Rum Run paddlers brave waves

Paddle boarders local and visitors braved the windiest weekend of the year so far to work on their technique and then to pit their skills against each other and the elements.  

Whilst the wind speeds of up to 21 knots kept the more faint-hearted paddlers away, those who braced themselves to battle it out had a fantastic weekend on the water and at the prize giving hosted by Duke’s restaurant. 

On Saturday, professional riders Gluck Glynn and Noa Hopper from Laird Standup, based in Malibu, California, shared their expertise with local enthusiasts in a technique clinic. Glynn was the winner of the 2013 Battle of the Paddle unlimited class and teenager Hopper is one of the most promising teenagers in the stand-up paddle board world. 

Both riders took part in the various sprint races through the afternoon.  

The Corporate Relay race was a chance for paddlers of all abilities to try the sprint course set up from Public Beach.  

After some good humored competition, the relay was won by Ocean Dental.  

The men’s and women’s sprint races were slightly more serious affairs, with Glynn, Katie Matos and Jane Magis taking the top spots.  

The children’s, or “Grom,” race saw Freddie and Jonny Robson taking first and third, respectively, with William Priaux second.  

On Sunday, the long course consisted of a 2.5 mile leg from Rum Point towards the Sand Bar, and then nearly six miles riding the swells downwind.  

Eighteen paddlers completed the course with boat support provided by Compass Marine and local volunteers.  

Glynn dominated the long distance down winder paddle from the start. “The man is a machine!” said race organizer Neil Martin. “His winning time of 1 hour, 13 minutes on the 8.25 mile course across the North Sound was insane.  

“Hopper came in 15 minutes behind him and the fastest local rider, Sharn Mentz, finished in 1 hour, 30 minutes. The fastest woman was Jane Magis in an impressive 1 hourm 48 minutes.” 

Prizes were awarded in various categories, unlimited, race board and surf board at the awards event at Duke’s.  

“All the paddlers deserve to be commended,” said Martin. “This is still a new event, only in its second year, but everyone had an absolutely fantastic time and we look forward to welcoming new participants from home and overseas next year.  

“Our aim is for the Rum Run to become part of the regular stand-up paddle racing calendar so that we can bring more tourists to the island to experience paddle boarding in our beautiful waters.”  

Martin also thanked the sponsors that made the event possible; Carey Olsen, Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co., Olukai, Miller Lite, Caribbean Canvas Company, Laird Standup, Camana Bay, Blue Wave, Bliss Living Yoga, Seven Fathoms Rum, FCS, Sun Bum, Quickblade and SIC. 

The Laird Standup team spent a week in Cayman hosted by the Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co.  

“We were thrilled to enjoy some beautiful surf at different locations around the island,” said Glynn. “And the distance race from Rum Point to Camana Bay is one of the best down winders I have ever experienced.” 

As the winner of the Rum Run, Glynn took home the unique Seven Fathoms trophy – 4 liters of locally made Cayman rum – a perfect memento of his first trip here. 

On Saturday, professional riders Gluck Glynn and Noa Hopper from Laird Standup, based in Malibu, California, shared their expertise with local enthusiasts in a technique clinic. 


The start of the 8.25 mile Rum Run North Sound Challenge from Rum Point to Camana Bay.


Chuck Glynn was not deterred by the small crafting warning.