- From 28 Thu Apr 2016 to 01 Sun May 2016 April 28, 2016 May 1, 2016 Parrot Key Resort
Key West Paddleboard Classic
Watersports fans on paddleboards and other self-propelled watercraft can race around the continental United States’ southernmost island during the 19th annual Key West Paddle Classic. The challenge highlights a long weekend of action-oriented events scheduled Thursday through Sunday, April 28 through May 1.
The Paddle Classic main event is a 12-mile distance race around the island of Key West. Also offered is a 4-mile recreational race off Higgs Beach.
Both races are set for Saturday, April 30. The 12-mile distance challenge is open to paddlers on standup paddleboards, or SUPs, of various lengths, surf SUPs, prone boards, SUP inflatables, outrigger canoes, dory boats, surf skis and kayaks. The 4-mile event is open to SUP and surf SUP competitors only.
Saturday’s racing action begins with a 7 a.m. breakfast and expo opening at Key West’s Higgs Beach, located beside the Atlantic Ocean on Atlantic Boulevard. An 8 a.m. racers meeting precedes the 8:30 a.m. ocean start off the beach.
The 12-mile 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, before they reach the finish at Higgs Beach.
The 4-mile recreational race, to be held on a course just off the beach, is scheduled for 8:45 a.m.
An awards celebration hosted by the Turtle Kraals Restaurant & Bar is planned beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Lands End Village, located at the foot of Margaret Street in Key West’s Historic Seaport. Highlights include awards presentations, prize drawings, live music, dinner and libations.
Other weekend activities include a 5-7 p.m. meet-and-greet April 28 at Lazy Dog at Hurricane Hole Marina, 5130 U.S. Highway 1, as well as paddle yoga, a paddleboard eco-tour and an April 29 paddle performance clinic. Also April 29, a 5-8 p.m. kick-off party, registration and packet pickup is scheduled at the Turtle Kraals featuring the emporium’s offbeat turtle races.
The weekend concludes Sunday, May 1, with a Higgs Beach day featuring a kids’ SUP clinic and race, a Special Olympics race, adult sprint races and a paddleboard relay race for four-person teams.
Sanctioned by the World Paddle Association, the Key West Paddle Classic is a WPA Southeast Region national points race.
Event information and registration: http://lazydog.com/index.php/paddleboard-classic