Race Information

Thursday, April 27th is the last day to register for the Bay Bridge Paddle!

Race Information and Logistics

To ensure a safe and fun event for all, please review the below information before joining us at Sandy Point State Park. Please check back often for updated and additional information.

Park Address

1100 East College Pkwy
Annapolis, MD. 21409

Please arrive no later than 45 minutes before your start time to allow for parking, check-in, and racer briefing.

Hotel Information

The official hotel sponsor for the 2017 Bay Bridge Paddle is The Crowne Plaza Hotel, 173 Jennifer Rd. Annapolis, MD 410-266-3131. There are a block of rooms reserved for racers with the Bay Bridge Padde. When making reservations, please use this link for the discounted rate. Other activities for racers as well as registration will be held at the Crowne Plaza on Friday.

Parking

Each participant is entitled to one parking pass. Place this pass on your windshield prior to the main gate of the park. Parking passes have been emailed to registered paddlers.  Follow signs to East Beach for the paddle event. Cars without parking passes will be charged $5 per person by the park.

Unloading

Once you are at East Beach, you will be directed to unload your SUP/Kayak in our unloading zone. Please do so quickly then heed the directions of our parking attendants.

Weather

As you know, weather can be unpredictable. We will make a decision on the races based on forecast and predicted conditions and send out the night before the race and also post on Facebook if there is a change to the schedule below. The event will proceed, rain or shine.

Waivers

Please be sure to have your signed waiver. Participants will not be allowed to participate without either an electronic copy on file or a printed copy of the signed waiver which can be found on our website.

Water Conditions and Temperature

Although conditions can be calm, racers must be prepared for open water conditions, especially those participating in the longer courses. As you progress further from shore, you may encounter increasing wind, currents, and wave size. Current water temperatures should be in the upper 50’s degree range. Please check the weather as you get closer to the event.

Equipment Guidelines

All racers must properly wear a US Coast Guard Approved Flotation Device on their body at all times during the race and follow Coast Guard Regulations for their boat type.

All competitors should know their capabilities and make an informed decision to paddle based on the conditions and their skill level.

Wear weather appropriate clothing and bring enough hydration and food to complete the races.

Paddlers/Surfskis/OCs:

  • Must meet the American Canoe Association Essential Eligibility Criteria
  • Must wear a leash. This is mandatory.

Kayakers

  • Must be able to complete a wet exit, right, re-enter their kayak, and then drain the vessel
  • Must have securely fastened, adequate buoyancy to float the kayak horizontally if filled with water (sufficient to support a 25 pound weight in a boat full of water)
  • Must have an appropriate bailing device for the style of kayak in use.
  • Any kayak entered in the 9 mile race should be of sufficient length (suggested 14′ or more) and performance to meet the timing cut-offs and the conditions
  • Sit-in kayaks require a spray skirt.
  • Kayaks may be subject to a visual inspection and approval on race day, and any vessel that does not meet the safety requirements may be prohibited from use in the race.
Courses and Race Details

This year we have added chipped timing, so ensure that you are wearing your bib number visibly on your chest or the left side of your shorts and that your timing chip is around your ankle. It is important that you make sure to cross and step on the timing mat when you finish the race, please note that any chip worn higher than your ankle may not be correctly read.

All racers will start and finish in the same area of the East Beach at Sandy Point State Park. Kayaks, OCs and surfski will start approximately 5 minutes before the paddleboarders in each race, lining up in the water parallel to the finish buoy.

Paddleboarders will line up on the beach holding their paddles and boards. Please give your neighbor enough room to safely start the race.

All races will receive a notice to assemble for race start, a warning prior to the start and then a horn or siren to start the race.

OC 6’s will have a water finish line, measured at the buoy closest to shore which the boats will pass on their left side. All other craft will finish on shore by running through the finisher chute and across the timing mat with their paddle in hand. There will be volunteers present to catch watercraft and move them to shore as paddlers come into the finish.  As you enter the finisher chute, ensure that you run across the timing mat so your chip can be read.  If you can remember your number and shout it when crossing the finish line, please do so, the timers will appreciate it, Once you cross the finish line, please clear it quickly to allow the other competitors to finish unobstructed and the timers to see finisher numbers.

The 1.5K course will be closer to shore in shallower waters; paddlers will launch from East Beach and head south toward the Bay Bridge. They will turn at the second buoy and follow the course back to finish at East Beach.

The 5K course will launch from East Beach and head south along the shoreline toward the Bay Bridge. Paddlers will stay parallel to the shore line and make a left side buoy turn to enter the bridge spans. They will proceed west to east under the bridge and make a left side buoy turn to exit the bridge and go north to finish at East Beach.

The 9 Mile course will launch from East Beach and head south toward the Bay Bridge. Paddlers will stay parallel to the shore line and make a left side buoy turn to enter the bridge spans. They will paddle west to east between the bridge spans across the bay, making a single left side buoy turn at the far end of bridge and returning east to west between the bridge spans. Paddlers will make a right side buoy turn to exit the bridge and go north toward the lighthouse; they will make a left side buoy turn to round the lighthouse and then paddle back to the finish at East Beach.

There will be mandatory cut-off times for the 9 mile course at 3 Miles (1 Hour), 6 Miles (2 Hours) and 7.5 Miles (2.5 Hours). Racers should be able to complete the 9 miles course within 3 hours and all race traffic must be clear of the bridge by 12:00.

All courses and start times are subject to change based on weather conditions.

Safety Information

There will be safety boats all around the perimeter of the race zone. The Coast Guard has granted a permit that will restrict commercial and recreational boating activity from entering the racing area, including the Bay Bridge Span. There will be several different watercraft present around the race area to assist paddlers as needed. If any paddler is in distress, they should indicate so by waving their paddle above their heads. Paddlers who see a distressed paddler should assist in the rescue of this paddler as needed and help to gain the attention of the closest safety personnel. Paddlers in distress will receive immediate assistance from the nearest support vessel.

Any paddler who voluntarily withdraws from the race MUST notify the nearest safety boat and provide their race number. The paddler MUST also sign out at the race tent on the beach once they are on shore.
Racers may be removed from the course due to safety issues or if they fail to meet the timed cut-offs for the race. Depending on the circumstance, including weather conditions and paddler’s location, racers may be turned back to Sandy Point State Park or removed from the water. All racers that are withdrawn from the race will be listed as DNF in race results even if the racer continues to the finish line after receiving assistance. Racers MUST sign out at the race tent on the beach once they are on shore.

Rules/Starts and Etiquette

No paddler may interfere with another paddler.

All racers must stay within the course, may not enter or exit the Bay Bridge spans outside the race course or round a buoy in the wrong direction in order to gain an advantage.

All paddlers must stay clear of all man-made and natural obstructions, including the rock jetties on both sides of East Beach. Stay far enough from shore to avoid any fishing lines in the water. When paddling between the bridge spans, stay clear of the pilings, the current can accelerate you toward them and causes varying unstable water around their base.

Racers must not climb onto any part of the bridge structure; this will result in immediate disqualification as well as subject you to potential trespass laws.

Food

Breakfast and lunch is included for each racer. In addition, bagels, donuts, and coffee are available for purchase prior to the race. Lunch items are also available for purchase after the race. Beer, wine, and liquor will also be available for purchase. All food/beverage purchases are cash only.

On the Beach

We have a ton of great raffle prizes, including SUP boards and kayaks. Raffle tickets will be 3 tickets for $5 or 15 tickets for $20. Proceeds from the raffle and the event go to The Foundation for Community Betterment.

Contact Us

Send us a message and join us for all the fun!

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