The Race is On
For Anyone who Can Make it “Up the River with a Paddle”
Nov. l9 –
A Benefit for By the River
SEBASTIAN, FL, NOVEMBER 6, 2011 — It will be a day that Sebastian has never seen before. The first-ever paddling race on the St. SebastianRiver, “Up the River with a Paddle,” will bring together recreational and competitive paddlers alike – kayakers, canoers, stand up paddle boarders and all non-motorized water sports enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages. Organizers aim to draw paddlers from around the state who have heard about the scenic beauty of one of the most diverse natural estuaries in the country – the South Prong of the river. This will be the backdrop of the event, to be held Saturday, November l9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at DaleWimbrow Park, 11805 Roseland Road in Sebastian. Proceeds will benefit By the River, the Treasure Coast’s independent residential community for low income seniors, founded by spiritual teacher Ma Jaya that is giving them the chance to live affordably in a life-enhancing community. The race is sanctioned by the American Canoe Association (ACA) and being sponsored and coordinated by Florida Outdoor Center (FLOC).
“We wanted to have a fun, family event that the community would enjoy – something new that was friendly for the environment,” said Mr. Joe Coakley, chairperson of the event.” “We’re looking forward to lots of healthy, friendly competitions on the river. We at By the River hope this event will stir the emotions of everyone for the need to assist seniors who are in need of decent housing in Indian River County.”
Racers may check-in and register at 8:30 a.m. at Dale Wimbrow Park, although pre-registration is encouraged. Races begin at l0:00 a.m. with short and long distances, such as Parent/Child, Kids Fun Race, Masters 50+ and Elite categories. Start times and race course will be announced at check-in. It is recommended that entrants be able to paddle approximately three miles for the short distance race and five miles for the elite course.
In the Elite category, racers can challenge themselves to beat Mike Beck in the long distance course and have the opportunity to win up to a $500 cash prize, sponsored by Oculina Bank. Mr. Beck is a former member of the USA National Kayaking Team, international paddler and Guinness World Record holder in 24-hour kayaking on the Rhine River in l996. If no one beats his time, monies will go to provide paddling programs for local kids at FLOC.
Another fun event happening and sure to be a highlight of the day, will be for Best Team in the County when groups of 6 or 7 compete in the Elephant Race in a giant canoe starting at l2:00 p.m. Teams from local businesses, organizations as well as groups of friends and family will race the clock around a giant slalom course. A professional steersperson from FLOC can be provided.
The Friends of the St. Sebastian River will be catering food and refreshments starting at ll: 00 a.m. Entertainment, such as performances by former Miss. U.S.O. Jennifer Patty and her teen and youth troupe Ovations, as well as raffle drawings will be happening throughout the day. Mr. Hamp Elliot of Treasure and Space Coast Radio will be emceeing the event. The public is welcome to enjoy the festivities, cheer on their favorite racers and enter a few contests themselves.
An awards ceremony will take place at 3:00 p.m. The top three in the recreational categories will be awarded trophies, top racers in the elite category will receive cash awards and prizes, and there will be a large trophy awarded to the best team in the Elephant race.
“Up the River With a Paddle is an event that has been magical to work on. The people at By the River are incredibly caring and full of positive energy. The St. Sebastian River is a natural setting for a paddling event, it is beautiful and inviting. Having raced for many years I always enjoyed the family atmosphere and the community of paddlers we were a part of. We are looking forward to this event growing and to bringing our community together to benefit By the River.”
The event is being sponsored by Treasure and Space Coast Radio, Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, Oculina Bank, Egoscue, LoPresti Aviation, Wellmed, Costa d’Este, Harvest Food & Outreach, Inside Track Almanac, Breakaway Graphics and Friends of the St. Sebastian River.
If readers want to get involved as a sponsor, monetary and in-kind donations are always welcomed and appreciated and will help towards making this an annual, community-wide event.
Costs begin at $5 for kids under l4, $35 for individual adult racers and up for team competitions. Entry fee discounts will be given to ACA members (and includes ACA insurance for all racers). Please see websitewww.flocracing.com for more details or to register directly online go towww.uptheriver.eventbright.com. Those who register by Nov. l0th will receive a free event t-shirt and Goodie Bag. Boat and paddle board rentals are available. For more information, please contact Florida Outdoor Centerat 772-202-0220 or By the River at 772-559-2680.
About By the River
By the River was founded by internationally-known spiritual teacher, Ma Jaya, as a way to take care of the community’s seniors through kindness, compassion and service. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to providing compassionate care to the aging population, those living in poverty, and to their caregivers.