5-Miler-logoThe Quincy 5 Miler is an open water head race that will be run downstream from the public boat launch at Canton Chute PUA (Knapheide Landing Boat Ramp), past the south end of Hogback Island, down the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, in through “The Cut” to Quincy Bay and then down along Quincy’s historic waterfront, under the bridges and then to the finish line at South Side Boat Club.

Start time: 11 am Saturday September 16, 2017.
Place: Canton Chute PUA (Public Use Area).
Register: Online before race day or At the Canton Chute PUA on day of race.
Entry: $35 for One Race, $50 for Both Races (Quincy 5 Miler & Bear Creek Grunt), includes T-Shirt, and Awards for winners of each class.



This is an open water race that includes portions located near the main channel of the Mississippi River as well as “The Cut” from the main river back to Quincy Bay. The main river is a shipping and recreation corridor.Our race takes us from the start that is located in an approximate line even with the Knapheide Landing Boat Ramp, then past the south end of Hogback Island, over four wing dams. Then, to the north end of “The Cut” channel that leads into Quincy Bay. After paddling thru the Quincy Bay, we will once again be in the main river. We will paddle under the Quincy Bayview Bridge, along with the Quincy Memorial Bridge. Our race will then conclude at the historic South Side Boat Club.
Quincy 5 Miler Race Map
Launch your boat at the Knapheide Landing area, where the Registration Booth is located and then proceed to the start group. You should find your place based upon the approximate position in the starting order of similar boats. The discretion of the race officials determines start order based upon craft frontal area and speed estimate. It is the goal of the race officials to create a field that will involve as little passing of slower boaters during the race as possible. However, start order in such a long race has next to nothing to do with finish order so we are intending to do the best approximate job in setting race order. The most important thing is to get everyone safely started approximately the same distance from the finish line.

The four Wing Dams are at and after the start. Depending on conditions and water level the wing dams may be barriers or underwater hazards. We will try to start the race far enough out in the river to point people generally toward the cut, then you are on your own. The wing dams create water turbulence that may be invisible but can be significant. It is possible to go around the wing dams completely but at some cost in distance.

The river conditions are available from multiple sources and change dramatically when there is water source change or strong weather conditions, each of which may occur during this event. A weather briefing will be included in the Mandatory Safety Briefing before the event.



Our race is being routed from the central branch of the Mississippi River to and through “The Cut” which is a no wake zone at its entrance and again at the exit section where it ends its “cut” into Quincy Bay. The run south through Quincy Bay below “The Cut” presents numerous hazards to navigation. There is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge which must be passed through and any attendant debris piles or shallow areas maneuvered around.

The river conditions are under the control of nature. This is an open water head race. There are any number of conditions that will interfere  with the difficulty of completing the course. River traffic, hazards, obstructions and adverse developments are part of the race experience.

River water in this region is not very transparent and it is therefore difficult to see underwater hazards. The sides of “The Cut” and the areas along land have snagged trees and debris which are then caught and carried along or stuck in the current.

Then downstream is the Quinsippi Island Bridge. This bridge is impassable at high water and partially plugged with debris at other times. The route that motor boaters follow is usually the one under the sign or under the center section.

The Quincy Bay is a now a no wake zone between the Quinsippi Island Bridge and the Highway 24 bridges. This means that the entire section of the race along the city waterfront all the way down to the Highway 24 bridges is a no wake zone.

It is expected there will be considerable Bay Front activity on shore and on the water as the race proceeds South to the Highway 24 bridges. The race has been routed to create the maximum visible exposure to folks gathering and recreating along the waterfront.

We may encounter increased water traffic in the areas of the Bonansinga Park boat launch areas and the other launching spots along the shoreline. We will see considerable boat launch traffic as the race goes past the Quincy Boat Club area down to the bottom of Quinsippi Island since this is the area where the recreational boats will be launching and motoring South to go around the bottom of Quinsippi Island in order to go into the main channel and head up toward Hogback Island. Most motor-boaters choose this route (Not through the shallow Quincy Bay and The Cut) to access the main river.


Traffic control of the race is nonexistent. This race course is an open water race on open waters, and may be viewed on chart 103 of the US Army Corps of Engineers river charts. Participants must know the Illinois Boating Laws and follow standard marine etiquette. All participants are responsible for following all laws and regulations.

The race proceeds past the historic North Side Boat Club (note the club insignia is a sweep oar ).

Asian Carp are an undersirable part of the modern day river experience. Motors and propellers tend to create the high frequency sound patterns that excite these creatures. It is said that paddlers’ and rowers’ blade shadows look enough like the wings of predator birds to stifle the jump impulse of the crazed Asian Carp but this is folklore based on local accounts.

The current Illinois Boater Rules are collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Their website is located at: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/boating/Pages/default.aspx