This past Saturday, May 4th was this year’s Stand Up for the Cure at Newport’s Back Bay. Their vision is to become SUP’s version of Race for the Cure…They have a ways to go, but put on what was, overall, a great event. Approximately 650 Paddlers showed up decked out in all shades of pink, some in crazy costumes. There was a good showing of elite racers, junior pros, average joes and complete beginners.
The only negative about the event was a moderately confusing schedule (done in Microsoft excel) and poorly worded registration. It wasn’t completely clear based on what I registered for (Adult Fun Event) what time I would start (Elite Race at 9:45, Pink Fleet and Intermediate Races were shown as sometime between 10:00 and 11:00). Once on-site the event organizer cleared things up, but as someone who likes to know the plan and be prepared for events it made for a bit of a tense morning (especially because we got a late start after a forgotten bag at home).
I did the 5k paddle. Audrey and Andy came to watch. The beach event had a fantastic exhibition area which included free melanoma and breast cancer screening. Additionally vendors of SUP clothing, products, outdoor gear and health food livened things up while spectators waited for the paddlers. There was also a super cool silent Auction with opportunities to score sweet gear from the sponsors.
Overall, this is the perfect event if you are new to SUPing or SUP racing. There was definite competition among the pro and intermediate riders, but there was also a very laid back feel to the event which allowed riders to turn around at any point on the course. The flat water is perfect for those new to SUP or those who may not be super adventurous. Make sure to keep an eye out for next year’s event, or Check out their Facebook page, Standup for the Cure