As we are still entrenched in the dull-drums of winter, we at Walk on Water are looking forward to warm, sunny days spent on the water with friends. Whether it be catching some fun waves, paddling on the calm bay, or testing our limits in a race, we often long for the turning of spring to get things moving. Now, with this type of forward thinking, we are going to go over a list of our Top 4 East Coast races in order for us to get us through the end of winter! Just a quick note: these are our favorite races, and our list may be a bit biased. But that's ok! Because the races listed here are fun, family friendly, and ones in which we participate in fully. If you have any questions about any additional races, please feel free to reach out to us and we will give you all the details!
4. Paddle Second Chance: 6/30
Coming in at number 4 is Paddle Second Chance. Taking pace on Jun 30th at Holt's Landing State Park, Paddle Second Chance is a family friendly venue filled with scenic views of the bay and plenty of vendors to keep everyone entertained and busy. Consisting of a 5 mile elite race, 2.5 mile fun race, 1 mile SUP spring and kayak race, the winners and top finishers are rewarded with over $5,000 in total prizes in a comfortable, laid back picnic style presentation. Why does this race make our list? It's simple! Large portions of the proceeds are donated to the Wounded Warriors project- a cause we can all stand behind!!
The Carolina Cup makes our list based solely on the sheer size of the event alone. In it's 8th year the Cup offers 5 races and some of the best paddlers around the world giving clinics and other advice for experienced and intermediate paddlers alike. On Saturday, there is a 3.5-mile Harbor Island Recreational race, 6.5-mile Money Island Open Race and the fearsome 13-mile Graveyard Elite Race. On Sunday there is a fun kids race as well as a outrigger and Surfski race. Basically, there is something for everyone! So come on down to Wrightsville Beach, NC and we will see you there!!
If you want a scenic, yet challenging paddle, look no further than the Bay Bridge race. The venue takes place on the Annapolis side of the Bay Bridge at Sandy Point State Park. It is there spectators and paddlers gather to participate in a race of their skill level. This year the choices are presented as an Elite Race in which the paddlers will cross the Chesapeake Bay underneath the bridge and back (8+ mile race), an intermediate course which will consist of a distance of 5k off of Sandy Point and a recreational race which will be a short slalom course near the beach. Not only that, this race is packed with tons of sponsors and venues where spectators will be able to check out near gear, purchase clothing, and grab some tasty food and drinks! Spend the afternoon out in the sun and enjoys the views of the Chesapeake. And if you decide to race, don't forget to have some fun!
Ok, ok, so, we might be a bit biased here in regards to our number 1 choice as we are the ones who put on the Return to Goat Island race, but, well, you're just going to have to deal with it! Why? Because the people, the venue, and the race itself are AWESOME. Located in downtown Snow Hill the "Return to Goat Island" SUP race is, to put it simply, a celebration of the paddling lifestyle. Which means we are open to all forms of paddling: SUP, prone, kayak and OC-1. Races will consist of a short distance/kids race (On giant inflatables provided by Walk on Water), a 3 mile open race, and for those looking to push your limits there will be a 17 mile race with two classes- solo or 2 person team. All racers have a chance at winning $5,000 in cash & prizes!
And for those not looking to paddle but instead are interested in spending some quality time outdoors at Byrd State Park in Snow Hill, there will also be live music, great food, drinks, and even discounted rates at the camp grounds located in close proximity to the race area! Come on down to Snow Hill and enjoy a fun-filled atmosphere while we paddle along the Pocomoke.