Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Volunteers needed for the race - it starts here!

Originally uploaded by Iron Bieso
The South Dakota Kayak Challenge is set for May 29-30 on the Missouri River between Yankton, S.D. and Sioux City, Iowa, and its organizers seek volunteers to make the race a smashing success.

The race is about 70 miles in length and racers will have 36 hours to complete the course. Currently about two dozen racers are signed up and a grand total of racers could reach 50.

The organizers are seeking volunteers for the following duties:

Registration: Help racers get their packets, answer questions about Yankton and the region, and provide other miscellaneous help or information. This will take place between 5-7 p.m. on the night before the race, May 28. We are seeking between 5-10 people for this duty, depending on the number of racers.

Pre-race set up: Help racers set up for the starting gun that takes place at 7 a.m. on May 29 at Riverside Park in Yankton. Basically helping make sure people are in the right place as the event starts, assisting unsupported crews with their gear, helping out as necessary. Checkpoint staff will synchronize watches/phones/iPods at this event, too.

Checkpoints: The race will have four checkpoints and we'll have staff/volunteers at the first one by 11 a.m. Volunteers at checkpoints will watch for racers and when they approach, they will record the racer's number and team name. We'll have “rolling” checkpoints so the racers need not exit their boats, just get close enough so the checkpoint staff can get the info, then off they go. We also will have ice and water for racers at the checkpoints.

On-water safety/spotters: We invite any and all boaters to follow our racers to make sure they are OK and so we have an idea when to close and open checkpoints as we go. This is open to powered and non-powered watercraft.

On-land safety/spotters: We will have some folks at a variety of points to make sure we are attuned to the progress of the racers, these jobs will open/close as the race progresses down the river.

Finish line staff: We'll need about 5-10 people to record the finishes of racers as they cross the finish line at the entrance of the marina at Bev's on the Water in Sioux City, and we'll need a few strong volunteers to assist racers in exiting the water and hauling their boats and gear up from the marina to the staging area.

Finish line will also have a tent to give racers water/beverages and to record their information for awards.

Awards staff: Seek two to three people to help with awards and other sundry closing ceremony duties.

If you would like to volunteer, call Jarett Bies at 605-941-4940, or Steven Dahlmeier at 605-864-9011. Or you can e-mail Jarett at, or Steven at

For more information on the event, visit the South Dakota Kayak Challenge website at this link:

1 comment:

rmc said...

I had the honor to help with the launch on Saturday. I could tell it was well organized because it went off with no problems. I want to thank the staff members for letting me help out. Even though my contribution was small I enjoyed it very much. Maybe I will be able to go along for the whole trip "next year"

Ron McElroy