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Local water sports shops Adventures Through Kayaking, Olympic Raft & Kayak and Sound Bikes & Kayaks have teamed up to create the inaugural festival, which highlights and promotes all categories of paddling, from sea and lake to river and surf.
“We are so pleased to bring an event of this caliber to Port Angeles,” said Tammi Hinkle, owner of Adventures Through Kayaking.
“It’s one-of-a-kind. No other event in the country highlights and promotes all classes of paddling,” she said.
“We hope to introduce a lot of new paddlers to the sport, to help seasoned paddlers learn new skills, to entertain and to come back and do it all again next year.”
The weekend will kick off at 7 p.m. April 11 with a welcome party at Barhop Brewing, 124 W. Railroad Ave., where people can gather information and, if they haven’t already, register for the weekend’s activities.
The main event will take place April 12-13 at Hollywood Beach, where there will be a wide range of kayaks and paddleboards to purchase, classes will meet, the obstacle race will commence, and water-related companies will be on hand to answer questions.
Nine experts specializing in all genres of kayaking and stand-up paddling will offer two days of on-the-water instruction.
Designed for everyone from novices to experts, classes — more than two dozen — will range from introductory sea kayaking and stand-up paddling to Eskimo rolling and debacle deterrent.
Instruction will be offered at Hollywood Beach, Crescent Beach, Freshwater Bay and the Feiro Marine Life Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 12.
During the same hours on both days, festival-goers can test kayak models at the Demo Beach on Hollywood Beach.
A corresponding outdoor film festival featuring adventure kayaking expeditions in scenic locations around the world will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 12 at The Gateway pavilion at Front and Lincoln streets.
Films will include “Bhutan: The Last Shangri-La”; the Of Souls+Water series; “Wildwater”; and “Mountain Mind Collective,” which was filmed on the Olympic Peninsula.
Next Door Gastropub will serve street tacos with beer and wine.
Experienced paddlers can test their sea kayaking finesse during the Skills and Obstacle Race at Hollywood Beach at 10 a.m. April 12.
Balance and rescue techniques will be equally challenged. A $100-prize package will go to the winner.
Port Angeles resident Chris Duff will tell of his adventures on the sea from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at his keynote presentation at the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St., on Saturday, April 12.
Duff is the author of two books: On Celtic Tides, an account of his solo circumnavigation of Ireland, which won the National Outdoor Book Award for 2001; and Southern Exposure, a chronicling of his journey around New Zealand, which won the National Outdoor Book Award, the Benjamin Franklin award and the Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize.
For a la carte class descriptions and information about fees, early registration and advance purchase of tickets, visit www.portangeleskayakandfilm.com.
Registration also can be done at the festival check-in tent.
Beach and film festival passes start at $10.
The entry fee into the race, the keynote presentation and the Demo Beach are $10 each.
An all-inclusive pass, good for an unlimited number of classes and entry to the film festival, keynote presentation and Demo Beach, is available for $100.
To reserve a spot for courses and the race, visit www.portangeleskayakandfilm.com or phone 360-417-3015.