Things are gearing up for the canoe and kayak championship races at Chapman State Park.
The 2012 U.S. Canoe Association National Canoe and Kayak Championships are returning to Warren County from Aug. 7 to 12 and Chapman State Park will once again host the event's sprint races.
According to Park Manager Jim McCorkle, the park has stepped up aquatic herbicide treatments in preparation for the sprints. McCorkle noted the herbicide is used each year at the park to control weed growth in the lake, but workers have applied the treatments to some extra areas for the race.
The Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry (WCCBI), which is hosting the event, will be setting up start and finish lines as well as race lanes on the lake for the events. McCorkle said the lake will still be open to the public during the competitions, but those areas will be closed off.
"We'd certainly ask, if anybody was out on the lake, that they'd be respectful of the racers," McCorkle said.
The beach and waterfront areas will remain open to the public throughout the event. Camping will also be available at the park and no special rules or reserved spaces for participants are being implemented. McCorkle said there is slightly higher reservation numbers than average for Thursday and Friday and an average number of reservations thus far for the rest of the week.
"I'm sure we'll have a few more campers due to the races," McCorkle said, but noted plenty of camp sites are still available.
The park has also waived some standing boat requirements for sprint participants. Normally, boats on the lake are required to have a Pennsylvania registration or a park launch pass. According to McCorkle, championship participants will not have to observe those rules in an effort to make it easier for out-of-state competitors.
"It's going to be a busy week week for us," McCorkle said. "We're working with John (Papalia, director of the Warren County Council on Tourism) and WCCBI to have everything run smoothly. We're ready to go and hoping for good weather."