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Higley Association sets Round the Islands Race for Saturday


COLTON - The Higley Association, an active organization of area campers and landowners in the Higley Flow area sponsors several area events including fireworks, Fire on the Lake, youth fishing derby, potluck dinners and the Higley Hustle winter cross-country ski race.

On Saturday, the organization will sponsor the popular family-oriented “Round the Islands Canoe and Kayak Race.” The race will begin and end at Brookfield Power’s “Big Rock” picnic area and boat launch off Pine Road in the town of Colton.

The adult and youth races will take paddlers on a scenic tour of a portion of Higley Flow. The “fledgling” child’s race is one mile in length with the longer race proceeding over a 4-mile course.

The race is described as recreational with a class for every paddler. There are six classes with more added on race day to accommodate all boaters. The emphasis of the race is on family and fun.

This year, the 20th, is marked by a special giveaway. Each year the Palmer family presents the Veteran Paddler Award in memory of their dad, C.M. Palmer. This year, Larry Palmer, Charlie’s son, will be donating his kayak in a free giveaway, in order that some area or would-be paddler might find the same enjoyment from it that he did. Charlie paddled his beloved kayak in waters ranging from the Arctic Circle to the Everglades.

In addition to awards for first- through-third place finishes, this year there will be three special prizes: the C.M. Palmer Memorial Veteran Paddler Award, Phyllis Baker Memorial Youth Award and Chris Murphy Memorial Women’s Award. There are multiple criteria for each award. All three recognize good sportsmanship.

In addition to that, the C.M. Palmer Award, presented in his memory by his family, recognizes outstanding paddling by a veteran paddler over the age of 60. This is typically the best finish by a veteran paddler in his or her class. In the event of a tie, the margin of victory and sportsmanship will be considered.

The Phyllis Baker Award is given to the Fledgling Paddler with outstanding performance and good sportsmanship.

The third award is the Chris Murphy Memorial Plaque in tribute to Chris, who was an annual competitor whose love of paddling and spirit of camaraderie set the mood of the race for many years. The award is given to the female paddler whose passion and enthusiasm carry on Chris’s spirit.

Following the race there are games on the water including pedal boat and paddler’s slaloms.

The morning’s activities conclude with hot dogs, soda and cookies for all. Many spectators come to enjoy the activities.

Registration will be from 9-10 a.m. The race will begin at 10 to take advantage of the quieter water and cooler temperatures. Events should wrap up by 12:30 p.m.

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