NEW EVENTS: Let the good times row

adobestock_68577471Clermont is the site of the 2017 USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Championships for the first time. From Aug. 2-5 on Lake Minneola at Waterfront Park, the event is projected to attract more than 1,000 athletes, coaches, and spectators.

“We are honored and thrilled to be the host city at the 2017 USA Kayak/Canoe Championships,” says Clermont City Manager Darren Gray. “We look forward to welcoming the athletes, coaches, and fans with open arms. We celebrate the championship spirit and look forward to making the championships memorable for all involved.”

Jason Siegel, interim president of the Central Florida Sports Commission, which pursues marquee and amateur sports events to the Central Florida region, says the commission is committed to working with USA Canoe/Kayak to ensure the success of the event.

In 2016 alone, the Central Florida Sports Commission brought in nearly 300,000 visitors and a $135 million economic impact to the region.

Melinda Mack, executive director of the South Florida Canoe Kayak Club, called Clermont’s Waterfront Park a “true asset” along with the people working to grow the sport.

Over the years Lake Minneola became the site of many national rowing and triathlon competitions, but this will be the first time the USA Canoe Kayak National Championships is hosted in this area.

Visiting canoers and kayakers will find Waterfront Park also includes a bike and hiking trail that is the center of Florida’s Coast-to-Coast Trail, a new, interactive splash park, a million-dollar boathouse that is home to canoeing, rowing, sailing, and dragon boats; picnic tables, grills, a basketball court, two playgrounds, fishing piers, a preserve, championship disc golf, and a chain of lakes.