The Penobscot River Whitewater National Regatta kicks off today in Old Town as competitors from different states and countries traveled to participate in this four day event.

Race Chair Scott Phillips joined the Morning Pitch earlier this morning to talk about the upcoming festivities and how spectators could enjoy all the events.  Wednesday will be a practice day for the competitors and will also be a day for boat inspections at the competition headquarters.  The opening ceremony for the event will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. before the races begin on Thursday.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun.  We’ve got four days of racing, a practice day today, and a lot of people coming from many, many states to race here on the Penobscot so we’re really excited about it,” said Phillips on the Morning Pitch Wednesday.

Events will get underway tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. and through until the daily awards ceremony at 5 p.m.

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Phillips said that the most viewed events by spectators are the sprint races that will occur on Saturday morning because those in attendance will be able to see the entire competition.  He also listed the Old Baseball Field in Bradley as one of the better locations to watch the races throughout the weekend.

The river is said to be in good condition, though the rain in the forecast will not be unwelcome.

“The rain doesn’t bother paddlers, because we’re wet most of the time anyways.  We’d love to have the water, but we could do without the lightning,” said Phillips.

The final awards ceremony for the Regatta will by at 2 p.m. in Old Town on Sunday at Binette Park.

For more information and for course layouts you can find that here.