Paddling for pumpkins


Empire Kayaks of Island Park held its 12th annual Great Pumpkin Kayak and Stand-Up Paddleboard Race last weekend.

More than 70 paddlers came out for the event, enjoying the beautiful autumn weather while out on the water.

The Great Pumpkin Race is a unique two-mile race. Participants stop midway and grab a pumpkin before heading back to the finish line at Empire Kayaks. After the race, participants enjoy a pumpkin-themed post-race buffet.

James Eicher of Oceanside was first overall with a time 21:20. Bernadette Martin of Long Beach was the first woman to cross the finish line. Ryan and Tracy Evans of Riverhead edged out Dave Wilensky and Susan Casey of East Rockaway by three seconds to win the doubles category. Kelly Beck of Freeport and Armann Gretarsson were the top finishers on Stand-Up Paddleboards.