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Blackburn Challenge

July 25, 2015 @ 6:00 am - 3:00 pm

The Blackburn Challenge is a 20+ mile open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann. Participants row or paddle small boats in the open ocean waters around Cape Ann, and conditions can vary dramatically throughout the day. Occasionally the water can be very rough, with strong winds and high waves. While we have some powerboats on the course to monitor checkpoints, we do not provide boat escorts—you should expect to be out of their sight and fully independent most of the time. Unless you have solid experience in difficult conditions with the boat you plan to use, you should not enter this event. Always plan an “escape” path to safety, and if you encounter any problems along the way, pull out and call to let us know. The orderly, safe and sportsmanlike conduct of this event is your personal responsibility, and is essential to guaranteeing the future of the Blackburn Challenge.

We have no rain date; there’s always an event. Alternative courses will be in place for rough weather conditions, or fog. The Blackburn Challenge is open to all seaworthy oar or paddle powered craft. Classes include men’s and women’s Banks dories, fixed seat singles, doubles, multi-oars with cox, multi-oars without cox, sliding seat singles & doubles, single & double touring kayaks, single & double racing kayaks, surf skis, and outrigger canoes, in about that order. Refer to the enclosed sheet for anticipated start times. A final breakdown of heats and classes will be announced at the skipper’s meeting as well as changes to course if warranted. Though CARC attempts to recognize any class represented by several entries, we make no guarantees.

Time Limit Update – 6 Hour limit to complete course. Chase Boats and Timing will finish after 6 hours. Racers are paddling at their own risk after 6 hours on the course. Please plan appropriately if you believe you can not complete in 6 hours.

6:00 am Registration & Check In
7:00 am Captains Meeting – All Participants
7:45 am – 8:30 am Staggered Start by Boat Classs
12:00 Noon Pavilion Beach Finish Line Facilities Open
3:00 pm Award Ceremony & Festivities

Entry Information:

Entry Fee:
$75 per participant registered by July 14th Midnight
$100 per participant registered after July 14th Midnight
Regisgration Closes: July 20th Midnight

*** T-Shirt Size may not be available for late registrants ***

$375 per boat maximum if early registered ($500 if late)
$10 per additional meal ticket
50% discount for traditional banks dories if early registered

  • Fees include T-shirt, race management and pre/post food & beverages.
  • Meal tickets for non-racers must be ordered online during registration.
  • Extra T-shirts may be purchased at the finish line if available.

Equipment Requirements:

  • Each participant must carry or wear a USCG-approved PFD (life jacket).
  • Each participant must also carry an attention-getting noisemaker, such as a whistle on a lanyard.
  • Remember to bring the fluids or food you plan to consume during the event.
  • Participants may also find useful bailers, compasses, and charts of the area.


July 25, 2015
6:00 am - 3:00 pm


Unnamed Venue
32 Leslie O Johnson Rd
Gloucester, MA 01930 United States
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