The 14th Shark Bite Challenge on Honeymoon Island State Park, FL, was simply incredible. Improve your skills, three days of workshops. SUPs – sure, you can race. Kayaks and canoes, yup, a division. Surf Skis, of course. Outrigger Canoes, how many seats do you want. Prone, why not. Young, young at heart, and everyone in between, you’re included. Super serious? It’s a regional points event. Fishing, join the derby. If you paddle, Shark Bites’ got you covered.
Karen Mirlenbrink, race coordinator and co-brainchild with hubby Rob, took a few late night minutes to give us some background. “Our first race over 15 years ago, was just a tad stuffy and a little more serious than we were. We thought we could put on an event that was more inclusive and fun.” Inclusive they are. Over the years, they’ve added Outrigger Canoes, a full day of OC6, Stand Up Paddle Boards, and a duel event Waterman’s Challenge. “If you paddle it, we want you to be here.”
Shark Bite is a lot like its closest town, Dunedin, Florida. Open, fun, eclectic, off beat, welcoming, and loved. Judging from the nonstop hugging, smiles, international competitors, and amazing sponsors, we can only hope Honeymoon Island has enough room for how much more popular this is bound to be. Oh, and every penny made, went to Friends of Parks to help Honeymoon and it’s visitors. Cudos.
If you love paddle sports, beautiful beaches, islands, natural beauty, and unrivaled fun, then see you next spring for Shark Bite Challenge.
Follow ’em at the source below. The photo montage at our Facebook page.