It’s not too early to start planning for the Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta

For the past two years, top-notch paddlers have flocked to Old Town during the heat of summer to participate in the American Canoe Association’s national championship event. Scott Phillips, the race chairman, says it’s not too early to begin planning for this year’s Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta.

Tommy Owen and Noah Kreutz make their way to the finish line during the Open Canoe youth race of the Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta on Thursday. The race began in Orono and ended in Veazie. Ashley L. Conti | BDN

This year’s event will be staged from June 28 through July 2 on the river between Old Town and Eddington.

“This is the third and final year for this American Canoe Association event on the Penobscot River.  We’re planning on it being the best yet,” Phillips said in an email.

The start of the canoe-racing season in Maine is nearly upon us — the St. George River Race is set for Saturday, though the race may be postponed if the course has not sufficiently thawed — and registration for the national championship regatta open on April 1.

To register (on or after April 1), go to The four disciplines to be contested on the Penobscot: Downriver open canoe, standup paddleboard, kayak and United States Canoe and Kayak Association wildwater.

For more information, or to get involved as a volunteer, contact Scott Phillips at or 852-0680.

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.