Pre-registration for the upcoming Sinnemahone Paddle is on par with previous years according to organizers. The event renamed after long-time race director Randy Bailey stepped down last year from the Cameron County Canoe and Kayak Classic is now under the direction of the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce. The race starts Saturday April 6 across from the Emporium Country Club on the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek. Start time is 11am with a dinner to follow benefitting the Sinnemahoning Fire Department.
The 12 mile race draws competitors from West Virginia, Florida, New York, Ohio, Canada, across the state of Pennsylvania and as far away as Germany. “It is important this race continues, to show off Cameron County and its natural resources,” explains chamber executive director, Tina Solak. “Most of those pre-registered are from outside of the area. We encourage those paddlers to spend the night in our hotels, eat at our restaurants and hopefully fall in love with our area and return,”, continues Solak. Several restaurants in the Driftwood and Sinnemahoning area rolling out the red carpet for competitors and offering entertainment following the event.
Safety is the first concern and more than 30 emergency responders from Cameron, Elk, Centre, Clearfield, and Clinton County will line the course. PA Fish and Boat Commission has set a minimum and high-water
mark to regulate the race. If the water conditions do not meet those expectations, the race will be canceled, and partial refunds will be issued. Water conditions can be found at www.Sinnemahone.org.
New this year will be the addition of breakfast available for purchase at the start line from Emporium Rotary and the Driftwood Senior Center. Student Transportation of America will provide a
free shuttle from the finish to start line. Spectators can pick up food from HillBilly Eat N Shack food truck at the finish line. Goodie bags are provided to all racers and a number of door prizes will be handed out. The top three finishers in each category will take home a hand cut and engraved replica of a paddle. The cherry wood donated by Emporium Hardwoods is cut and engraved by Total Engraving then finished with a sealant donated by Cool’s Auto.
The paddling event is the first of three extreme sport competitions planned for the county. The next event is a 55-mile gravel road bike race that will include two state forests, two counties and one state park. That race is planned for Saturday September 28. The final race is the Sinnemahone Ultra Trail Runn on October 19.
Registration for all races can be made online or in person at the Cameron County Chamber of Commerce office in Emporium at (814) 486-4314 or CameronChamber@gmail.com.