Essex River Race 2009  

July 16, 2016


Blackburn Challenge Race Information

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

2016 Online registration is open !!

NO RACE DAY WALK ONs for the Blackburn Challenge
T-Shirt Size may not be available for late registrants

Please see new Pricing under Entry Information

*** Race Capped at 300 Boats - Register Early ***

Fees are non refundable (except under exceptional circumstances as decided by race committee)

Click to View Current 2016 Registrants

Click to View Current 2016 Registrants by Class

New Saftey Requirement: Smartphone Tracking
Event Tracking RaceJoy App Update!

As people register for the Blackburn Challenge, Steven will be contacting you by email and will be assigning you a bib # to use within the app for us to be able to keep track of where you are on the course.

If you are not able to use the app please let Steven be aware of this in your reply email


Urgent Parking Update - Gloucester will be towing cars from Chamber of Commerce Parking lot at finish line. This is the lot that extends from Commercial street along the brick building to the food tent at the finish. The adjacent lot is still available on a first come first serve basis.

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 Classes
12:00 Noon Pavilion Beach Finish Line Facilities Open
3:00 pm Award Ceremony & Festivities

Click to Download Release and Waiver of Liability

Registration & Check In:
Registration & check in is from 6:00 am to 7:00 am at the Gloucester High School. Registration tables will be located in the cafeteria. Access is from behind the tennis courts.

Race Charts:
Downloadable Race Charts below. Print them out and put them back to back in a dry chart bag or a zip lock. Staples or Kinkos can laminate them inexpensively as well. Race coordinator phone number included. See Race Course page for additional info.
Download Blackburn Race Chart 1
Download Blackburn Race Chart 2

Vehicles should be parked on paved areas in front of and to the side of the building. Do not leave vehicles near ramp. Rest rooms are available in the building.

Rest Rooms:
Rest rooms are available in the Gloucester High School

Race numbers:
Should be taped to both sides of your bow. Call your number to the timers at the finish line when crossing at the Greasy Pole. Do not cross the finish line twice.

It is essential that race personnel know who is on the course. Therefore, each participant must confirm his or her presence with the start committee, the committee boat anchored off Straitsmouth Island, and the finish committee at the Greasy Pole. If you are not at Straitsmouth 3 hours after your start time, you will be expected to pull out of the race and notify the committee. Race officials need you to be able to complete the race in 6 hours. Chase boats and the finish committee will not be responsible for racers who do not comply.


Anyone who retires from the race at any point between the registration table and the finish line should inform the Race Committee by calling 978-764-9407. Otherwise, people will be needlessly searching for a boat that isn’t on the course.

LOGISTICS CAN DELAY YOU! Please allow plenty of time to park, register, attend the skipper’s meeting and launch. Smaller boats can use the unpaved areas for launching. Boats must be rowed or paddled up the Annisquam River to the starting line near the railroad bridge. (See Logistics Map at right)

Start Order - To Be Finalized -Confirm at Captains Meeting
7:00 - Paddle Boards Only - Leave before Captains Meeting
7:45 - Sliding Multi and Fixed Multi (Possible moving start)
7:50 - Workboats, Banks Dories, Tandem Canoes, Single Canoes and Open Class
7:55 - Fixed Seat Singles and Doubles
8:00 - Sliding Seat Racing and Sliding Seat Touring Doubles
8:05 - Sliding Seat Racing, Men and Women
8:10 - Sliding Seat Touring, Men and Women
8:15 - All Outrigger Double and Single Canoes
8:20 - All Double: Kayaks, HPKs and Surfski. Men and Women
8:25 - All Sea Kayak (SK) Men and Women
8:30 - All FSK Men and Women
8:35 - All HPK / SS20+, including All Surfski - Men and Women
8:45 - Outrigger Canoes 6 Man

The Cape Ann Rowing Club reserves the right to refuse to register any individual or boat. CARC may also expel or refuse any participant or boat before or during the event for lack of required equipment, unsafe operation, disregard for event rules, or unsporting behavior. See updated Event Rules. The spirit of the Blackburn Challenge holds that racing boats will not be entered in touring or recreational boat classes.

The Cape Ann Rowing Club is a 100% volunteer non-profit organization. We donate excess registration funds to deserving non-profit organizations.



Entry Information:

Entry Fee:
$90 per participant registered by July 5th Midnight
$120 per participant registered after July 5th Midnight
Registration Closes: Monday, July 11th Midnight

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

$450 per boat maximum if early registered ($TBD 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.

GPS Address:
32 Leslie O Johnson Rd., Gloucester, MA 01930

Interactive Map for Driving Directions to:
Gloucester High School - Registration and Parking

Click to View Larger Google Map


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.