With just over a month to go there is still time for paddleboard and other self-propelled watercraft enthusiasts to register for the 2014 Key West Paddleboard Classic. The 12-mile race will allow competitors to circumnavigate southernmost island of the continental United States, and is sanctioned by the World Paddle Association.
Key West Paddleboard Classic race itself will take place on Saturday May 3rd, but a variety of festivities and events around the race, including a performance clinic and parties, will run from Thursday May1 to Sunday May 4.
Competitors can use standup paddleboards, standup surfboards, prone boards, outrigger canoes, dory boats, surf skis and kayaks to take part in the annual event.
Presented by Lazy Dog Adventures of Key West, this years’ Paddleboard Classic begins with a 7:30 a.m. registration and expo opening. Racers will have mandatory meeting at 8:45 just prior to the start of the race at 9 a.m.
The start of the race begins from Key West’s Higgs Beach, located on the Atlantic Ocean at 1000 Atlantic Blvd. From there, the course takes competitors past island landmarks such as the Southernmost Point marker, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Mallory Square, site of Key West’s nightly sunset celebration – and finishing back at Higgs Beach.
For those who prefer a shorter race, there is an option to compete in a 4-mile open race with a start at 9:15 a.m.
The awards celebration will be hosted by the Turtle Kraals Restaurant & Bar and take place at Key West’s Lands End Village, located at the foot of Margaret Street in the Historic Seaport.
In addition to the awards presentations, live music, food and drink during the awards ceremony, here a look at some of the other events planned over the 4 days:
– a 5-7 p.m. meet-and-greet May 1 at Lazy Dog at Hurricane Hole Marina, 5130 U.S. Highway 1.
– a paddle performance clinic with Canadian Olympian Larry Cain set for 2-4 p.m. May 2 at Higgs Beach.
– a 5-8 p.m. kick-off party, May 2, registration and packet pickup is scheduled at the Turtle Kraals.
– May4, the weekend is to conclude with a Higgs Beach day featuring a kids’ SUP clinic and race, a Special Olympics race, adult sprint races and a lively paddleboard relay for four-person teams.
Event information and registration can be found online at: www.keywestpaddleboardclassic.com.