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Silver Lake boat race benefits Meriden nonprofit

Silver Lake boat race benefits Meriden nonprofit

reporter photo

As the lake turns golden with falling leaves, the local canoe and kayak racing season will come to a close with the third annual Silver Lake Race.

“It’s just nice to be out on the water and be with other people as well,” said Vicki Cummings, who organizes the race through the New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association.

This year’s race will take place on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. and isn’t just limited to kayaks and canoes.

“Anything that is human powered is more than welcome to come,” she said.

The proceeds will go to Kuhn Employment Opportunities, a Meriden nonprofit which helps people with disabilities find employment.

“I wanted the money to go somewhere locally and I know will go straight to people who need it,” Cummings said.

She felt it was a worthy cause since it helps people “feel valued, independent and proud.”

The race is split into two parts, a competitive class with two laps for those looking to push themselves or get points in NECKRA’s scoring competition and a recreational class with one lap and a more leisurely pace.

“There’s a core group of people who will go to pretty much every race,” Cummings said. “The racers are competitive, but also (have) fun with one another.”

A total of 37 boats competed last year.

Having canoed with her husband for around 15 years, Cummings said races with a strong community showing allow serious competitors to mingle with newcomers who just like being on the water.

Compared to the series’ whitewater courses, Silver Lake’s gentle waters offer a more welcoming environment for newcomers, she said. The recreation class starts a few minutes after the serious racers launch and participants are free to go at whatever pace they are comfortable with.

Each lap around the lake is 2.5 miles, which takes the average recreational racer half an hour to complete. The record for two laps stands at 48 minutes and 29 seconds.
Twitter: @leith_yessian