We’re in the season. We had to choose between three races in Florida, and at least that many more in the Southeast. What to do? Guess we’ll go big, sanctioned, and full disclosure – to our local beach. The 5th annual Florida Cup on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast in Madeira Beach was just the ticket.
We wrangled Bruce and Gary, race coordinators, to talk story in ankle deep surf. “We broke the 150 entrant this year, with a clear up tick in Outrigger Canoes.” According to Bruce, “SUP was like a gateway paddle drug for people to expand their paddling options. Outrigger Canoes are the logical next step and a great way to cross train. Likewise, shortening our elite race attracted more participants.”
They again pulled off a superb event. Well coordinated, smoothly run, and despite some blustery winds, racers dug in for the downwind return. Naturally, proceeds benefited both foster care kids and feeding our local homeless. Bruce’s response to the saturation of paddle races, “the more people paddling the better it is for everyone. As long as participants and fans are having fun, the beach is staying open.”
We couldn’t agree more. The smiles, hugs, high fives, and cheers spoke for itself. When you’re ready for a sanctioned/fun race near the beautiful St Pete Beach, FL, dip your toes and paddles in the Gulf.