Stand Up for the Catawba - Lake Norman WPA SUP race
“My Aloha Paddle and Surf” in Mooresville, North Carolina, organized the very first paddleboard race on Lake Norman this last Saturday benefitting the Catawba River keeper. They did everything right. Right for a great race and right for North Carolina. Pulled pork and chicken to eat afterwards. Cash awards to the overall elite winners. They also did a few things that were seemingly out of place on a hot day in the foothills of North Carolina NASCAR country. Like Hawaiian music and hula dancing. Like Santa Clause racing on a paddleboard. But all of these melded together made for a cool ambiance and event. Do.Not.Miss.It.Next.Year.
NOW, the Rest of the Story, A Home Run Race
The real race story is everything that happens when you’re not racing. This first time event did everything right, no kidding. The registration process was easy and you had an option of buying a t-shirt or not. They had hotel discounts at several locations within a few miles from the race site. They had coffee and light breakfast fare BEFORE THE RACE!
They had several different races; an elite distance, recreational distance, surfboard class and a KIDS RACE! The races started on time. They had results immediately with race winners (and their times) written on a leader board and awards were done on time.
The courses were challenging with police and support boats patrolling to make sure we weren’t taken out by a rogue jet-ski or angry Osprey. The venuewas beautiful and easy to find (with help from a GPS). Food was North Carolina hospitable with pulled pork and roast chicken.
There were friendly vendors and information booths about the Catawba River Keeper. KANAHAS was there with some of their SUP-inspired clothing and gear.
There was Hawaiian music and hula dancers encouraging audience participation and spreading the aloha spirit (in North Carolina NASCAR country!)
There were raffles and prizes and cash awards to the overall winners in the elite race. The kids race was fun and exciting and those who “podiumed” (new vernacular) were applauded loudly.
The race committee for this event hit a homerun. It is something I will put on my calendar for next year. Fun.Fun.Fun.
Finally, the best part of going to different events is meeting and making new paddling friends. I got to connect face-to-face with several of my virtual training buddies from the facebook group, the 100/100 paddle challenge. Ken Teeter, Roddy Medders, Susan Beck Ballenger, and more. They are people who’ve inspired and encouraged me to keep on paddling and now I can match a face and baord when I think of them. I also got to meet one of the “Joe Paddlers” from Distressed Mullet, the landlocked jet mechanic, Michael Jones! We talked “shop” on boards. Very cool.
We may sometimes paddle alone but paddling is not a solitary sport.
Amazing Waterfront Location on Lake Norman!
Paddle Charlotte Rentals and Paddle Shop 400B North Harbor Place Lake Norman - Davidson Location - Exit 30 North Harbor - Next to the Cabin Sales by Appointment