The guys got together to put on the first ever Standup Paddleboard Race (or Standup for short) on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Liquid Surf & Sail, Tiki Beach Watersports and a bunch of others threw in to create this fun event. It is part of the Hobie Standup Paddleboard Series. Jesse with Liquid did most of the organizing with help from Neil with Tiki and a ton of volunteers.
The Coastal awaits
Originally an epic five mile looping south around the barrier island was planned but strong winds and seas changed the venue.
The roundtrip run starts behind Coconuts, just beside the International Swimming Hall of Fame on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, running south along Bahia Mar, then turning west into New River, turning off Lauderdale Yacht Club and returning.
The wind. The race went off between roughly 10 and 11 am. Nice to have that east wind at your back on the way out but a bear coming back. Land shadow may have reduced winds somewhat at points along the run from what shows in the wind plot.
Folks are arriving
Jesse conducts the Captains Meeting
Getting ready along side Coconuts
The 31 odd paddlers line up for the "Grayhound Start." In effect the boat "playing the rabbit" travels from north to south at speed in front of the line. Once the boat gets out of the way, you can go! Hey, no fair, the blond fellow on the left has THREE arms! Then again, he has no paddle blade. Problem with QTVR panoramas is that if the subject moves, strange things can happen.
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The boat's moving and so are the guys
Digging in. The second fellow from the right is Neil Hutchenson of Tiki Beach and birthday boy for a day.
As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been seen in Ft. Lauderdale. The white stuff in the water is the boat's wake, that is how fast these folks are moving out.
A lot of history to this place. The paddlers may be passing over the former haunts of the Hotel Amphitrite. The Amphitrite was a Monitor class war vessel as in "The Monitor and Merrimac battle" in the Civil War. It saw action during the Spanish American War having been towed to San Juan for bombardment of coastal defenses. It helped out in Sub defense duty in NY Harbor during WWI. It was even said to have been sent to China to help deal with the Boxer Revolution but given inadequate coal bunkers onboard and coaling logistics at sea, it seems unlikely. It landed here as a hotel and served until the Hurricane of 1935 blew it into the former Las Olas Bridge.
Photo from: http://www.ibiblio.org/maritime/
, info from The Broward Legacy (1.1.26)
There used to be a sea plane base off to the right near the SW side of the Las Olas Bridge
There goes Bonnie and newly minted Dr. Laura stroking along by the mega yachts. This used to be the home of the "Sea Scouts" houseboat. Sort of like water going boy scouts back in the day.
Taking the turn south into the Intracoastal, heading towards Pier 66 and FLL
At the front of this group is Jim DeSilva of Liquid Surf & Sail with the Las Olas Bridge in the background.
Steve Bean pulling out, smart, brought tunes along
There is a local story I heard growing up that Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan and Jungle Jim fame used to swim to the Hall of Fame from his home off Las Olas. Wonder how he would have done at Standup? The folks are likely racing along his swimming route.
Grace keeps an eye on things as Jay cons the support boat near the front of the pack
Paddlers are stretching out
Who needs a big yacht if you have a good paddleboard, uh anyone?
Roray Kam and Packet Casey went hard at it throughout. Excellent athletes these two and so many others in the competition.
There is Gebi leading a group around the turn to the west and into New River formerly served by an inlet at the south end of Bahia Mar. This inlet was closed in the Hurricane of 1926, with Port Everglades being dredged from Lake Mabel to the south some decades later. I recall reading that you used to be able to drink the water about where the guys are shown here. Things change with salt water intrusion and a lot of years.
Things just before the hurricane. The inlet and New River are up there to the north with parts of early Ft. Lauderdale. That mangrove cay off Whisky Creek on soon to be Dania Beach vanished in the hurricane. That's Lake Mabel just to the west.
Lots of interesting boats along the run
The leaders are setting a fast pace and working hard to pass the other and pull out.
Things are just getting going, more photos to come ...