How does a fun, non-race, first time paddle event, without sponsors, gnarly winds, and last minute venue changes, garner over a hundred eager participants? Simple – pay homage to the incredible late, Terry Tomalin, Tampa Bay waterman personified. When someone leaves a legacy of close friends, closer family, and a national following, his ‘buzz” can’t be stopped.
H2Ostoked hit the sand with race coordinator, Tim Ramsberger for this first time event. “As a long time friend and fellow waterman, Terry was too impactful to those around him to just go about life without embracing his zeal for fun, family, friends, and adventure.” So Tim, with the family’s blessing, and a hearty hand from Bill Jacksons Outdoors (read our past review under Swag) organized this group paddle event. No racing, but a social paddle to enjoy the camaraderie of being on the water with a like minded group.
The idea, like Terry, was obviously a success. High winds prevented the open water bay crossing, so the location quickly changed to downtown St Petersburg, FL with a paddle up the local Coffee Pot Bayou. An insane collection of Kayaks, SUPs, Outriggers, Prone, Surf Skis, and even an open canoe graced the regatta. Nobody was in a hurry to leave, and in true fashion, beers were had at a local pub.
If you’re idea of fun on the water includes a bevy of smiling water men and women, mark your calendars next year for late November. Saddle up and join the gang to cross Tampa Bay, find your groove, and smile even bigger for our camera. We won’t miss it.