Check out The Paddler’s Cup


Kathy Kasperbauer

Reporter, Noelle Misterek, captures the flowing positivity of the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak club as they make their way to the Paddler’s Cup.

Noelle Misterek

The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team is an obscure, but very influential part of the Gig Harbor community. Most people have never even heard of the team, let alone realize that they are four-time national champions and have many internationally recognized athletes. GHCKRT consists of around 60 student athletes in our community who train in the harbor every day, year-round.

Annually the team hosts the Paddlers Cup, which is an event for not just flatwater sprint canoe but any water sport to participate in. This year’s Paddlers Cup is coming up on Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd downtown in Skansie Brothers Park. This event debuted 5 years ago, and has since grown substantially every year. Paddle-boarders, Dragon Boats, and both sprint and recreational kayakers are welcome to participate in races, and those who are less eager to be out on the freezing cold harbor can enjoy watching the excitement. Local vendors also fill the park to advertise some of the features of the Gig Harbor Community.

All proceeds from the Paddler’s Cup will go to The Canoe and Kayak Racing Team and will help the youth on the team travel to Belarus and Hungary in the summer to compete internationally. You won’t want to miss this awesome event, so make sure you come check out the competition and excitement happening in your hometown harbor this weekend!

The schedule of events is seen below:

Saturday, April 2nd

  • 9:00am     Heats: 100 Meter Knock-Offs
  • 11:30am    Harbor Challenge Distance Races: 10K (4 laps) and 5 K (2 laps)
  • 1:00pm      Lunch
  • 2:00pm      Finals: 100 Meter Knock-Off
  • 3:30pm      200 Meter Relay Race
  • 5:00pm      10k, 5k Long Distance, Knock-Off, and Relay Race Awards  

Sunday, April 3rd

  • 9:00am                    Cross Narrows Challenge Begins (S.U.P. start)
  • 9:05am                    Cross Narrows Challenge (all other craft start)
  • 11:30am                  Cross Narrows Challenge Awards & Lunch  
  • 12:30pm-4:00pm    Dragon Boat Races