The Essex River Race is a 5.5+ mile open water event from the Essex River at Route 133 in Essex, out behind the barrier beaches of Ipswich and back. Participants row or paddle small boats through one of the most scenic tidal areas in New England. Occasionally the water can be very rough, with strong winds and currents. As with all on-water activities in such conditions, safety should be the first concern of all participants and organizers. The orderly, safe and sportsmanlike conduct of this event is your personal responsibility, and is essential to guaranteeing the future of the Essex River Race.

The Essex River Race is open to all seaworthy human-powered rowing and paddle boats. Participants’ crafts usually include Banks dories, fixed seat singles, doubles, multi-oars with cox, multi-oars without cox, sliding seat singles & doubles, single & double touring kayaks, surfskis.

In this year’s event, there will be awards. Given the narrow size of the river at the start, participants will be sent out in heats composed of roughly comparable crafts. (Heats will be announced at the Captain’s Meeting.) Times will be kept and recorded for all participants, and results will be made available at the finish line (and later posted on the CARC web site). Serious racers are allowed and encouraged, within the guidelines of safety and sportsmanship, to push one another to their limits. Casually oriented participants are equally welcome, and may cover the course in a more relaxed fashion (though, for safety reasons, all participants MUST clear the course within two hours of their starting time).

Essex River Race