The New England Canoe & Kayak Racing Association (NECKRA) was originally founded as the Connecticut Canoe Racing Association (CCRA) in March 1979. The name was changed to the New England Canoe Racing Association (NECRA) in October 1997. Another change occurred in 2003 with the addition of a "K" in order to include kayaks in the title.

Before 1979, canoe racing in the state of Connecticut was a word-of-mouth, rather disorganized situation. In those days, you might have traveled to a race at an advertised time only to have to wait around for an hour or two for the race organizers to show up. There were few safety considerations, no rules, no standard race meeting, and if you did qualify for a trophy at the end of the race, you may have been told that you'd have to wait a week, a month, perhaps, until the next unorganized race, or you might not have received it at all. Still, and in spite of these problems, there were good race organizers, and racing was becoming more and more popular.

The founders of the CCRA recognized a need for some discipline, education, and especially state-wide service for the racer as well as for the race organizer. Hence the birth and incorporation of the CCRA in March of 1979 with an original membership list of 41. That list grew to well over 200 by 1983, and was, and still is, the largest dedicated canoe and kayak racing organization in the region. A 1981 club advertising brochure proclaimed the CCRA to be "An organization dedicated to the preservation, development and protection of the sport of canoe and kayak racing in the state of Connecticut".

We have expanded to include all of New England and NECKRA continues to support this objective. NECKRA provides its members with a regular newsletter, and an annual race packet which keeps our members informed and serves to coordinate an ever growing number of New England races.

NECKRA/NECRA/CCRA members have been and continue to include some of the country's best paddlers. We have had numerous USCA and ACA national champions (the list of New England winners in recent years was very impressive!). NECKRA is always well represented in both the pro and amateur classes at the General Clinton 70 miler, and our club teams have won the General Clinton Relay events. You'll see NECKRA members at most of the major races in the United States and Canada. NECKRA is well represented in both the USCA and ACA organizations, and our club has always tried to be a force in the politics that affect our sport in the region.

CCRA and the Ledyard Canoe Club hosted the 1988 USCA Nationals, which were one of the biggest Nationals ever. In 2002, NECKRA and Ledyard teamed up to top our past performance! Check out some races on our schedule, or send questions through our Paddlers' Connection e-mail group and see what New England has to offer. You won't be disappointed!