QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM)-
“It is time we use the river. Quincy has got a great asset here and we have to bring more people in and have events like this,” said Mark Lockett.
It was attitudes like this from Quincy native Mark Lockett and others that launched the Quincy 5 miler, Quincy’s first rowing and paddling ragatta in 63 years.
More than 50 participants took off at the south end of Hogback Island, across from the public boat launch at Knapheide Landing and ended at the South Side Boat Club.
Lockett, who used a homemade kayak that he and his brother Michael made a decade ago, said there needs to be more human-powered river races.
“Well it gets you out. It is not a video game and it is not a TV. It is real life and it is a real adventure. You get exercise and fresh air,” said Lockett.
Race Director Mark Frankenbach says organizers trying to restore a tradition from Quincy’s past.
“It is basically trying to bring paddling sports back into the community which the Southside Boat Club was known for back in the 40’s and early 30’s,” said Mark Frankenbach.
But, advancements in technology caused the sports to fade away.
“Once the motorized boats started to come online more people started to move toward motor boats racing and that kind of sport, hydroplanes and such,” said Frankenbach.
Now, boaters like Frakenbach are working to attract a new generation to the sport.
“It’s a fun sport. I recommend it to anyone who wants to try it. It is something you can do with your entire family and it doesn’t cost anything,” said Frakenbach.