A seven-mile Stand-Up Paddleboard race in the Gulf of Mexico is slated for Saturday, May 5, drawing SUPers to Fort Myers Beach's newest watersport event, the CaluSUP Race.
Also included in the one-day event is a one-mile race, a family-friendly race and free demonstrations for the public and SUP activities for Lee County Special Olympic athletes. Festivities run 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Crescent Beach Family Park, Lee County Parks & Recreation's newest beach park, located at 1100 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach.
The event name CaluSUP celebrates the fast-growing watersport of Stand-Up Paddleboarding as well as Lee County's 190-mile canoe, kayak and SUP trail, the Great Calusa Blueway.
Local paddleboarders are invited to race at the CaluSUP Race on May 5. Photo by BOB PETCHER.
The SWFL SUP Club is organizing the race day with partnership assistance from Lee County Parks and Recreation and the Best Western PLUS Beach Resort. Proceeds will benefit Lee County Special Olympics.
CaluSUP is a spinoff of the successful 2011 Bay to Gulf SUP Race, which drew 50 racers and 200 spectators to Bunche Beach/San Carlos Bay Preserve last May.
SWFL SUP Club organizers expect this Gulf-based race course to offer equal fun with a more challenging, longer course for advanced SUPers, a short course for beginners and opportunities for the public that wants to sample the sport of SUPing along Southwest Florida's sandy shores.
Racers of all abilities are welcome. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Entry is $15 for club members, $30 for the public before April 24, or $40 on race day. Special Olympic athletes can compete for free by contacting Dorothy Barilla at 432-2031. All others should contact SWFL SUP Club at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-7453. Complete details can be found at SWFLsupclub.org.
Paddling trail maps and further information can be found at CalusaBlueway.com.