For the third year, the Blue Mountain Lake Association will be hosting racers of the BluMouLA BuFuRa along the beautiful shores of Blue Mountain, Eagle, and Utowama lakes. This community event pulls together paddlers of all levels and abilities for three races of various lengths. The 14-mile, 7-mile, and a 1.5-mile courses direct participants throughout the bays and channels of the three bodies of water.
According to Blue Mountain Lake Association Race Organizer Andy Coney, the race is open to any canoes, kayaks, guideboats, SUPS and shells. There has even been a war canoe in past events. Registration begins at the Blue Mountain Fire Station on July 30 between 8:30- 10 am with a mass 10:30 am start across the street, at the Blue Mountain Lake town beach.
“The BluMounLA BuFuRa stands for the Blue Mountain Lake Association Buoy Funding Race. We always have to add that it’s the prettiest darn race in America,” says Coney. “We started the event to help offset the cost of the navigational buoys. There is a buoy in every bay on Blue Mountain Lake.”
What started as a way to help raise funds for navigational waterway aids has become a community affair. Volunteers organize the race and the Blue Mountain Lake community pulls together to make the race happen. There are no formal trophies for the top winners in each class, but prizes are given that have been thoughtfully donated from members throughout Blue Mountain Lake.
“The paddling community is relatively small,” says Coney. “We didn’t want our event to conflict with any of the larger races so we’ve always scheduled it once those other races have their dates set. Some people do use this event as a tune-up for the 90-Miler, but other people just like the beautiful course and three different course options.”
The longest race course (14-miles) starts on Blue Mountain Lake and proceeds through the channels and through both Eagle and Utowama lakes before doubling back to circumnavigate Blue Mountain Lake to finish at the town beach. The 7-mile course just circumnavigates through the various bays around Blue Mountain Lake while the short course (1.5-mile) goes back and forth around the nearest Blue Mountain Lake island.
“We get a range of all abilities with the three lengths of races and a lot of kids doing the 1.5-mile race,” says Coney. “We had 75-78 people the first two years, but this year we expect the race to be a lot bigger. Everyone in the community embraces the event. It’s a side benefit to being able to raise funds for the navigational buoys. Everyone seems to get involved.”
The BluMounLA BuFuRa takes place Sunday, July 30, at the Blue Mountain Lake town beach. Registration is $25 for adults, $15 for children. All proceeds benefit the Blue Mountain Lake Association Buoy Fund.
Photo of Blue Mountain Lake Association’s BluMounLA BuFuRa race provided.