Paddlers Cup Kick-Off Party @ The Club

 Get into the Paddlers Cup Swing at The Club

Join the festivities this evening, April 20, for the Paddlers Cup kick-off party at The Club @ the Boatyard from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The family-friendly party features swing dancing, food, beverages and fun for all ages.

Paddlers can check in for their races, pick up event T-shirts and skip the lines on race day. Late registration for Cross Narrows Challenge and Inner Harbor Races will also be available.

Paddlers Cup

The 7th Annual Gig Harbor Paddlers Cup will take place on April 21 and 22, 2018, at historic Skansie Brothers Park in downtown Gig Harbor. The weekend features three signature events: the Cross Narrows Challenge, Inner Harbor Races and Dragon Boat Races.

This two-day event features competitive racing for expert, novice and youth paddlers. Vendors will be located on the shore. Click here for complete Event Info.

Organized by the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team in cooperation with the Tacoma South Sound Sports Commission and the City of Gig Harbor, this annual community event features paddle racing for kayaks, canoes, SUPs, outriggers and para-canoes, and the always popular dragon boat races.

Paddlers Cup

This year’s dragon boat races feature 10 teams, including Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard’s own sponsored team from JBLM’s 201st Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade, defending champion two years running.

Be sure to cheer on the 201st, plus the other dragon boats provided by and moored at the boatyard — including our original community dragon, Phoenix, which has been on the hard this spring for some needed maintenance.

Paddlers CupPaddlers Cup

The 20-person dragon boat (above), used by the Gig Harbor Dragons-PenMet Parks team since its inception in 2015, received fiberglass repair, interior painting and had a new steering arm and additional stainless steel hardware installed.

Phoenix also got new dragon scale stickers, which are being applied by team members in the above photo on left. Gig Harbor Dragons team member and graphic artist Margaux Serock (left in photo on right, above) repainted the dragon’s head, held by Yard Manager Hartwell Champagne of Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard.

7th Annual Paddlers Cup Features Cross Narrows Challenge, Inner Harbor Races & Dragon Boat Racessups-in-front-of-bridge

Saturday’s events start with the open water Cross Narrows Challenge race across the Tacoma Narrows.  The 6-mile course takes intrepid paddlers from Gig Harbor to Point Defiance and back.

The Cross Narrows Challenge is open to anyone 14 years of age and older who is paddling a human-powered craft, although no sprint hulls are allowed. All paddlers MUST wear a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket in order to participate. Life jackets will be provided.

Paddlers Cup

After the Cross Narrows Challenge, competitive and recreational paddlers will compete in 5K and 10K distance races inside the harbor. Then they will face off in head-to-head 150-meter sprint knock-off races. The Inner Harbor Races are open to youth and adult canoe, kayak, outrigger canoe, para-canoe and SUP paddlers of any experience level.

Paddlers Cup is a premiere event for Pacific Northwest canoe, kayak, paddleboard and outrigger athletes and enthusiasts of all ages and levels. 2018 Race Information, the Schedule of Events and Registration are at

— Photos courtesy of Kerrie Andrist Clos, Chance Busey, Paddlers Cup and the Gig Harbor Dragons

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