Ten teams of men and women paddlers are involved in a quest this weekend. Their goal is to canoe their way through a stretch of the Wisconsin River near Stevens Point, earning tokens along the way for tasks such as pulling a person on a tube, all to claim the title of “Paddle Quest 2004 Champion”.
"Basically, it's a canoe adventure race, over two days covering about 40-60 miles of river depending on how lost they get," said Matt Kirsch, Paddle Quest organizer.
Along with organizing the event, Kirsch will join one of five camera crews who are documenting the race. With some luck, they'll put together a show that can be sold to a TV network in the years to come, not much different from the reality shows you may already watch right now, all of which would be a very good thing for the race's sponsors, such as the Bahamas bar.
"Right now, we've got quite a few contestants, I see, so I feel it's gonna get really large down the road with a little P.R.," said Larry Grubofski, Bahamas Bar owner.
The race was started two years ago in a backyard, but this is the first year sponsors have been involved, including the UWSP Station, the Point Brewery and a number of other area businesses, and those behind the race hope that this is only the beginning.