Considered the “Boston Marathon” of the open water racing world, the Blackburn Challenge is a 20-mile open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann, Massachusetts. “Challengers” row or paddle seaworthy watercraft in a range of classes including Banks dories, fixed seat singles and doubles, multi-oars with/without coxswains, sliding seat tour/race rowing singles & doubles, SUP and prone paddle boards, single & double touring kayaks, single & double racing kayaks, single & double surfskis, and OC-1 through OC-6 outrigger canoes.
Over the years the event has grown in scale and stature from a small local competition between a group of Gloucester-based Banks Dory rowers to an international-caliber endurance event. Challengers travel from as far away as Africa and Australia to participate each year. Some arrive with record-breaking ambitions, and some arrive to simply test their mettle in one of the most grueling open water endurance competitions on the planet.