Surf Challenge returns for fun

The annual East End Surf Challenge is on this weekend and, although the watercraft races are on Monday, National Heroes Day, all the fun starts on Friday.  

The Soca Road Block kickoff party for the East End Surf Challenge is at Pirates Cove Bar, East End, from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., featuring Miami Soca DJs DJ Barrie Hype and Eternal Vibes together with DJs Atom Skillz, Toya Skillz and Sound Revolution. Entrance is free. 

Along with the races on Monday, the ever-popular East End Surf Challenge and Flowers Bottled Water Fish Tea Cook-Off will be keenly contested again, also at Pirates Cove Bar East End, from 10 a.m. 

Top watercraft racers compete in 10 lap races in and out of centrally located channels in East End. All races start and finish at the Pirates Cove Bar. 

Jerk chicken, fish and fritters will be on sale. 

The race will be marshaled by the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association with music by the same deejays as Friday’s party, plus Selecta Renegade. Again, it’s all free. 

There will be a food stalls selling local East End seafood dishes and raising funds for Daria Le Shae Bodden, who is undergoing treatment for autism. The event organizers intend to make contributions to the East End Primary School. 

Armbands will be available for those who would like to taste the fish tea and cast their vote for the People’s Choice winner. 

The event is back to its original home place, which was the venue for the first East End Surf Challenge 14 years ago. 

Organizer Shane Nobi Edwards is part of the 2Frenzied team. He said, “We have a great complement of fish tea cooks gearing up for great competition on the day. They are the Hillside Crew of Huskwell Rankine and Alfonso Rankine, CAP (Caymanians Against Poverty), Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks, Cayman Cabana’s Edsil Haylok, Pirates Cove Bar’s Brian Rankine, and John Miller representing Miller’s Caboose.” 

The watercraft racers will compete for more than $2,000 in cash and prizes, including LIME phones for the winners.  

Putting the event together is always hard, but it has been exceptionally difficult for Edwards this time because he did not get the usual support from sponsors.  

He is dedicating the event to his late grandmother Phyllis McLean, who passed away last year. “I already have an award dedicated to my grandfather Lester McLean, which is the Nayaman Award, so I will make a very special mention and dedication to my grandmother at this year’s event,” he said. 

Of the racers, Edwards favors to win over his cousin Jordan “JJ” McLean, a former winner. 

“People should support the event because it’s a local event that has proven to provide good quality entertainment year after year,” said Edwards. “Thanks to our sponsors, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Tourism, Flowers Bottled Water, Cayman Airways, Morritt’s Resort, Red Bull, Cayman Power Sports and Marine, authorized dealers of Suzuki Marine, Tribe Tatoo Salon, ECO Rides, Imprint Graphics & Designs, Pirates Cove Bar and 2Frenzied.  

“Come out to the East End Surf Challenge because it is always bringing people together.” 

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Jet Ski racing is the highlight of Monday’s East End Surf Challenge. – PHOTO: RON SHILLINGFORD

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Shane Edwards
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