"You stand up on something that looks like a big surfboard, and you use a big long paddle and somehow, balance and paddle," said Priscilla Reinertsen, secretary of NECKRA.
"It's the big rage in paddle sport.
It has hit the West coast and we're beginning to see it here."
Recreational classes will paddle a five-mile course, and racing classes will run the course twice, for a total of ten miles.
said boats will be grouped by type in each class, and there will be staggered starts.
The race is part of the New England Point series for NECKRA members, but is open to all.
The $15 registration fee includes a meal after the race, including roast chicken, bratwurst, salad and water.
Racers are invited to bring their own drinks, and some bring desserts to share.
"We'll have an awards ceremony, where you get recognition amongst your peers and you get to sit down and have a good meal afterwards," Reinertsen
said organizers welcome paddlers of all skill levels.
"We welcome new folks coming out," she
"We are eager to have people who haven't participated in competitive paddling before.
Everyone is always very willing to help newcomers."
said because the river is wide and not particularly deep with no major hazards, it is a rather safe place to paddle.
Participants meet at the Holyoke Rows boathouse on Jones Ferry Road in Holyoke to sign up the morning of the race.
For more information on NECKRA
, visit www.neckra.org, or contact Reinertsen