Some of the paddlers at Saturday's seventh annual Paddles Up Niagara were novices making their first effort on the water at the signature event of the Niagara River Greenway Commission. Others, like the seven-man contingent from the Scajaquada Canoe Club that powered through the course in a long canoe, had vast experience.
Yuri Hreshchyshyn of the club said members are training every Sunday morning in preparation for the 90-mile Adirondack Classic, a three-day canoe race in the second weekend of September. They used Saturday's Paddles Up Niagara event as a good workout.
"We're hoping to place well in the 90-miler and represent the Buffalo paddling community," he said.
The club has about 30 or 40 members. Sunday morning, the club returned to the waters off Grand Island in the same boat to circumnavigate Grand Island, a roughly 20-mile route.
"I think it's tremendous," Hreshchyshyn said of Paddles Up. "It's very important to get the paddling community together all at once in one place.
The event, he said, provides a safe means for "just getting people involved initially. It's a great way to do it."
He called the route "quite pleasant."
"The fact that the sun is not beating down on us is a plus. The weather turned out just right. It's not raining and it's not excessively hot," he said.