GPR IS COMING BACK THIS YEAR
Race Day: Sunday July 31, 2022
After a Covid 19-forced two-year hiatus, we are planning to hold the Hamptons’ seventh Great Peconic Race, or GPR, on Sunday, July 31, 2022. Because this is our first year with the race during peak summer vacation months we plan to keep the event as simple as possible in all respects, to not disrupt the activities of summer beach-goers at Wades and to gain the trust of Shelter Island Town officials. And there will only be one race this year — a 19-mile circumnavigation of the Island.
Founded in 2014, the GPR is one of the East Coast’s premier paddle races for elite and intermediate paddlers. The race was created to honor Ted Baldwin’s (my little brother’s) love for the waters we grew up on. This year’s proceeds will be donated to the Town in support of Shelter Island environmental coastal water concerns and children’s outdoor water activities.
All paddle or rowing crafts are welcome – SUPs, Surf Skis, OC1 – OC6, Kayaks, Coastal Rowers, and Prone Paddle Boards. The event will start and finish at Wades Beach on the south side of Shelter Island.
This is a paddle/rowing craft race, in which participants can expect open bay conditions, including at times strong currents and any host of wind/wave conditions. There is no rain date; alternate courses are in place should there be rough or foggy conditions.
While we will have power boat escorts and EMT support there will be extended periods of time that paddlers will be on their own and must be prepared to be independent and self-sufficient. Basic safety gear and day provisions are required of all participants. All paddlers are expected to be wearing PFDs and SUP’ers must use a board leash.
Standard Race Course and Alternates
The course starts and ends on Wades Beach on Shelter Island. The course will proceed in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction (TBD on race day), hopefully with the prevailing southwest winds, circumnavigating 19 miles of Shelter Island. Any racers not completing the course after 6 hours will be escorted back to Wades by a rescue boat. Weather conditions will be assessed on race day to determine if an alternate course is needed.
Alternate Course 1: Partial Course, West Side: Should there be heavy east or northeast winds, we will modify the standard course to a west side partial circumnavigation. The course will run from Wades Beach clockwise to Hiberry Lane and back, finishing at Wades Beach.
Alternate Course 2: Partial Course, East Side: Should there be heavy west or southwest winds, we will modify the standard course to an east side partial circumnavigation. The course will run from Wades Beach counterclockwise to Menhaden Lane and back, finishing at Wades Beach.
Note: All courses may be adjusted depending on weather conditions.
Race Day Schedule
6:30 am to 7:30 am – Sign-in & vessel drop-off
(No same-day onsite registration will be allowed)
7:30 am – Mandatory Captains Meeting
8:00 am – Race Start
11:00 am – First paddlers expected to cross finish line
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm “Rolling In Dough” Pizza truck lunch provided
2:00 pm – Race course will be closed
2:30 pm – Lunch service ends and beach cleanup begins
3:00 pm – Event ends and beach cleanup completed
Crafts should be dropped off at Wades Beach and moved to the far right (Northwest) side of the beach. Vehicles & trailers must then be parked in locations designated by the Shelter Island Police.
We instruct all paddlers to read the safety instructions carefully so they can prepare for unforeseen water conditions and arrange their pick up if they can’t complete the race. The GPR is an endurance event — all participants must be in good physical condition.
Paddlers are instructed to arrive on-time the morning of the race and allow sufficient time to stretch and warm up prior to the Captains Meeting. Once physically prepared for the race paddlers may get their crafts prepared with all necessary gear and supplies.
Example of paddle provisions for participants: Plenty of water, Granola / Power Bars, Bananas, Bag of nuts, Dates and Figs, Peanut Butter/Almond Butter and Jelly sandwiches
Apparel: Sun Hat, Polarized Sun Glasses, UV Shirt, Board Shorts / Paddle Shorts, Wind Breaker, Water Shoes, Hoodie / Warm up Jacket, Sun Screen
Craft Supplies: Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) and a rescue whistle are required for all paddlers, a leash for the board and/or paddle, a bailer for boats, and optionally a dry bag, extra paddles, tow rope, VHF radio or cell phone in waterproof case, and first aid kit.
Paddle Craft Divisions
• Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs)
• Surf Skis
• Outriggers, multi and single
• All other paddle or rowing crafts are welcome: Dories, Fixed-Seat Rowing Sculls, etc.
Safety Rules & Bailouts
Any participants who bail out before completing the race must contact the GPR committee immediately at a to-be-provided phone number or VHF radio frequency. Furthermore, all paddlers who complete the race must check in with the Race Committee Timer at Wades Beach. The GPR committee reserves the right, at any time, to ask a paddler to leave the race for their own safety.
- The GPR Committee reserves the right to refuse entry and participation to anyone at any time for any reason.
- The Committee may expel or disqualify any individual or boat for lack of required equipment, unsafe operation, and/or disregard for event rules or unsportsmanlike behavior.
- The Committee may disqualify any individual or boat who has gained an advantage by drafting any boat outside of its registered class, blocking an overtaking boat, ignoring someone in distress, or causing damage to another craft.
- Drafting is allowed for the same craft category and same gender only.
- No contact is allowed between craft.
- All paddlers must have a PFD on their craft for each member and a rescue whistle.
- All stand-up paddlers must use a leash and have a PFD onboard.
- All support boats will return to Wades Beach by 2:30 pm.
Patrol Boat and EMTs
We will have patrol boats throughout the race if a paddler needs assistance. Currently, we are planning on three roaming patrols and waiting for USCG support at the last ferry crossing to assist paddlers with the timing.
There will be a mandatory Captain’s Meeting before the start of the race that will go over the race course, rules and safety procedures, as well as a discussion on weather conditions, currents, problem areas around the course, and ferry crossings. Check-in procedures when you leave the race course will be key parts of this talk.
Ferry Boat Crossings
We will be in conversation with both ferry companies and have set up the following arrangements: Note that which ever way we begin the race at the first ferry crossing the paddlers will be fresh and alert and it will be early morning, with little boat traffic. The second ferry crossing will be carefully patrolled — with tired paddlers and a likely increase in boat traffic.
The crossing at the South Ferry crossing has gone smoothly for six years. The crossing is about three minutes and usually has three or four boats running on the weekend in the summer. Paddlers are cautioned to maintain ample clearance from the much-less-maneuverable ferry boats. We will set up one support boat that will be anchored, positioned just west of South Ferry, about 150 feet into the channel. This boat with a red flag will be stopping and then waving paddlers through when the crossing is safe.
The North Ferry, which has a longer crossing of about 9 minutes, may be running three or four ferryboats. Again, paddlers are cautioned to maintain ample clearance from the much-less-maneuverable ferry boats. We plan to station one support boat to assist paddlers through the North Ferry crossing.
The Race Director, Linda Cirigliano, will be located at Wades Beach and in charge of directing all water movement and land support. All ground support will be using marine VHF Channel 23 (TBD). All paddlers must provide two cell phone numbers, a personal cell phone number and that of a friend or family member. The numbers will only be used if the paddler is not checked off at either the half way mark or finish line before specified times. We will need to confirm that you are no longer on the race course.
Each Paddler will have a bib number that will be used to confirm that all paddlers have either reached the finish or bailed out. There will be a patrol boat whose sole job will be to make sure no one is left behind and will patrol at the back of race.
***Note: Any paddlers who are having problems with their condition or time to complete the race will be directed to one of three beach landings for pick up. Furthermore, each paddler must display their bib number on their boat and/or person so race officials and rescue workers can easily see the number from a distance.
Lunch Served – noon to 1:30 pm
Lunch will be provided by the Rolling in Dough Pizza Truck.
Rolling in Dough combines two of the coolest inventions: automobiles & pizza. The fully restored 1943 K-6 International Harvester truck is a party on wheels, providing the Twin Forks with mouthwatering, wood-fired, brick-oven pizza for every occasion.1
Registration will be open beginning 9:00 am on Monday, April 25th through 5:00 pm on Friday, July 29th via PaddleGuru.com. The registration fee is $125, which includes a one-day parking fee of $25 at Wades Beach. [Ferry fees are not included.]
N0TE 1: Due to timing and location restrictions this year’s GPR is being strictly limited to 50 participants and 45 parking spaces! Please try to car pool if at all possible.
NOTE 2: Please be aware there will be absolutely NO SAME DAY REGISTRATION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!