It was 11:30 Sunday morning but the annual canoe races at the Harbourside didn't seem even close to starting. People were registering, getting pictures taken, and drinking something cool. Event organizer Vickie Brisco wasn't too surprised.
"Most of them don't even get out of bed until 1!" she joked.
The "them" she was referring to were the people who would be participating in the 19th Annual Canoe Races to benefit Special Olympics.
And, it's true, the last team didn't roll in until after 1 p.m. By then, most of the other teams had been hanging around the outdoor bar at the Harbourside "getting ready" for the races. In other words, practicing their arm lifts.
It's a chance to have some fun and raise money for a good cause.
Gary Ranaldi and Gino Saccoccio have been part of the race since the beginning. "I think we started canoeing 19 years ago," Ranaldi said.
It's a tradition now, and the two of them are part of the race boat team. Marie Cote, this year's official race starter and principal of Pilgrim High School in Warwick the other 364 of days of the year, says a lot of teams just don't get how to win a canoe race.
"The guys think brawn is better than brains and they sink the boat. It's too heavy," said Marie Cote. Several of the sponsoring restaurants had teams, including Ritrovo, Richard's Pub, Nautika, and the Harbourside itself. There was even a team of valets.
The teams start at Harbourside, paddle as far as Blu on the Water, then return. The actual race doesn't take long at all, unless of course, your canoe tips and you have to be pulled ashore!