Put your paddles together for all the kayakers, canoers and SUP-ers. The 5th annual Nonantum Paddle Battle in Kennebunkport on August 6 was held under glorious sunshine – truly a Sunday fun day on the Kennebunk River. Hundreds of kayaks, canoes, surfboards and SUPs graced the waterfront at The Nonantum Resort for a fun race up and down the Kennebunk River.
This family fun event, The Paddle Battle, now in its 5th year, is hosted at The Nonantum Resort. Its expanded and grown by leaps and paddles since the first Nonantum Quest for the Cup canoe race back in 2008. While the “Paddle Battle” sounds like a competitive event, and it is for those in the front of the pack charging the River, the day’s goal is fun, and fundraising for the Kennebunkport Fire Department’s Water Division.
There was a strong breeze and a stiff outgoing tide for the paddlers heading up the Kennebunk River. The reward was riding the swift tide with the wind at their backs for the paddle battlers once they made it back under the Mat Lanigan Bridge. There were tandem kayaks, and SUPs with kids on board. Kristen and John Martin, Captain of the Pineapple Ketch, were among the fastest tandem kayaks off the Red Bull starting line.
Spectators cheered from the banks of the river, The Yachtsman, Arundel Wharf and David’s KPT at the Waterfront Boathouse. Folks also lined the Mat Lanigan Bridge and watched paddlers navigate under the bridge and around a musical barge, before the race back to the riverfront resort, a 1.7 mile course total. The Nonantum hosts a bbq with a live band, the Kennebunk River band, under a big top tent on the lawn during the event. Kayak and SUP demos are available during the event as well. To celebrate the winners, both adult and kid categories, prizes are awarded for best times in each category, plus a new Crazy Costume and Crazy Craft divisions.
Paddle Battle was named a top summer fun event by Sports Illustrated Kids’ magazine.
Some of Kennebunkport’s Paddle Battle local sponsors include Weirs Motors, Kennebunkport Bicycle, Kayak Fishing New England, and Aquaholic Surf Shop, and Sam Adams beer which is served at the event.
Get your paddles up and prepped for battle, or next year’s 2018 Paddle Battle.
Another fun way to get out on the water, is to get on board a charter boat at the Nonantum. The Rugosa Tours offers scenic lobster boat trips, while the Libreti Rose II offers private fishing trips, and Pineapple Ketch provides beautiful sailing excursions. All of these tour boats depart from the Nonantum docks daily, reservations are highly encourage for these relatively small charter, scenic boat trips.
Coming from away to Kennebunkport, the place to stay is The Nonantum Resort– its an historic grand hotel on the riverbanks, with a lively entertainment and activity schedule, great dining and the friendliest staff in town. The Nonantum has an ideal location, 95 Ocean, a short walk to Dock Square, and to Walkers Point, President Bush (#41) and Barbara Bush’s summer estate on scenic Ocean Ave.
Photos and Content – Copyright of VisitMaine.net 2017