34th regatta brings out the paddlers


Kayakers, paddleboarders, and swimmers came out for the 34th annual Martha’s Vineyard Oar and Paddle Regatta at Sengekontacket Pond on Sunday. Even a rowboat got in the action

Chick Stapleton, owner of event sponsor Island Spirit Kayak, said it was a wonderful day with perfect weather, with some 75 paddlers taking part. She said that because the weather was manageable, they were able to open up the full course of the race, including going out into open ocean outside the pond. 

The annual event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Sengekontacket, a nonprofit that works to keep the pond protected.

Dana Gaines took home first place overall, with a time of 24:19 along the 2.7-mile course; Dick Clark finished in second overall, with a time of 26:42.

Several other awards were given out, including to Jessie and Margo Holtham for the sea kayak category; J.P. Dowd took home first place for swimming the entire course; and the dog award went to Roger Williams and Bridget Dunnigan paddling with their companions, Poncho and Doki.

Started last year, the regatta also included a shark fin race. For $50, participants could sponsor a shark fin to race from the channel out of Sengekontacket.