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Nissequogue River regatta to make waves

Participants in the 2017 Regatta on the River

Participants in the 2017 Regatta on the River at Nissequogue State Park. Credit: Dorothy Chanin

Take in the beauty of the Nissequogue River during a friendly race on the water alongside family and friends at the Regatta on the River in Kings Park.

Kayak, canoe or paddleboard your way to the finish line at Nissequogue River State Park Saturday, Aug. 11, in a competition organized by the park's foundation.


Paddlers can choose from a leisurely 5-mile paddle or a more competitive 10-mile race. While plenty of participants bring their own vessels, organizers have arranged for on-site kayak and canoe rentals as part of the event. The race lasts about an hour, although paddlers are free to take their time and enjoy the scenery.

After looping the river, a picnic follows with barbecue food and music. Along with the free food and entertainment, there are cash prizes for the winners of the race, as well as a gift card raffle.

“The river is absolutely beautiful and it was a nice and calm ride with the scenery on a sunny day,” says Matthew Bianco, 22, of Massapequa, who has won the 5-mile race with his girlfriend Rosie Pimental, 22, of Massapequa, for the past two years on kayak.

This event is primarily run by the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation's student board, made up of middle and high school students. 
“The students wanted to organize an activity to bring people into the park, and they have learned a lot from the process,” says John McQuaid of Kings Park, the foundation's chairman. He says the regatta typically raises thousands of dollars annually for park improvements. 
Co-president Juliana Quigley, 17, of Fort Salonga, became involved with the organization because she wants to show others how captivating nature can be.
“I am the third generation of Quigleys that has been able to hike the trails or walk along the water of this park,” she says. “I wanted other families like mine to be able to take part in the same things.”
Another co-president, Caleigh Lynch, 16, of Fort Salonga,  says “the Nissequogue River is not your normal river” and hopes the event can give the area the attention and visitation it deserves, as well as show visitors that they have the ability to make a change in their community.
Emily Dinan, 17, of Kings Park and also a co-president, says she is proud of the past two races. “We want people to see the beauty of the park and see what else it has to offer,” she says.
The idea is that racers introduced to the state park through a hands-on event might be intrigued enough, Dinan says, “to come back to visit the park or take their kayak out on another day because the Nissequogue River truly is a sight to see.”


Regatta on the River

WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. (10-mile race), 11:30 a.m. (5-mile fun race) Saturday, Aug. 11, at 799 St. Johnland Road, Kings Park. Check-in begins at 10 a.m. for rentals. Rain date: Sunday, Aug. 12.


COST $25 to $45 bring-your-own single kayak, canoe, or paddleboard; $55 to $85 includes kayak or canoe rentals.

Riverhead Cardboard Boat Race

The spectator-friendly event draws a big crowd to Riverhead's downtown waterfront to watch teams of boatbuilders who've crafted their vessels from cardboard and duct tape sink or sail on the Peconic River. There's a hula hoop contest at 11:30 a.m.

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11

INFO 631-727-7600,

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