Yankee Homecoming Paddle the Port Kayak & Sup River Races

By Elizabeth de Veer, Correspondent
Elizabeth de Veer is a writer who lives in Georgetown, MA. Her hobbies include organizing her elementary school-age daughter and chasing her labradoodle. Favorite coffee: hot. Favorite Beatles album: Sgt. Pepper. Favorite naughty food: lobster roll and fries. Her first novel is due to be published in winter 2019.
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Paddle The Port, Kayak and Sup River Races will not be hosted during The 2021 Yankee Homecoming Festival.

This year, Yankee Homecoming will kick off with the fourth annual Paddle The Port, Kayak and Sup River Races on the Merrimac River, on Saturday, July 27. Contestants in the Kayak and Sup River Races must be at Cashman Park to check-in between 8-9 am and the race will start promptly at 9:30. Online registration should be done prior to race day. All registrants will receive an event t-shirt, designed by Paddle Paddle Surf Apparel, and names will be entered into a drawing for tickets to attend the Yankee Homecoming Brewfest, happening that night. Organizers are working hard to make Paddle the Port as fun to watch as it is to participate in, so grab your kayak or stand-up paddle board and join in, or watch from shore and cheer on your favorites; a great time is guaranteed.

Competitors will launch kayaks and stand-up paddle boards into the Merrimac River at the Cashman Park boat ramp off Merrimac Street and after a safety review, paddle up river past Ram Island, Carr Island and around Deer Island, then back to Cashman Park and the finish line for a total of 4.6 miles. This year’s Kayak and SUP River Races has several divisions: kayakers will compete for Elite, Recreational, Tandem, and Over Age 60, first, second and third places, male and female. Stand-up paddle boards will compete for first, second and third places and winners will receive a medal.

New to the Kayak and Sup River Races this year are some complimentary fitness as well as food options to round out the event for both spectators as well as participants.  New sponsor this year, Pure Barre, a boutique barre studio in town, will offer free barre classes throughout the day while. At 11 AM there will be the chance to enjoy a SUP YO Demonstration/ Class. On the culinary front, food trucks on site this year to add ease to your picnic plans. The Sacred Cod with be offering up fresh breakfast items while Flor de Cafe will be nearby with both with fresh hot coffee as well as yummy pastries. If you are in the mood for something a little stronger or cooler on the summer day, be sure and check out Floyd’s Spiked Ice Tea & Lemonade tent.

Race Wire is handling all registrations and providing professional timing for racers. This means that competitors in the Kayak and SUP River Races will get their time and photos sent to them moments after they cross the finish line. Participants come from all over New England to join in this fun and exciting event, and organizers are expecting around 150 competitors. The event also has some new sponsors this year, including REI who will have a tent with give-aways and lawn games in the park. The course should take the average kayaker or stand-up paddle-boarder around 30-40 minutes to complete, so spectators have time to enjoy a picnic lunch by the river and play games while they cheer on the contestants.

Organizers put safety first and enlisted the help of the US Coast Guard to pick the safest time for racers to take on the rushing Merrimac River. On race day, there will be several motor boats in the water to supervise and assist boaters and paddle-boarders who need it. Alcohol is prohibited, and all participants must have a USCG approved flotation device and a race whistle. Inspectors will review all equipment before they allow racers to launch.


US Coast Guard

By Joe, Joe

Coast Guard Open House, Yankee Homecoming Newburyport

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River

Protecting Our Local Waters for Over 225 Years

 Newburyport’s Maritime First Responders 

The US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River is a critical resource closely connected to Newburyport’s maritime history and a strong source of pride for locals. The US Coast Guard, originally named the Revenue Cutter Service, was officially established on August 4, 1790 to enforce tariffs and prevent smuggling with the use of ten oceangoing vessels…known as cutters. The very first revenue cutter to enter active service, the USRC Massachusetts, was built in Newburyport in 1791. In 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the US Life-Saving Service and was renamed the US Coast Guard…then and now, dedicated to enforcing US maritime laws and saving lives at sea. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the US Coast Guard came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River in Newburyport is one of only 19 surf stations in the country…defined by the area having seas or swells greater than 8′ or winds exceeding 30 knots at least 36 days a year. Station Merrimack River is the only surf station in New England and one of only 4 surf stations along the entire East Coast, reminding us that the Merrimack River waters, though beautiful to be on and surrounded by, can often be unsafe and challenging to navigate.

The adverse winter and spring weather conditions often occurring in the Northeast allow the crew at Station Merrimack River to conduct trainings to stay proficient in a host of rescue skills and prepare for the busy summer season, May through Labor Day. US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River has a 29′ response boat and (2) 47′ motor lifeboats capable of responding to distress in up to 50 knots of wind, 20′ breaking surf and 30-foot seas. Along with ensuring the education and training of their surfmen and women, their primary focus is on recreational boater safety, fisheries law enforcement and conducting search and rescue.

The motto of the US Coast Guard is Semper Paratus, (Latin for ‘Always Ready’). Station Merrimack River currently has 30 strictly active-duty crew members and it is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are considering a career change with hands-on training in which you will truly make a difference, there are many opportunities and paths to take in the US Coast Guard and they are encouraging more women to join their diverse ranks. Members of the Guard live and are guided by their core values: Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty.

US Coast Guard Station Merrimack River opens its doors to the public during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming held each August. You can tour the boats and meet the crew who will answer questions and provide boater safety information at the annual Coast Guard Open House event. You can also see live views of the station and the Merrimack River any time from the Live Web Cams hosted by the Lighthouse Preservation Society. A visit to Newburyport’s Custom House Maritime Museum is a must for history buffs; members of USCG Station Merrimack River often volunteer here.

Whether you have lived in Newburyport for years or are just visiting the area, you can be appreciative of the rich seafaring history here and grateful for the men and women of USCG Station Merrimack River and the duties they perform each and every day. Help them by being prepared before you head out onto the water…know the boating and paddle craft rules to follow and stay aware of the often-unpredictable currents. Though they are well trained and certified to handle any situation, the Coast Guard would rather provide you with the information to prevent a distress signal rather than respond to one. One of the best parts of enjoying these local waters is having fun while staying safe. Article written by Correspondent, Jenny Davis.


US Coast Guard

Station Merrimack River
65B Water Street
NewburyportMA 01950
(978) 462-3428

Date of Conveyance: 1881
Station Built: 1882


42°48′37.68″N 70°51′53.48″W

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Newburyport Life On The Water

By Krissy Ventura, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Residential Sales Specialist for the BENTLEY'S Real Estate Team, Krissy works as a buyer’s agent, tirelessly to find her clients the perfect home, as she understands the importance of getting it right the first time. As a listing agent, Krissy will work her hardest to sell your home at the highest price, in the shortest amount of time, and with the most favorable terms. Krissy has outstanding communication skills developed over many years working in the business world, and she makes it a top priority to stay in touch with her clients at all times with updates on their particular situation. She is a happily married native of Newburyport with three children. Contact Krissy to schedule an appointment!
Krissy Ventura
Newburyport on the Water, Newburyport MA

The weather has finally started to brighten and spring is in the air…and nowhere is that more apparent than in Downtown Newburyport on the water.  The marina workers are busy getting all of the docks into the water.  They pulled them out last October/November and they have been sitting in the boatyards all winter, under ten feet of snow, as was the case this year.  Well the snow has melted and the docks are being painstakingly moved from their winter storage and into position all along the banks of the Merrimack River.  Its hard work and takes some time, but this group of guys have been doing it for over 25 years, so they know their stuff!

The largest marina in the area is called Newburyport Marinas and it includes the docks at Newburyport Harbor Marina, Hilton’s Marina, Windward Yacht Yard and the Newburyport Boat Basin.  They are all located along the Merrimack River in historic Newburyport, with more than 500 slips for seasonal/transient dockage and accommodations for boats ranging in size up to 125′.  We happen to have a small 22’ Sea Ray and moor it at Hilton’s Marina, right next to the Black Cow restaurant.  HILTON’S MARINA is just 3 miles from the mouth of the Merrimack River with 65 slips. Hilton’s Marina can accommodate boats ranging in size up to 100’ feet and is a short walk to shopping, dining and activities in the downtown area.  It’s a wonderful place to keep your boat, as it is a short ride up river or even out through the mouth of the river to enjoy the ocean on your way to places like Cranes Beach, the Isles of Shoals, fishing at Jeffries Ledge or other local harbors.

Along with personal boating, the City offers many other options to enjoy the water.  We have a whale watching company, kayak and paddle board rental company, the Ninth Wave catamaran for rentals and a small river cruise trip from the main docks on the waterfront.  Enjoy the water and then head up town to enjoy some great shopping or have a delicious meal in one of our many restaurants.  Newburyport has a lot to offer the frequent visitor but really makes life feel like a permanent vacation when you live here!!!  ENJOY!

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