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Mountain Village Charter School prepares for Baker River Regatta

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April 28, 2021
PLYMOUTH — Preparations are underway for the Baker River Valley's only canoe and kayak race, happening May 1 in Plymouth. After having to cancel last year's Baker River Regatta, Plymouth's Mountain Village Charter School is once again presenting its annual community event and fundraiser.

The family-friendly paddling race welcomes canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and all kinds of human-powered craft on the last 4.5 miles of the Baker River, beginning at Plymouth Sands Campground. Some paddlers are fierce competitors, looking for bragging rights for another year. Others revel in the Best Costume division, or work on winning the Most Trash Picked Up award. Popular classes include Family, Junior/Senior, College and High School. Some intrepid paddlers even paddle double the distance into town; the Long Course from Riverbrook RV in Rumney is nine miles!

Race Director Jamie Hannon described the race course as "a very welcoming stretch of river – quick and fun, with lots of corners and a few riffles, just enough to be interesting, but still very novice friendly."

Hannon went on to explain that springtime canoe and kayak races are common throughout the Northeast and Canada, "so why not bring it here to the beautiful rivers of central New Hampshire? It's a fantastic way to celebrate Spring."

According to Hannon, the decision to cancel last year's race because of the pandemic was not a hard one, but it was definitely a disappointment. This year, he explains, following on the success of other outdoor sporting events such as Nordic skiing, the school has worked with state and local officials to put in place a COVID mitigation plan that will prevent transmission and still allow for a lot of family and community fun. Among other protocols, masks are required for all paddlers and volunteers when not racing.

"People are eager to have fun in safe and healthy ways right now" says Hannon. "The Regatta is a perfect fit for those goals."

Now in its seventh year, the Mountain Village Charter School is a tuition-free public school open to all New Hampshire residents. Located in Plymouth, the school offers a nature-based, Montessori education to more than 100 students in grades 1-8. Hannon, who is also the Board Chairperson, explained that charter schools in New Hampshire receive only 38 percent of the funding that traditional public schools receive, so fundraisers like the Baker River Regatta are extremely important to the continued success of the institution.

Registration for the race starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 1 at Plymouth Sands Campground, located at 3 Quincy Rd. in Plymouth. More information and pre-registration is at https://www.mountainvillagecharterschool.org/baker-river-regatta/. Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Registrants receive a T-shirt, commemorative glass, entry into raffles and more. All proceeds support the Mountain Village Charter School.

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