Canoe and Kayak Race Memphis

Outdoors Inc. Annual Canoe & Kayak Race

Matthew Craig

Thousands of athletes have faced the challenges of the Mississippi River – its strong currents and powerful eddies – to be named champion of the annual Outdoors, Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race.

The largest canoe and kayak race in the Southeastern United States!

For more than 35 years, thousands of athletes have faced the challenges of the Mississippi River – its strong currents and powerful eddies – to be named champion of the annual Outdoors Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race. 

This Memphis-based event has been voted "Best Race in America" by Paddler Magazine and has been featured in Seattle-based Canoe & Kayak Magazine, Hull Speed of San Francisco, CA and Southern Living Magazine and for good reason.

Held each annually in June, the race has attracted a very impressive list of competitors from all over the world testing their skills against the Big Muddy including Greg Barton (USA double Olympic Gold medalist, double Bronze medalist, 4 World Championships and current US National surf ski champion). Michael Herbert of Rogers, AR (Pan Am Gold medalist) was the 2001 winner of the Outdoors, Inc. Canoe & Kayak Race, beating Greg Barton. Other challengers include Karen Lukanovich of the Canadian Olympic team and women's holder of the race course record (2002), Oscar Chalupsky of Durban, South Africa is a 10 time World Ocean Kayak Champion in Hawaii, and Herman Chalupsky of Durban, South Africa is the 2004 Outdoors, Inc. Canoe & Kayak race champion and 2004 World Ocean Kayak Champion at Molokai, Hawaii. Rocky Caldwell, Dale Burris, Clifton & John Rickey of Missouri & Arkansas – national champion and world class canoe paddlers have also paid their respects to Ole Man River.

Amateur paddlers to Olympic champions will begin the 3.1-mile race at the mouth of the Wolf River, wind their way to the Mississippi River and finish at the Memphis Harbor at Mud Island competing for cash and prizes, and of course, bragging rights.