In the fine tradition of Jose Gaspar, or Gasparilla, a stalwart gang of waterborne invaders, armed with bladed weapons, roared their way along the Hillsboro River through downtown Tampa, Florida jockeying for dominant position heedless of winds or shouts from innocent bystanders. The 3rd annual Gaparilla SUP Invasion attracted Paddle Board, Outrigger, and Surf Ski enthusiasts from around the region for a legendary urban paddle event.
When they finally took a break from laughing, having way too much fun, and coordinating the festivities, Bridgett Trinidad and Melissa Donovan took a minute to spill. “We love the water, paddling, Tampa, and the children growing up in this community. Our downtown River Walk is an amazing respite for families and kids so we wanted to bring an event to our city that celebrated all that we love.” These two fitness professionals dialed in the good times with unending energy and a bullhorn boisterous running commentary.
As part of a city wide Riverfest, this free for recreational paddlers event, funnels its dollars to local non profits that benefit the River Walk. With an infield of solid sponsors, a visit from city dignitaries, and an overabundance of positive energy, there’s no doubt this is now a local Tampa tradition. Or as the rockin’ DJ so aptly put it, “take a stand, show some love, spread the peace.
We’ll cool off with you next year at Tampa’s Waterworks Park for another righteous race.