Paddle Faster 

A completely true history of recreational canoeing:

• The world's oldest recovered boat is a canoe made from the hollowed-out trunk of a Scots pine tree. It was built 10,000 years ago in what is now the Netherlands.

• In 1673, a Jesuit missionary named Jacques Marquette and a wagon maker named Louis Joliet invented the Mississippi River "float trip" when they attempted to take two bark canoes full of men from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico.

• In 1878, Evan H. Gerrish ushered in the era of recreational canoeing when he started mass manufacturing canvas and wood boats that he sold for $25 each.

• In 1981, the first Outdoors, Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race gave canoeists a chance to compete in a five-mile race on the Mississippi River. The 29-year-old event only lasts about 16 minutes but attracts hundreds of expert and recreational canoe racers from around the world. This year's race starts at 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 1st. The winners will be in Jefferson Davis Park dancing to the music of rocker and small-boat enthusiast Amy LaVere by 10:45 a.m.

Outdoors, Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race Saturday, May 1st, 10 a.m. Participants must register by 6 p.m., April 30th, at Outdoors, Inc.

For more information, go to outdoorsinc.com.

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