The fifth annual Great Peconic Race, honoring the memory of Ted Baldwin, a water sport enthusiast, will be held on Saturday, September 8.
The 19-mile paddle race, setting out from Wade’s Beach on Shelter Island, will journey around the Island. There is also the option for a nine-mile or three-mile race course, and a beach sprint race will be offered for children.
The Great Peconic Race is an open water paddle race, which may include strong currents and winds, as well as choppy waters. All kinds of paddle crafts are welcome, including stand up paddle boards, surf ski, OC1-OC6, kayaks, coastal rowers and prone boards.
“More than a race, the Great Peconic paddle is a unifier, bringing together elite athletes and weekend paddlers, all sharing a love of the water,” said Fergis Sloan. “This Saturday is no exception, when some of the most beautiful waters on the East End will take center stage and hundreds of paddlers compete on one of three race courses.”
Baldwin grew up in the North Sea near the Little Peconic Bay and almost never left the water. He passed in 2010 of blood cancer.
“Ted was a true water lover,” said Billy Baldwin, Ted’s brother. “There wasn’t a sport or activity on the water that he had not tried while growing up on the bay. He designed a slalom course in Scallop Pond, our favorite water ski hangout, sailed around Robin’s Island, jet skied, and parasailed before it was a ‘thing.'”
Recreational paddlers are welcome, but it is recommended only advanced paddlers participate in the 19-mile course.
Following the Race, there will be a beach party for paddlers and spectators with a catered lunch, beer, music, paddle craft demos and massages.
“Ted had very little fear and was always confident when it came to his abilities or when facing whatever Mother Nature could throw at him,” Billy added. “This race is for him and to help others to develop a love for the water.”
Spectators must purchase tickets for the beach party online before the day of the race. Registration opens at 7 a.m. and a captain’s meeting will take place at 8 a.m. The first race sets off at 8:30 a.m.
Trophies will be awarded to the top finishers and all racers receive a medal and a rash guard.
Wade’s Beach is located at 110 South Midway Road on Shelter Island. For more information or to register, visit, greatpeconicrace.com.