Vernon SUP festival taking shape

Ninth annual Kalamalka Classic runs Aug. 25 and 26 at Kal Beach

It’s one of the most anticipated events of the summer.

The ninth annual Kalamalka Classic Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Festival runs Aug. 25 and 26 at Kal Lake Beach.

The two-day events features the Kalamalka Crossing, Wikiholo (sprint course), Keikiholo (kids race) and the Rail Trail Recreational Run.

“It’s the kind of event that combines competitive spirit with the laid-back vibe of the Okanagan,” said event spokesperson Kevin O’Brien. “Some events are just for beginners and intermediate paddlers while others will challenge even the fittest of athletes. Bring the kids. There’s plenty of fun for them, too.”

Action starts at 9 a.m. both days.

Saturday’s events include a recreational paddleboard race in and around the north end of Kal Lake, passing by the new Okanagan Rail Trail.

Then it’s Keiki-Holo where the kids, 13 and under, get treated to a short skills clinic before doing their own fun race.

The feature event on Saturday is dubbed ‘Wikiholo,’ a spectator-friendly short sprint race through a buoy-riddled course that includes a beach run between laps.

On Sunday, it’s the Kalamalka Crossing – the iconic, bucket-list 10-mile crossing of the lake from Wood Lake Beach in Oyama back to Kal Beach.

“Some do it for the challenge while others race it to beat the clock,” said O’Brien.

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