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L.A. River Boat Race Returns for a Second Run

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As the river becomes ever more a part of the Los Angeles city life, waterway-related events are also starting to become part of the city's much-awaited calendar. One of those vying for the city's river-related calendar is the second annual Los Angeles River Boat Race organized by L.A. River Expeditions. The race is set for this Saturday, August 8.

This year promises to be even better than its first run last year, says one of the event's producers Anthea Raymond.

"We now have two courses, the original Sprint Race and the longer and grittier Down River Race, " says Raymond.The Sprint course is a ¾ mile stretch that begins at a splashy and rambunctious Rattlesnake Rapid around Clearwater Street. It ends with a lap up and back on the flat lagoon along Marsh Park in Frogtown. It finishes near the 2 freeway. The Sprint course is apt for all boaters, including newbies. The L.A. River Expeditions even provides boats, as they did last year.

Beginners and advanced racers all have a chance to test out their paddling skills in the second annual L.A. River Boat Race. | Photo by Math Gush.
Beginners and advanced racers all have a chance to test out their paddling skills in the second annual L.A. River Boat Race. | Photo by Math Gush.

Though this year's Sprint course is basically the same as last year's, the Down River course is completely new and designed to attract advanced boaters looking for more of a challenge. Overall, L.A. River Expedition aims to improve the general racer and spectator experience, by also offering better prizes, and smoother in and out access to the river. Raymond adds that in the future, she hopes to add items include a surfing contest, a better opening parade, and even a redesigned riverbed that can appeal to more advanced racers.

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Though last year's event attracted about a hundred participants, this year is proving to be a bigger challenge. "Getting on people's radar [is our biggest challenge]," says Raymond. "So much is going on around the LA River now. They can bike and picnic and fish and generally 'play the LA River.' We hope that offering a chance to compete and bond with fellow boaters in a low-key environment will set us apart."

The race opens at 11 am with "honorary boaters" paddling the Sprint course. Raymond says to watch out for surprises as the honorary boaters parade down the river.

Tickets start at $25. More details can be found here.

Spectators can cheer for river boat racers or simply enjoy a day by the river. | Photo by Anthea Raymond.
Spectators can cheer for river boat racers or simply enjoy a day by the river. | Photo by Anthea Raymond.

 

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