Kayaker on the San Antonio River at sunset

San Antonio River Basin Paddling Race Series

Overview

The San Antonio River Authority (River Authority), together with the San Antonio River Foundation, is excited to launch the 2022 San Antonio River Basin Paddling Race Series. Experienced paddling racers from all over are invited to participate in 4 competitive paddling races throughout the year held along multiple sections of the beautiful San Antonio River Basin from the world-famous San Antonio River Walk to the historic community of Goliad. Each race covers a different distance and will provide new challenges certain to excite competitive paddle racers. Awards ceremonies with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held following every race!

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Paddling Series
  • The Battle of the Paddle
  • The SASPAMCO Showdown
  • The Mission Reach Rally
  • Remember Goliad Paddling Race
  • Saturday, February 26, 2022
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Total distance: Approximately 5 miles
  • Everyone remembers the Battle of the Alamo – now get ready for the Battle of the Paddle! This paddling race is an all-out sprint from start to finish and includes two laps within the historic downtown river loop area of the San Antonio River Walk where spectators can cheer on the racers as they speed by the shops, hotels, and restaurants that line that River Walk. If you are a competitive paddler, this unique once-a-year race is not to be missed!
  • The start/finish line is next to the Tobin Center, where nearby parking will provide easy access for the competitors.
  • Awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held immediately following the race at the outdoor plaza next to the Tobin Center.
  • Participants and those who come to watch the race are encouraged to stay downtown following the race to enjoy the River Walk and watch the Mardi Gras river boat parade that will take place later that same afternoon.

The Battle of the Paddle is hosted by the San Antonio River Authority and San Antonio River Foundation and sponsored by the City of San Antonio, Go Rio Cruises, and Visit San Antonio.

  • Saturday, March 19, 2022
  • 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Total distance: Approximately 12 miles
  • The SASPAMCO Showdown will provide competitors a wild race requiring navigation around downed trees, submerged brush, and each other as participants face-off to see who can be the first to cross the finish line!
  • Named in honor of a nearby historic Wilson County community, the SASPAMCO Paddling Trail is lined with tall trees and intriguing geologic features. The race will begin at the River Authority’s River Crossing Park and end at the River Authority’s John William Helton-San Antonio River Nature Park (Helton Park).
  • Please note: River Crossing Park has a small parking lot and limited space in the turnaround driveway to drop off paddling equipment. Participants are encouraged to be dropped off with their equipment at River Crossing Park to stage for the race and have their support crew immediate go to either Graytown Park to meet the racers at the checkpoint location or to Helton Park to wait for and meet the participants at the finish line take out point. For those participants who do not have a support crew, they can drop off their equipment at River Crossing Park (it will be watched by race staff) and then go to Helton Park where a shuttle bus will provide service back to River Crossing Park. During the online registration process, participants will be required to inform the River Authority race organizers if you plan to utilize the shuttle bus service.
  • Awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held following the race at 5:00 p.m. at Helton Park, where a community event will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. including live music, food trucks, car show, Wilson County Trade Days, and other activities.
  • The SASPAMCO Showdown is hosted by the San Antonio River Authority and San Antonio River Foundation.
  • Sunday, September 25, 2022
  • 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Total distance: Approximately 8 miles
  • If you think an 8-mile paddle down one the nation’s largest urban ecosystem restoration projects will be an easy Sunday cruise, think again! The Mission Reach Rally will require participants to paddle under five hike & bike trail bridges (a few with low clearance) and navigate through close to 30 riffle habitat structures in the river – each riffle structure contains a paddling chute that can accommodate one craft at a time, so some competitors may choose to portage around the riffles rather than wait their turn to gain access to the chute. The race will also include a mandatory portage at the dam– the hike & bike trail next to the river must be used for this portage, which will require competitors to carry and/or drag their equipment, without help from a support crew, approximately 1,100 feet. If that’s not challenging enough, this section of the river often has very low flows, meaning the human muscle power of each participant will certainly be put to the test during the entire Mission Reach Rally!
  • The race is on the Mission Reach Paddling Trail, which is part of the San Antonio River Walk, with a starting location near Roosevelt Park and ending location at the low water crossing bridge at Camino Coahuilteca.
  • Please note: Roosevelt Park has a small parking lot and limited space along the street to drop off paddling equipment. Participants are encouraged to be dropped off with their equipment at Roosevelt Park to stage for the race and have their support crew immediate go to either Espada Park to meet the racers at the checkpoint location or to the parking area near Mission Espada to wait for and meet the participants at the finish line take out point. For those participants who do not have a support crew, they can drop off their equipment at Roosevelt Park (it will be watched by race staff) and then go to the parking area near Mission Espada where a shuttle bus will provide service back to Roosevelt Park. During the online registration process, participants will be required to inform the River Authority race organizers if you plan to utilize the shuttle bus service.
  • This race is part of the River Authority’s Annual River Symposium, which is a multi-day celebration of the San Antonio River Basin. Award ceremony with prizes will be provided to the top three finishers in each category immediately following the race near Mission Espada which is a World Heritage Site.
  • The Mission Reach Rally is hosted by the San Antonio River Authority and San Antonio River Foundation. 
  • Saturday, October 8, 2022
  • 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Total distance: Approximately 16 miles
  • The Remember Goliad Paddling Race takes place on the Goliad Paddling Trail and the finish line is in the historic community of Goliad, which is the 3rd oldest Spanish municipality in Texas and home to Mission Espiritu Santo and Presidio La Bahía. This is the longest of the paddling races in the San Antonio River Basin Race Series and the distance as well as the rural setting of the river will provide both a challenging and enjoyable experience for all the participants.
  • The race is on the Goliad Paddling Trail from the Riverdale access point to the Ferry St. access point.
  • Please note: The Riverdale access has a small parking lot and limited space along the county road to drop off paddling equipment. Participants are encouraged to be dropped off with their equipment at the Riverdale access point to stage for the race and have their support crew immediate go to either the Hwy 59 access point to meet the racers at the checkpoint location or to the parking area near the Branch River Park to wait for and meet the participants at the finish line take out point. For those participants who do not have a support crew, they can drop off their equipment at the Riverdale access point (it will be watched by race staff) and then go to the parking area near the Branch River Park where a shuttle bus will provide service back to the Riverdale access point. During the online registration process, participants will be required to inform the River Authority race organizers if you plan to utilize the shuttle bus service.
  • Awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each category will be held following the race at 5:00 p.m. at Branch River Park, where a community event will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. including live music, food trucks, and other activities.
  • Goliad Market Days, which is an open-air market held around the beautiful Goliad Courthouse Square, is also taking place on this day.

The Remember Goliad Paddling Race is hosted by the San Antonio River Authority and San Antonio River Foundation.

Race Categories

An awards ceremony with prizes for the top three finishers in each of the seven categories listed below will be held following each race. All participants will receive a participation recognition. Participants who compete in all four races in the San Antonio River Basin Race Series will receive a t-shirt and a commemorative plaque. Beyond the flow of the river, human muscle power (e.g., row, paddle, walk, swim, carry, or drag) is the only thing that can propel the craft. Each of the 4 races in the 2022 San Antonio River Basin Race Series will consist of seven race categories. For each of the 4 races, if less than 3 entrants register for a given category, that category will be dropped from the competition.

  • SOLO
  • TANDEM

Women’s Unlimited:     No craft specification for this category except that the craft can only be powered by human muscle, is limited to one female participant, and no inflatable crafts will be allowed. 

Women’s USCA C-1:      Maximum length 18'6", minimum width 14 3/8% of length at the 4" waterline. Minimum bow height 15.5", minimum stern height 11.5", depth at center 11.5". Limited to one female participant with single blade paddles (no rudders).

Men’s Unlimited:          No craft specification for this category except that the craft can only be powered by human muscle, is limited to one male participant, and no inflatable crafts will be allowed. 

Men’s USCA C-1:           Maximum length 18'6", minimum width 14 3/8% of length at the 4" waterline. Minimum bow height 15.5", minimum stern height 11.5", depth at center 11.5". Limited to one male participant with single blade paddles (no rudders).

Mixed Tandem Unlimited:         No craft specification for this category except that the craft can only be powered by human muscle, is limited to two participants (one male and one female), and no inflatable crafts will be allowed. Both participants must travel together in the same craft for the entirety of the race.

Tandem Unlimited:       No craft specification for this category except that the craft can only be powered by human muscle, is limited to two participants, and no inflatable crafts will be allowed. Both participants must travel together in the same craft for the entirety of the race.

USCA C-2:                     Participants in this category may use either a Competition Cruiser with a (4/32) maximum length 18'6", minimum width 14 3/8% of length at the 4” waterline, minimum bow height 15.5", minimum stern height 11.5", depth at center 11.5" or a Pro Boat with a (3/27) maximum length 18'6", minimum width 27" at the 3" waterline, minimum bow height 15", minimum stern height 10", minimum depth at center 10", minimum gunwale width 33". Either craft option is limited to two participants with single blade paddles (no rudders). Both participants must travel together in the same craft for the entirety of the race.

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