Revelstoke is a major tourist center with amazing recreational opportunities. We have this stunningly beautiful, long, clear and narrow Lake Revelstoke surrounded by awesome snowcapped mountains and striking shoreline. Now it is time to develop an event on Lake Revelstoke that will bring more people to visit our city. Please welcome the David Thompson Paddlesport Classic.
This event will take place over the third weekend of August (August 18-20). Paddlers will pick up their event packets on Thursday and will be offered a supper at the United Church and, over the next three days, will paddle and portage 125km following the path of explorer David Thompson’s canoe on the Columbia River from Mica Creek to the finish line above Revelstoke dam. More than a race, the “Classic” expects to become an annual highlight experience of the paddling community with a field of over 200 canoes, kayaks, war canoes and rowboats – about 800 enthusiasts!
The foundation of the event is the 3-day Adirondack Canoe Classic, a 90 mile (145 km) race run annually for 33 years in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. It brags an entry of 275 boats every year. Bill Pollock, the organizer of the Revelstoke event, has had the privilege of completing that event 20 times. Bill is promoting The David Thompson Paddlesport Classic as a signature “British Columbia paddling experience” connecting recreation, history and the splendor of Lake Revelstoke.
Lake Revelstoke is ideal for a similar event and the old big bend highway is ideal for short portages to break up the paddling. The David Thompson Paddlesport Classic will also connect history, awesome mountain scenery and a superior recreational paddling experience in keeping with Revelstoke’s superior hospitality and friendliness. Age range of the participants is 10 to 75 plus in many boat and age classes. It is hoped that the event will eventually bring an influx of over 2,500 outdoor oriented people to our region! It will attract marathon and competitive canoe enthusiasts but also a large contingent of “in it to finish” folks in the OPEN TOURING Class. Briefly the itinerary is as follows:
Day One: At 5km from the start at Mica Creek is the first 500m portage on an old paved part of the Big Bend road. Another 14km of paddling brings you to the 1.6km portage through an abandoned air field at Bigmouth Creek. The finish line for Day 1 is 21km further at the Goldstream Creek boat launch. The total distance for Day 1 is about 42km.
Day Two: 27km from the Goldstream Creek boat launch brings you to a 460m portage north of Downie Point. Then one paddles 1.5km east across the Downie Creek estuary to a 650m portage along the old big bend road on the south side of the Downie estuary. Then back to the lake for a 14 km paddle to another 400m portage on the old highway. Then a short 2km paddle to end day 2 near Mars Creek. Total distance is about 46km.
Day Three: Paddle from Mars Creek 19.5km to a 400m portage at the Wadey (Laforme) Recreation Site. Then a 7.5km paddle to Martha Creek Provincial Park and a 1.25km hike through that campground to the beach followed by an 8.5km paddle to the finish line at the 5 Mile Boat Launch near the Revelstoke Dam. Total distance is about 37km. There will be a BBQ and awards ceremony on the playing field at the Columbia Park Elementary School.
Bill is organizing the event for the Revelstoke Paddlesport Association and hopes to get support from public, private and businesses interested in developing tourism in the area and the Province. These sponsors will not only assist the organization but will help the paddlers along the route.
The Revelstoke Paddlesport Association is a not-for-profit BC Society whose purpose is to develop, provide and promote recreational and competitive paddle sports activities and events in and around the city of Revelstoke. If you would like to help out, sponsor or paddle in the event contact Bill Pollock at (250) 814–7473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.