The New England Canoe and Kayak Racing Association is an organization run by volunteers, dedicated to advancing the sport of canoe and kayak racing for paddlers of all skill levels. NECKRA seeks to support established and successful community boating programs to facilitate awareness of and interest in marathon and downriver racing.

Important Announcements from NECKRA President

November 30, 2020

Dear Paddlers, 

NECKRA held its Annual Meeting (minutes from the meeting), via a Zoom conference, on November 22nd. It was a strange, but interesting and enjoyable situation. Most of us have not seen our fellow paddling friends and family, for almost a year, so it was good to see your faces, and, as one does at a NECKRA Annual Meeting, discuss the most pressing matters of the organization. The food service was lousy, but the rest of it was good! Oh, just wait until next year’s Annual Meeting!

As you read in Scott Ide’s secretary's Minutes, all of the members of our Board and Committee heads, have agreed to serve on the team for this coming 'bridge’ year. Continuity is important, especially now.

Paula Thiel’s membership report indicated that our 2020 membership was almost as high as the previous year, indicating that we hardly missed a beat, even with only two race directors being able to hold races. We certainly can thank the computer age for allowing us to remain connected even though we do not see each other, share great food together, nor race with one another. NECKRA was able, though PaddlersConnection, our website and our Facebook pages, to keep everyone informed about the changes and mostly cancellations of the races.

We appreciate your support, and will continue to be your communications arm for the coming year. We will also serve the paddlesport communities through our annual grants to Holyoke Rows and Greater Lawrence Community Boating programs. Because of the commitment of our members, we can continue to provide travel support for our members who are on US Teams, namely Kaitlyn McElroy (who has an excellent chance to be on the US Olympic sprint kayak team at the 2021 Olympics in Japan) and Gus Madore, if his military commitment permits him to try out for the US Junior Wildwater Team. If there is a General Clinton weekend, (hope, hope, hope) we will again support a NECKRA Relay team. NECKRA has become a sponsoring member of America Whitewater, a conservation organization that helps protect important whitewater rivers. We are also able to provide marketing opportunities and paddler information for our generous and loyal business sponsors.

Because the coming year, with all its great unknowns, does not enable us to lay out a racing schedule at this time or anytime soon, we will not print a race packet. Stay tuned in to our website, NECKRA.org, and our Facebook pages. News will continue to flow through PaddlersConnection, of course. You can be sure that we will have the nifty printed race packet again for 2022. We will print a 4-8 page flyer with race and business sponsors information when it is possible. 2020 members will receive this in the mail. If you were not a member in 2020, please go to our website and join NECKRA for 2021. And if you were a member in 2020 remember to join for 2021.

I hope you were out paddling this year, without me (!!!) though I was out paddling without you. I did miss you, and may have lost my top end speed without you pushing me!

We as paddlers and NECKRA as an organization changed and will continue to change as the Covid-19 pandemic steams along. In the year to come, we will bridge to a new normal. I am hopeful that the coming year will be fulfilling, as paddlesport has been in the past. This past year has been so challenging, as more and more of our usual behaviors, in most aspects of our lives, have had to be altered or shut down. But there is reason, at last, to have hope for the year to come as we proceed with safety and generosity.

Please join us in the hope for 2021. We have so much to share with each other. We will continue to be your place to go to find out about what the future for paddlesport will bring. We will continue to bring not only all the news, but support to paddlers, young and not so young. We will bring you a great party in November of 2021 at our Annual Meeting with recognitions, awards, prizes, though the Point Series of old may have a new face for whatever becomes possible next year.

My best wishes for your safety into the New Year. The NECKRA community is strong and abiding. I didn’t like this year so much either, but am grateful for what did not happen.

Join me and your paddling friends as we form the NECKRA 2021 paddling community!

Priscilla Reinertsen, NECKRA President