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Paddleboarding race to raise money for Chesapeake Bay to be held this weekend

Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 18:21:24-04

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md. — More than 100 paddlers will be racing to help our Chesapeake Bay.

“In 2020, I became the first person to stand up paddle board the entire length of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Chris Hopkinson.

In 2020, Hopkinson started in Havre De Grace and went down the Atlantic, close to 200 miles on a paddle board. He raised nearly $200,000 for the Bay.

It was so impactful to him he wanted to make it a fundraiser race. “Not everybody wants to paddle 200 miles every year,” Hopkinson said.

So a two-day, 45-mile race was formed.

The race will start in Havre De Grace and end in Cambridge. The race will be on Saturday and Sunday.

It’s not just paddle boards, but also canoes and kayaks as well.

All the money raised will be for the largest estuary system in the United States and the third largest in the world.

“Supporting the organizations Oyster Recovery Partnership, Chesapeake conservancy and Water Keepers Chesapeake and all the work they do,” Hopkinson said.

Not only do they have solo racers, they have teams that can do a relay for the race as some teachers are doing.

“They're hitting the waters, those teachers and they are actually taking what the learned on the Bay back to the classroom so they have a Bay paddle day at Broadneck High School,” Hopkinson said.

Paddleboarding is a solitary sport much like running and just like marathons where people come out to encourage the racers.

They would like people to come out and encourage the people that are racing on the Chesapeake Bay this weekend.

“You've gone 15 miles, you're half way through the day and all of a sudden you see a line boats and they are just cheering you on,” Hopkinson said. “That could make the difference in a day to a paddler who is out there.”

This is the longest paddleboard race on the Bay and one of the longest in the country.

Racers are here from Maine to Florida and beyond all to benefit the animals in the water and the birds in the air.

“This is their planet,” Hopkinson said. “We're just guest and so we can do a better job of protecting it for them and us.”

For more information on the race, visit this website.