Since our first Canoe Derby back in ‘82, we’ve introduced many people to paddlesport racing. For many years it was just a canoe competition, then we added kayaks (some of our fastest competitors) and a few years later we included stand-up paddleboards. Our 10-race series gives you the opportunity to develop your skills by competing against the best local paddlers each week. We encourage recreational canoers, kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders to enter our short course - just for the fun of it!
Canoes still make up the majority of boats on our starting line, but with the popularity of kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, the traditional old Hoigaard's "Canoe Derby" changed its name back in 2012 to the "Paddle Derby". We welcome just about any paddle-powered boat! Check out our Course and Divisions.
Enter one race or as many as ten! The Derby is excellent cross training for other sports, developing core strength as you paddle. Many of our regular competitors use the Derby as a fun form of off-season training for cross country skiing. Or use the Derby to train for the Tri-Loppet off-road triathlon. The Tri-Loppet uses the same waterways as the Derby for their paddle leg. 

Races are ten Thursday evenings in 2019 (No race on July 4th):
May 30
June 6, 13, 20, 27

July 11, 18, 25
August 1, 8

Registration is from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.
Races start at 6:45 p.m.

Races start and end at Thomas Beach on Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) in Minneapolis. (At Upton Av. S. and West Calhoun Blvd., in the southwest corner of the lake. The race course travels from Bde Maka Ska to Lake of the Isles and (for skilled paddlers) to Cedar Lake and back, with several buoy turns.

Race day registration only, on-site. Two forms must be filled out; the 2019 Paddle Derby Registration Form and a Liability Waiver. You only fill these out once a year, for your first race of the paddling season.


Paddle Derby T-shirts are awarded to everyone finishing a race, while supply lasts. (One shirt per person per year.) Ribbons are awarded to the top teams each Thursday. Points for the final championship are awarded on an individual, not team basis. Championship awards at the end of the series go to the top individuals in each division - determined by the accumulated score of your 5 best races in that division. You must compete 5 times in one division to qualify.

Storm Rules
Race cancellation occurs if there is an official National Weather Service Storm Warning (not Watch) which specifically includes the Twin Cities area and coincides with the times when we would usually be on the water. Sustained wind speeds of 20 mph or more will postpone or cancel a race. If lightning or a severe wind storm occurs during a race, head to shore and consider the race cancelled.
 Entry fees are not refundable if a race is cancelled following the starting gun. Race officials, at their discretion, may offer competitors of a cancelled race credit towards entry in a future race in the same year. Such credit, if offered, would not be transferable to another competitor.

All paddlers that start a race must check in at the finish line before leaving. This applies to paddlers that head back early without completing the full race course. 

Sportsmanship Rule
Failure to participate with good sportsmanship in Hoigaard's Paddle Derby will result in disqualification from the event. This applies to a participants action towards fellow competitors and race officials as well as their action towards non-competitors on the race course. Our race course is on a public waterway, we share the lakes with other paddlers, sailors and fishermen. 


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