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2013 PRESS RELEASE
DEATH'S DOOR EXPEDITION CROSSING
MARATHON RACE CIRCUMNAVIGATING WASHINGTON ISLAND
GREAT LAKES COASTAL SEA KAYAKING SYMPOSIUM
ENVIRONEMNTAL EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM


Washington Island, Door County, Wisconsin -- Sea kayakers make history Sunday, June 16, 2013, when Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event, www.washingtonislandcanoeandkayakevent.com gathers a flotilla of local and internationally-known paddlers to kayak Death's Door. The kayak expedition crossing of the notorious 3.7-mile open water passage from Washington Island to Northport, is sponsored by the Washington Island Ferry Line, watched by the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and escorted by pilot boats. Death's Door paddling expedition leadership includes Tim Pflieger, American Canoe Association certified instructor, Team Leadership Center, Sturgeon Bay and the Rev. Valerie Fons, a long-distance canoe paddler with 30,000 miles of paddling experience. and president of Lake Adventures Uniting Nature and Children With Hospitality (L.A.U.N.C.H.), Inc., a not-for-profit Wisconsin Corporation based on Washington Island.

"Safety is priority," says expedition co-leader, Valerie Fons. Readiness of the paddlers will be determined by experience, boat and safety equipment. Weather permitting, kayakers will launch from the Potato Dock on Washington island, skim the shoreline of Plum Island and land at Northport. Spectators can watch the crossing from the Potato Dock launch site, the Washington Island Ferry enroute and attend the celebration landing party at Northport.

The expedition crossing of Death's Door is part of the three-day Washington Island Canoe and Kayak Event, June 14, 15 and 16, on Washington Island. The event includes a marathon kayak race circumnavigating Washington Island, half marathon, beginner and intermediate races in Detroit Harbor, a Great Lakes Coastal Sea Kayaking Symposium and Environmental Education Symposium.

Spectators can follow the racers from the vantage points of many public parks and beaches on Washington Island and watch the start at the newly restored Gislason Beach, Red Barn Park. The proximity of the 35-square mile Island and the number of public beaches makes watching the race possible for those who do not register.While racers and students are on water throughout Saturday, a voyageur encampment is taking place with reproduction voyageur canoes that carry six paddlers, tents, and replica artifacts set near the dunes on Gislason beach. Voyageurs in costume will engage in story telling and historic narrative of the time when the Great Lakes were traveled by canoe explorers. Trade beads will be presented to children.

The three-day event begins on Friday, June 14, with a Rock Island Expedition. Saturday, June 15, registered participants learn kayak skills with Coastal Sea Kayaking Symposium instructors. The event keynote is Saturday night at the historic Island Dairy with Ferde Good, a Ojibwe-style canoe builder and historian.

"I am proud and honored to be part of a very small guild of master birch bark canoe builders and basket makers who keep alive the almost extinct traditional techniques of hand crafting these vessels. I pattern my work accurately using Native American tribal methods and designs," said Ferdy from his studio in Manitowish Waters. He will provide canoe building demonstration throughout the day on June 15 at Red Barn Park, Gislason Beach.

Schedule, details and registration are available at www.washingtonislandcanoeandkayakevent.com

Media Contact: Valerie Fons (920) 535-0077 breaduponthewaters@gmail.com


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Washington Island Canoe & Kayak Event
Gislason Beach Rebuilt


"Gislason Beach is completely rehabilitated," said Bill Benson, chairman of the Washington Island Community Center. "Scott Sonoc is the one who initiated the project," Bill explained. "The Town crew deserves a lot of credit for handling the beach renovation. Autumn Dompke, Mattie Glines and Micala Ervin, teens from Washington Island School were on their hands and knees planting dune grasses." Tom Jordon, Jay Hagan, the Park's Committee and Town Board worked with Island citizens to transform the beach at Red Barn Park in time for the June 14, 15 and 16 Washington Island Canoe & Kayak Event.

Saturday, June 15, at 8:00 a.m., race paddlers will be amazed by a whole new look of sand all the way to the waterline and the pleasure of launching at race start from a beautifully restored sand beach. Benches and swings are in place for spectators when racers gather for a marathon race circumnavigating the Island, half marathon from Gislason Beach to Washington Harbor, and recreation races in Detroit Harbor which can be viewed from the beach. Racers who have traveled to the event from as far away as New Zealand will navigate a short walk to the race start between landscaped dunes with no rocks to scratch elite racing craft hulls.

A kayak symposium with scholarships available to Island youth is also scheduled throughout the day on Saturday, June 15, to utilize the Red Barn beach renovation. Tim Pfleiger from Team Leadership is the symposium lead instructor returning for his fifth year to the event. He brings certified instructors from Wisconsin to lead beginners in basic kayak skill practice on water and provides one-on-one instruction to train intermediates in advanced skills.

While racers and students are on water throughout Saturday, a voyageur encampment is taking place with reproduction voyageur canoes that carry six paddlers, tents, and replica artifacts set near the dunes on Gislason beach. Voyageurs in costume will engage in story telling and historic narrative of the time when the Great Lakes were traveled by canoe explorers. Trade beads will be presented to children.

Jackson Harbor is the launch site of an eco tour at 1:00, Saturday, June 15, led by Terry Cooper of the Door County Land Trust. Terry is returning to the yearly event and brings expert insight to encourage appreciation for the Jackson Harbor 's land, lake and sky habitat.

Saturday evening activities will conclude with a key note presentation at the historic Island Dairy by Ferde Goode. "I am proud and honored to be part of a very small guild of master birch bark canoe builders and basket makers who keep alive the almost extinct traditional techniques of hand crafting these vessels. I have also gained a national reputation as a builder of exquisite Native style snowshoes. I continue to pattern my work accurately using Native American tribal methods and designs. I would like to give thanks to the many fine craftsmen and artists, past and present, for leading me on this enlightening path through the lakes and forests of this great land."

A Rock Island expedition is offered Friday, June 14, departing the Karfi dock in Jackson Harbor at 10:00 a.m.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to cross Death's Door by paddle power? Join a crew of paddlers in solo and double boats along with voyageur canoes and support vessels crossing Death's Door from Washington island to a celebratory picnic at Northport Pier on Sunday, June 16, launching from the Potato Dock at 8:30 a.m.

For more information, and registration information check out www.washingtonislandcanoeandkayakevent.com and/or telephone Carol Meyer (920) 847-2546, 1 (800) 223-2094 or event director, Valerie Fons (920) 535-0077.


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Crossed Canoe Quilt for Sale at Silent Auction

A vibrant Crossed Canoe quilt was created and donated by Mary Campbell of Canton, PA and Carol Colwell of Nichols, New York, for the Fifth Annual Washington Island Canoe & Kayak Event. Silent auction bids will be received at breaduponthewaters@gmail.com until Sunday, June 16, twelve noon. Put "QUILT silent auction" in the subject line of e-mail bids and include your name, address and telephone number. The minimum bid is $200.00.

The queen-size, 90" by 90" quilt is made with batik fabrics in rose, emerald, lime, sky blue and brilliant cobalt colors. Crossed Canoes is a traditional quilt pattern documented in the 1895 Ladies Art Company mail-order catalog. In this auction quilt, the blocks are set with lattice strips and wave-patterned quilted borders. Canoe points in lattice extend into the borders making this a dramatic quilt for paddlers and landlubbers as textile art or blanket. The quilt will be on display at BayLake Bank, Washington Island, preceding the paddling event, hung as a centerpiece at outdoor event activities and decorate the event keynote presentation at the Historic Washington Island Dairy during the paddling weekend. The quilt will be awarded to the highest bidder at the conclusion of the event. You need not be present to win.

Racers and paddlers, beginners and experts, spectators, volunteers and sponsors are invited to the Washington Island Canoe & Kayak Event, June 14, 15 and 16. Participate in a Marathon race circumnavigating Washington Island, Half Marathon and Recreation Races, guided eco-tour, sea kayak symposium, historical voyageur encampment, keynote presentation, expedition to Rock Island and a Crossing of Death's Door and/or come to watch. John Abrahams from Duluth, Minnesota calls the Marathon race the premier paddling race in the mid-west. In 2012, a New Zealand paddler, Simon Longdill, set a course record of 3 hours, 16 minutes and 20 seconds. Kayak symposium scholarships are available for youth.

More information and registration is available through www.washingtonislandcanoeandkayakevent.com and SignMeUp.com Contact Valerie Fons, event director at (920) 535-0077.

 
       
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