Friday, April 20, 2018

Rivanna River Race Information

All information about the May 12, 2018 Rivanna Canoe & Kayak Race has moved over to this year.

 Here is a link directly to the information page where you may register online and also print out the ACA Waiver and bring it with you on race day.

The information on this blog will stay up for historical purposes.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Rivanna River Race, Saturday, May 12, 2018

Full details and online pre-registration now available at

Please help us by downloading and circulating this year's race flyer.

Monday, March 5, 2018

13th Annual Rivanna River Regatta Canoe & Kayak Race, May 12, 2018

Save the date!  More details will be coming.

This will be an ACA sanctioned event and we highly encourage you to join ACA.

Our Race Coordinator is retiring this year so we are looking for volunteers to help with this year's event and we are also seeking sponsors willing to make donations to help offset expenses and/or donate prizes, door prizes, etc.  We are very flexible and liberal with the exposure we can give you on all our race materials.

If interested, please contact race [at} cvillepaddlers {dot} com

Monday, May 22, 2017

Seeking volunteers for reservoir/river cleanup on June 3

"My name is Kristin Bartschi and I'm a volunteer with The Nature Conservancy. TNC is partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to hold a Clean the Bay Day in the Charlottesville area on Saturday, June 3rdI'm reaching out to you to see if CVille Paddlers would be interested in volunteering for this event. (The Reservoir cleanup site is kayak/canoe friendly!) An event description and link to register is below. 

Clean the Bay Day, Saturday, June 3: Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and its partners throughout the Commonwealth invite you to help save the Bay by picking up shoreline, waterway, and watershed litter during the 29th Annual Clean the Bay Day on June 3, 2017. Join thousands of fellow Virginians in removing unhealthy debris from cherished waterways throughout the Commonwealth. By boat or on foot, gather your family, friends, neighbours, groups, and co-workers for a fun day and a worthwhile way to help Save the Bay.

Find a location and register to help here.

Nature Conservancy sponsored locations:
o   Charlottesville and Rivanna River Watershed
§  Meadow Creek - 10 volunteers needed
§  Riverview Park to Free Bridge - 10 volunteers needed
§  Pollocks Branch at Elliot Ave - 25 volunteers needed
§  Reservoir (kayak/canoes welcome) - 5 volunteers needed

Any help you can give to spread the word about this volunteer event is appreciated! 
All the best,

Send an email to volunteer {at] cvillepaddlers-dot-com if you would like to help and if there are enough people I'll sign us up.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Race 2017 Results & Recap

A HUGE thank you to all who came out to support the 2017 race last Saturday, May 13.

The official results have been finalized and published on the website at:
or simply review them below.

Race video:

If you have photos or videos you'd like to share, please contact us.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rivanna River Race update

Update: 7:48pm Friday...The race section was paddled after work and it is clear of obstacles! Flow and level is normal for this time of year and there are still a few rocks that can be bumped.  Just a couple things to note that will be covered at the safety briefing at the starting line. River is at a good level, the water is clear, and we'll have a great morning on the river tomorrow!  Come on out!!

As of now the race is still a "go" for Saturday.  The river level is near perfect!

The Race Coordinator is monitoring the weather closely and will make an announcement here if anything changes.

Rain is in the forecast but unless there is lightning at race time or the river rises to remarkably high levels, we will run this race in the rain.

Please note, Rivanna River Company is providing a free shuttle BEFORE the race from Darden Towe Park back to the starting line, so get there early enough to drop your boat and gear at the starting line and take your car to Darden Towe Park and catch a shuttle back.

Alternatively, we always have volunteers who will drive you back to the starting line to get your car after the race.

Friday 5/17 update, 9:20am. ~~Still a "go"~~
Word from the Race Coordinator:
"We'll go rain or shine with two, 'No Go' reasons:

1. If there are thunder storms close by with lightning

2  If the river is above 2-3 ft above normal spring flow.  Right now, it looks OK."

River level, 9:20am Friday, May 12, Palmyra. 712cfs-A great level!

The race route

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The 12th Annual River River Races, May 13, 2017

Merrill Bishop and Charlottesville Area Paddlers present the 12th Annual Rivanna River Regatta Canoe and Kayak Races, Saturday, May 13 on the Rivanna River in Charlottesville, VA.

The 6.2-mile downriver race will continue in its tradition of determining and recognizing the area's fastest paddlers.

Racers should assemble under the Rt. 29 bridge at Rio Mills Rd.(just north of Sam's Club & Brown Automotive) beginning at 8:30am and be prepared to start the first heat at 10am. There will be a mandatory safety meeting at 9:15am. The finish line will be the Darden Towe Park boat ramp and the fastest racers could cross the finish line by 10:45-10:55am, depending upon the water level on race day.

Medals awarded to top paddlers in several canoe and kayak categories.

$20 per paddler, max $40 per craft to cover insurance & logistics.*  All kayakers and canoers welcome. Race course includes Class II—II+ rapids. Paddle at your own risk. (Signed waiver forms required.) It is highly recommended you paddle this section of river prior to race day to familiarize yourself with it.

Bring your canoe or kayak and join in the fun or just come out for a picnic and enjoy meeting local paddlers and watching the races.

For more information contact:

Merrill Bishop, Race Coordinator
Tel: 434-975-3072
Email: rambishop1 (at}


Dave Dolak, Communications Coordinator
Tel: 434-975-6584
Email: dave {at]

== Additional resources: ==

Q&A Article/Interview "Racing Down The Rivanna" with one-time reprint rights available:

Results and photos from prior years:

Rivanna River Co. can supply rental boats at the race put-in. These will need to be pre-arranged by emailing or calling us with the desired craft type and number. Options are solo kayak, tandem kayak, and canoe. We will discount our usual rental rates to $25 for a solo kayak and $33 for a tandem kayak or canoe. Email or call (434) 218-2052.

We will also provide complimentary shuttle rides for all racers who want to park at Darden Towe before the race so come early and drop your boat at the starting line and then head to Darden Towe.

* Fee information updated 3/23/17

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 Race Results are Posted

Thank you to all who paddled and/or volunteered to make this year's race a success!  We had a record number of paddlers this year and, as always, we ask for your feedback on how this race can be improved.

The results are now posted at

We especially thank members of the George Dickel Chapter of the Float Fishermen of Virginia who volunteered both on land and in the water as safety boaters.  They did a great job ensuring we all remained safe and helped keep things running smoothly.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sweep clearing and beginners' floatilla before race Saturday

On May 4, Wednesday at 10 am we'll be sending a debris and sweep clearing crew down this stretch of the river.  If you can help, please come.  We'll likely need a chainsaw (or two) to shorten some of the sweeps and we'll pick-up trash along the way. Gabe Silver will be there with his trailer load of canoes and kayaks so if you want to use one, then, e-mail and make your needs known.  Bring a few large trash bags, leather gloves, perhaps a shovel, and I'll throw in a coil of rope.

On May 7, Saturday at 9 am, we'll have an orientation flotilla headed down this 6.2 mile course departing from the 29 North Put-In right there at the stoplight at 29 North and Rio Mills Rd.  We'll have a number of "newbys" exploring this stretch of the river for the first time.  I've also invited some of the "press" to "paddle" along and possibly get some "action" shots in the two, Class II rapids.  Please respond so we'll be able to arrange photo Ops for them.  If you need a canoe, again, contact Gabe.

Merrill Bishop, Race Coordinator
ph. 434-975-3072
on-the-go cell 996-8886

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rivanna River Regatta Canoe & Kayak Races Saturday May 14, 2016

Print and share the event flyer to help promote this event.

The 11th annual Rivanna River Regatta Canoe & Kayak Races will be held Saturday, May 14, 2016.  Racers to assemble starting ~8:00am for registration.  First race starts promptly at 10am.  Mandatory safety meeting at 9am.

Racers may be started together at 10am sharp or there may be several heats. Race Coordinator reserves the right to combine or eliminate categories depending upon the number of paddlers in each category on race day. 

Where? Paddlers assemble at registration/start line under the Route 29 bridge north of Charlottesville (just north of the DoubleTree Hotel/Sam’s Club on the upstream side of the bridge off Rio Mills Road.)

Race finish line is 6.2 miles later at the boat ramp in Darden Towe Park on the east side of Charlottesville. First place paddlers may finish by approx. 10:45am. Awards ceremony will be held at Darden Towe boat ramp shortly after the last racer completes the race (estimated 12:30-1pm.)

$20 entrance fee per adult, $10 age 13-18,  $5 kids under 13.  All kayakers and canoers welcome. Race course includes Class II—II+ rapids. Paddle at your own risk. (Signed waiver forms required.) Public spectators welcomed and encouraged at the finish line at Darden Towe Park.

Boat rentals ($10) and free shuttle provided by Rivanna River Company. Please contact them directly before the end of business, Thursday, May 12 to make arrangements.
(434) 218-2052

Contact for more information: Merrill Bishop, Race Coordinator Tel: 434-975-3072; Email:

Visit For more information, links, and photos & videos from previous races

Categories will be consistent with previous years, pending the number and types of crafts that enter on race day.

Canoeists may only use single-blade paddles for competition.

Approved PFD's must be worn.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Save the date! The 11th Annual Rivanna River Regatta Canoe & Kayak Races

As always the Rivanna River Race will be the second Saturday in May this year. Saturday, May, 14, 2016.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thank you Joe Thomas and WCHV Radio!

A huge thank you to Joe Thomas for hosting a couple of our paddlers this morning on WCHV AM1260 radio Charlottesville.

You may click this link to listen to the segment via Joe's online podcast.

This Saturday, May 2, Test run & race route clearing

Preparation/Test Runs:  On the afternoon of May 1 through just before dark on May 3, the gate to this 29 North Put-In will be open and paddlers are encourage to make this 6.2 mile run to get acquainted with the rapids.  On Saturday May 2, a flotilla of veteran paddlers/workers will start down at 10:00 am with their primary “duty” to clear any fallen trees or other obstructions to river navigation.  This is a great time of beginners to accompany these veterans down this stretch of the river.  They may even want to pick up their craft, carry it back up stream and make additional runs through the different rapids.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

The 10th Annual Rivanna River Regatta, Saturday, May 9, 2015

When: May 9, 2015;  8:30-9:30am registration.  First race heat starts promptly at 10am.

Where: Charlottesville, VA under the Route 29 bridge just north of the DoubleTree Hotel/Sam’s Club on the upstream side of the bridge off Rio Mills Road

What: A 6.2 mile downriver race for all paddler classes.

Cost: $15 per Craft

Save the date! Saturday, May 9, 2015 for the 10th annual Rivanna River downriver canoe & kayak race in Charlottesville, VA. The downriver race will follow the same schedule as previous years... 6.2-mile downriver race.   Racers to assemble starting at 8:30am for registration. First race starts promptly at 10am.
Racers may be started together at 10am sharp or there may be several heats depending upon the number of participants.  Race Coordinator reserves the right to combine or eliminate categories depending upon the number of paddlers in each category on race day.

First place paddlers may finish by approx. 10:45am. Awards ceremony will be held at Darden Towe boat ramp shortly after the last racer completes the race (estimated 12:30-1pm.)

Classes (subject to change):

Kayak >16' male
Kayak >16' female
Kayak </=16' male
Kayak </=16' female
Solo canoe male
Solo canoe female
Tandem canoe male
Tandem canoe female
Tandem canoe mixed
Tandem kayak male
Tandem kayak female
Tandem kayak mixed
Male SUP (stand up paddleboard)
Female SUP
Solo short/stubby/whitewater kayaks (male & female) that
do not appear to the Race Coordinator to be competitive
in the "recreational," less than 16' categories.

Canoeists may only use single-blade paddles.


Major sponsors:

The race route:

Race wristbands are here!  Please bring an extra buck for a wristband to help offset costs for the race (medals, insurance, and other expenses.)