The Corona Light Tampa Bay Winter SUP Race Series Round #3 @ Ricks on the River went down today. The race started at Tampa Bay’s very own Urban Kai on the Hillsborough River and paddled through the beautiful backdrop of downtown Tampa. It was 45 degrees this morning with winds swirling off of the river before the smiling Florida sun showed up and settled in around 73 degrees. Big shout out to all of the racers and cheering fans who came out to support this great cause of raising donations for The American Red Cross and the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The short course was set at about 2.5 miles and the long course was set at 6 miles. The race started right off of Ricks on the River and headed north to the Columbus Bridge making the first buoy turn and then heading south past the I-275 bridge before turning north and all the way back. Short racers had three buoy turns while the long racers had five buoy turns. Racer’s had to battle the river currents as well as swirling winds that seemed to never lend a hand to paddlers.
The 2.5 mile stock division was fun filled with good competitive spirit and fast racing.
12’6 Stock Men’s was led by Sean Geary followed by Devon Ford in second and Bob Donnelly in third. Bob Donnelly paddled a strong consistent race with a big smile and ended up on the podium today.
12’6 Stock Women’s was led by Karen Mayer followed by Linda Galyo.
12’6 Race Women’s was led by Jamie Gross followed by Trisha Atchison in second and Lisa Catansa in third.
The 6 mile race division showcased some good Florida talent with some tight racing.
12’6 Race Women’s was led by Bailey Rosen followed by Karen Mirlenbrink in second and Lisa Cool in third. Bailey Rosen is fresh off her third place elite finish at the Orange Bowl Paddle Championship where she also was the crowned winner in the Women’s sprints. She was also our winner at round two. Bailey is strong, consistent and smooth. Expect to see big things from her in the future.
12’6 Race Men’s was led by Andrew Gaucho followed by Dennis “Dunkin Donuts” Navarette in second and Jim Valenti in third. Dennis was wearing his natural big smile and even gave me a heads up on the new donut that is filled with brownie batter….it seemed to work for him today.
14’ Race Men’s proved my predictions right today that there was no way Urban Kai’s Mike Conlee would allow anyone to beat him on his home water. The race was led by Mike Conlee followed by James Brown in second and Frank Dillenburg in third. Mike Conlee chased down the open class racers on the twin hull cats to make sure no one made it across the finish line before him.
I had a good time in my very first 12’6 six miler on a borrowed board with a 27” width that landed me in the cold Hillsborough River more than a few times. It was a good time for everyone that raced.
I want to say “great job” to everyone that came out to race and supported the cause for our local charity The American Red Cross. Today’s race donations and proceeds went to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I also want to give a big shout out to all of the h2o family and especially our Rockaway Beach, New York crew. As many of you know, the h2o generation is headquartered on Rockaway Beach and they endured a hell of a devastating storm from Sandy to put it mildly. H2O Rockaway crew….this race was for you and your community. “Stay Strong and Paddle Long.”
We also need to give a big shout out to Shane ‘water boy” Webb of Saltwater Kite and Paddle for his efforts with Corona Light and Jimmy Lewis to organize and promote this great race series that gives back to local charities.
The H2O Generation donated a stand-up paddle board to help raise extra donations for the event and The American Red Cross. Todd Carr of Orlando, Florida was the lucky raffle winner who was super stoked to take home his new Cadillac “Big Boy.”
This was a great event that brought together the SUP race community and a local charity for some real good times, fun racing and an overall great cause. Thank you again to everyone involved.
See you February 16th @ 11am @ The Postcard Inn, home of Shane “waterboy” Webb and Saltwater Kite and Paddle…see you there.
Written by David Loyd