Successful Turnout for the Annual Canoe/Kayak Race & Adventure River Paddle Down the Clinton River

On the cool Saturday morning of Saturday, June 1st, 128 kayakers and canoers gathered along the banks of the Clinton River at Riverside Park in Downtown Auburn Hills for the 11th Annual Paddleplaooza. All participants, young and old, were geared up to take on the eight-mile trip that ends in Rochester Hills at River Crest Banquet Center. 

This year, 25 men participated in the kayak race which was won by David Ives.  The most competitive race of the day occurred in the women’s kayak race that had 10 entries.  Kristy Jacobsen finished 22 seconds ahead of Gwenn Stevenson to take first place.  Of the six teams that entered the canoe race the team of David Fiddes and Violet Fiddes took home the first place trophy.

As for the race for the Mayor’s Challenge Cup, we’re pleased to announce that Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens, successfully defended the Mayor’s Challenge Cup over Team Rochester Hills.  Auburn Hills continues to hold an edge over Rochester Hills who had dominated the race during the first four years.

The remaining 81 paddling enthusiast took a more leisurely pace down the river to enjoy the scenic views and wildlife often seen throughout the river’s riparian corridor.

Once paddlers reached the end, they all enjoyed a nice lunch at River Crest Banquet Center, while swapping stories and tall tales of their adventure down the Clinton River.

Here are the race results of the day:

Winners in the Kayak Race – Men’s Division

  1. David Ives 1:10.45 
  2. Rick Ensley 1:12.17
  3. Gerald Dihle 1:13.07

Winners in the Kayak Race – Women’s Division

  1. Kristy Jacobson 1:17.03
  2. Gwenn Stevenson 1:17.25
  3. Linda Gamage 1:18.00

Winners in the Canoe Race

  1. David Fiddes and Violet Fiddes 1:19.39
  2. Parker Jones and Nick Scott 1:21.23
  3. Jason Boggs and John Dunivant 1:29.20

Winner of the Mayor’s Challenge Cup

Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens – Team Auburn Hills

To learn more about kayaking and canoeing the Clinton River and all the access points along with it, please visit the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Water Trail webpage at

To view more photos of the event, check out our Park’s & Recreation Facebook page!

Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters:

Shawn Keenan, City Planner

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