Monday, June 19, 2017

Paddlers Race for Clean Water!

A beautiful, foggy, late spring morning on the Shrewsbury River provided the perfect conditions for paddlers at COA’s Shore Paddle event on May 17! The new location at the Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club (SSYC) was an excellent venue for spectators, family, and friends. Over 125 standup paddleboard, prone, kayak, outrigger, and surfski paddlers signed-up to help raise awareness and funds for COA’s year-round water quality programs.
Enjoying father's day weekend!
Paddlers took to the water and participated in either the 2 Mile Fun Paddle or the 5 Mile Race. The new race course, which consisted of three laps, allowed participants to test their speed and turns while spectators viewed from the upper deck. The racers competed in a variety of categories including age and board size. Up-cycled trophies from Beacon Awards were given to the top three finishers, as well as Thule backpacks and gear for the first place winners. In memory of Ben Hamilton, avid paddle boarder, surfer, and COA friend, the first annual “Ben Hamilton Volunteer Award” was presented to John Quinn, past Commodore of SSYC. John is an outstanding volunteer and without his help the Shore Paddle would not be possible.

Throughout the morning, the Shore Paddle offered many activities, such as complimentary sailing sessions, SUP Yoga with Flow Paddle Yoga, SUP demos by Aqua Vida, education by David P Civile Foundation, many SUP vendors, face painting, and more!
Preparing for the race!

The event continued with an After Party at the clubhouse, where guests enjoyed waterfront views and dancing to live music by the Sam Sims Band, whose music provided the perfect ocean friendly vibe.
To uphold COA’s environmental missions, participants were given re-useable pint glasses and enjoyed a complimentary Bloody Mary bar, donated by Tito’s Vodka, along with craft beers by SweetWater Brewing. The amazing team of volunteers grilled up barbeque style food with additional donations provided by Surf BBQ, Wenning’s Foods, and Sickles.  

Many thanks to the Shrewsbury Sailing & Yacht Club for hosting the Shore Paddle! Special thanks to the dedicated volunteers, safety boat captains, Oceanport EMS, donors, and participants.

The Shore Paddle was a great success and continues to grow! We hope you will join us next year at this fun, family friendly event on the beautiful Shrewsbury River. Follow the Shore Paddle throughout the year on Facebook and follow the new Instagram account @COA_ShorePaddle for more photos and event updates!
Race winners proudly displaying their re-purposed trophies
Outriggers and surfskis participated this year for 1st time!

...And they're off!
The Dream Team: Race Director Harris Davis,
COA Development Director Tory Woods,
Chairperson Andrea Reichert

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