resort (RV Hookups; 870-422-2668); and, Lead Hill Corps of Engineers Recreation Area and Campground in Diamond City with 75 RV Hookups, (only a two-mile paddle to the race site;870-422-7555)
Food and drink will be available at the event with free prizes such as coolers, caps, and jackets from even sponsors. After the race there will be a concert from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.by the Free Whiskey Band, which won the 2012 Texaco Country Showdown Competition. The outdoor concert will be full of southern rock, country rock and boogie. Opening for the Free Whiskey Band will be The Rebel Hounds starting at 5 p.m. The cost is $5 per person after 5 p.m., but race spectators and racers stay for free.