A popular challenge is the Kalamalka Crossing

A popular challenge is the Kalamalka Crossing

Kal paddle festival largest of kind in country

The sixth annual celebration of all things paddling runs at Kal Beach in Coldstream Saturday and Sunday.

Organizers of the Kalamalka Classic are ready for this year’s annual standup paddleboard festival.

The sixth annual celebration of all things paddling runs at Kal Beach in Coldstream Friday to Sunday.

“The festival has now become the largest of its kind in Canada and offers up events for the whole family,” said Kevin O’Brien, race director.

The festival is designed to encourage local participation, whether it’s a fun short course, team relay or the Kalamalka Crossing.

“The festival has a competitive element with the crowing of the king and queen of Kalamalka, but it’s more about getting everyone in the family involved, whether it be a recreational paddle, kids race, or the 10-mile trek across the lake”, said O’Brien.

“And we have added a Friday night Spirit Paddle this year to start the festivities early.”

The events include:

n To kick off the festival, the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake invites all human-powered watercraft to join the Spirit Paddle group paddle.  Gather on the beach at 5 p.m., with a 6 p.m. start.

n The Eagle Dash Recreational Race is a two-mile social race for new paddlers to get their feet wet.

n WikiHolo includes a Le Mans-Style beach start, around a buoy-riddled course and back to the beach for a short beach run and another lap.

n KeikiHolo is the same as the Wikiholo but for all kids 13 years and under.

n The Starboard Team Relay has teams of four compete head-to-head around a short course.

n Sunday’s marquee event is the sixth annual Kalamalka Crossing, a 10-mile trek across Kalamalka Lake from Oyama to Kal Beach.

The festival is sponsored by Starboard, Rogue, Original Joe’s and Kalavida Surf Shop with support from Vernon Toyota, Quickblade Paddles, Werner Paddles, Reef, Rip Curl, and Dakine.

Proceeds go to the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake.

For information and to register, go to www.kalamalkaclassic.com.