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Currents


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OFF-OFF-OFF BROADWAY. PHOTO: JESSICA WEN


DETAILS, DETAILS When: August 22, 2015 Info: www.yprc.org Email: manhattancir- cumnavigation@gmail.com


SIX REASONS TO RACE AROUND NEW YORK CITY


There’s no better way to witness the famed sights, sounds and skylines of Manhattan than from the cockpit of a kayak. Last year, the annual Man- hattan Circumnavigation drew 101 paddlers to a 30-mile course along the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers, past Battery Park and under the Brooklyn Bridge to close the circle. This summer—the event’s 12th annual—prom- ises to reward both newcomers and those looking for a rematch made in Manhattan.—Virginia Marshall


SEE THE CITY Lee Reiser, Atlantic division director of recreation and promotion for the American Canoe Association (ACA), describes the circumnavigation route as “the kayaking version of Manhattan’s Circle Line scenic cruises.”


FUN FOR EVERYONE The first circumnavigation was led by Jerry Blackstone and Steve Blumling, two Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club (YPRC) members who wanted to take some friends on a trip around Manhattan. They checked the tides, launches and landings, set a date, and the first Manhattan Circ was born 12 years ago. From those first intrepid participants, the event has grown to include multiple clubs and over a hundred paddlers of all skill levels, from up and down the eastern seaboard.


FRESH PERSPECTIVE Starting in the early morning hours and finishing after dark, participants launch from paddler-friendly Inwood Park. According to Blackstone, the


22 PADDLING MAGAZINE MADE IN MANHATTAN


loop “opens people’s eyes to the waterways they’re right next to—demys- tifying them and making them accessible to almost anybody.” Gotham shines from the water: the bustling piers of Hell’s Kitchen, the gleaming skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, the triple spans of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, the narrow reaches of Harlem and the rolling parklands of Inwood and Washington Heights.


SAFE AND SOCIAL Given the tidal currents and boat traffic, the route is carefully planned to take advantage of optimal conditions, while providing rest stops along the way. “We travel counterclockwise so no one has to paddle against the tide,” explains Reiser. Keeping pace with the event’s growth each year, organizers Blackstone and Blumling have added guides, safety boats and an on-land support crew. This summer, the Circ is partnering with the ACA to accom- modate and promote the race to even more paddlers.


ADVENTURE ECONOMY At just $30 ($25 for ACA members) for up to 11 hours start to finish, the Manhattan Circumnavigation is by far the best deal in the Big Apple.


APRÈS PADDLE Head ashore to explore the parks, museums, dining, shopping, theatres and more in The City That Never Sleeps.


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