International Paddling Competition to return in ‘20
The United States Canoe Association (“USCA”) held its annual meeting on January 11-12, 2019 in St. Pete Beach, FL. USCA Delegates from around the country attended the meeting, where members of the Newaygo Nationals Association (“NNA”) presented a bid to host the USCA’s premier international race event in August 2020.
“It has been several years since we last hosted this event,” said Gabriel Slominski, Chairman of the NNA. “The community has been asking when we might bring the USCA Marathon Nationals back to Newaygo and we thought 2020 would be a good date for them to return,”
When Slominski followed up with the President of USCA, Rebecca Barton Davis, as to whether they had won the bid, her one word answer was “Yes!” Davis, who is also a Michigan resident and one of the leading canoe racers in the Country, supported NNA’s bid to host the 2020 Event by stating that “it is an excellent venue and beautiful course.”
The selection by the USCA to return to Newaygo will mark the third time that the Newaygo Nationals Association has hosted this prestigious race, having previously hosted in 2011 and 2013.
“We are confident that we can host this event and exceed expectations set in past races, where we received enthusiastic support from both the paddlers and the affected local communities,” said Scott Faulkner, NNA Treasurer. “Our goal in 2020 will be to showcase our growth as a outdoor adventure destination and as an Organization. We are excited to run a world class international paddling event right here in Newaygo County.”
Dates are being finalized for the 4-day Event, but are expected to be early to mid-August, 2020. The USCA Marathon Nationals draws canoers and kayakers from all over the US, Canada and international paddling community. Paddlers compete in various sprints, marathons and other races against the best in their sport.
“We expect the footprint to be similar to previous Nationals where we have utilized Croton Pond and the section of the Muskegon River that starts below the Croton Dam and flows down to Henning Park,” Slominski added. “As in the past, our goal is to minimize impact with other paddlers, tubers or fishermen during the event and we have already alerted Newaygo County Emergency Services to be part of the planning,”
“Our goal from formation back in 2009 was to bring these types of competitions to the area. There is no other organization hosting events of this caliber.”
The USCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving its members in canoeing, kayaking, and other paddling activities, especially marathon canoe racing and marathon kayak racing. The USCA promotes a FIVE STAR program of competition, cruising, conservation, camping and camaraderie. Learn more at www.uscanoe.com
The Newaygo Nationals Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit. The organization’s goals are to foster, facilitate and encourage participation in paddling and outdoor recreation. NNA seeks to cultivate national events and outdoor sporting competitions that draw awareness and provide a benefit to the Muskegon River Valley and its watershed by promoting these events for the competitors and our surrounding community. Through these goals, we also strive to improve infrastructure while promoting conservation and attentiveness of the resources in our area. NNA encourages you to participate in these goals and events with us here in our community and beyond www.newaygonationals.org