Stand Up Paddleboarding on Siesta Key

By | June 20, 2013

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Stand-up paddle boarding is the fitness rage of the year. In the gulf, lakes, rivers, practically anwhere that the surf is never up, you can catch a Floridian standing on a board and paddling. It’s core workout and balancing act that strengthens the muscles of the legs, buttocks, back, shoulders and arms. “The cool thing is that for most people,” explains Rob Alfieri, owner of SUP Sarasota “it only takes about a minute to learn how to do it. You get on the board, get your balance and start paddling. That’s it – it really doesn’t take any great skill to enjoy the sport.”

SUP Sarasota

The 1st Annual Sarasota Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Race Series shall kick off next month on the sandy beaches of Siesta Key. The first race of the Sarasota SUP Race Series shall take place at the north end of the Siesta Key Public Beach on Saturday, June 22nd at 9 am. The Siesta Key Race is the first of three SUP races, each a unique race experience, showcasing a unique Sarasota County Park. The second race is at Nathan Benderson Park on August 24th and the third at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron on October 12th.

The Series was created by Rob Alfieri, owner of SUP Sarasota, a local Stand Up Paddleboard Company. SUP Sarasota has partnered with SUP board manufacturer Hovie SUP to produce the races. Hovie SUP recently made local headlines for relocating its board production factory from China to Port Manatee. Alfieri states, “This is the first SUP Race Series of its kind and is designed to showcase the accessibility and natural beauty of our parks and increase sports tourism. Our goal is simple, to make Sarasota County the premiere destination for Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Country”.

The Races feature several divisions so paddlers of various board sizes and ability levels can all enjoy the competition and fun. A short three mile course has been set for paddlers who are either new to the sport or who wish to simply keep things lite. A more challenging six mile course is offered for elite level paddlers and some of the best racers in Florida will be present to put themselves to the test along Siesta Key’s scenic beachfront. The distance races shall be followed by short sprint races open to all entries to determine who is fastest off the mark.

To complement the water races, the SUP Series shall also have a Landboarding relay race at each event as well. Loaded Landboards is sponsoring the coed couple relay race which is open to all competitors. Landboards, land paddles and safety equipment shall be supplied as the majority of racers shall be experiencing Landboarding for the first time. These land races shall follow lunch and lead into the awards presentation.

Awards shall be given to the top three finishers in each race division. The divisions are separated by age, sex, ability level and board size, so all who enter have a shot at receiving an award. Each racer shall receive a swag bag filled with SUP related goodies, a race series water shirt, free lunch and a raffle ticket for a chance at winning a multitude of prizes. The Red Bull MXT Truck shall be on site to provide music, entertainment and race commentary during the entire day’s event and equipment and Instructional demonstrations, food, drinks and raffle tickets shall be available for all competitors, spectators and the general public.

For more information and to register for entry log on to WWW.SARASOTASUPSERIES.COM.

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