Paddle boarders set for waves of delight in new series

Paddle boarding is growing in popularity thanks to events like last week’s Appleton Rum Run, held over two days.

The organizers of that event are planning a race series throughout the year. And if good waves are forecast, maybe another surf competition. The race series will consist of four races of a half-mile, mile, 2 miles and 4 miles.

More than 100 people participated in the Rum Run short-course racing at Public Beach, and then the pros and more accomplished paddle boarders raced the 8 miles across North Sound from Rum Point to Camana Bay the following day.

Pro Chuck Glynn won easily, crossing in 1 hour, 17 minutes. Glynn (Laird Stand Up) and Jeremy Riggs (SIC Maui) hosted a paddle clinic for newcomers and to help more experienced paddlers improve their skills.

One of the Rum Run organizers, Neil Martin, is happy that the sport is increasingly being enjoyed by many types and ages. He said the Rum Run exceeded his expectations, especially for the children, who loved it. His daughter Sierra and son Findlay joined in the fun too.

“It was amazing to see so many kids participate,” Martin said. “I was also very pleased with the turnout for the corporate relay. This was a very popular and competitive division. I hope we can build on this year’s success and introduce even more people to the sport for next year.”

The idea for the event was inspired by Rob Rojas, a pro rider from California, who loves coming to Cayman where its calm waters and fabulous beaches are perfect for the sport.

Martin wants to share this with others. He has been paddling for five years and is on the water with his kids every chance he gets.

“They love it, especially Sierra. She has come with me on my board since she was a year old. She now rides her own board and gets very excited on race day.

“Findlay started a little later, but he is very keen to catch up to his big sister.”

Organized paddle boarding is only a couple of years old in Cayman. Martin advises anyone interested in paddle boarding to contact Cayman Stand Up Paddle organizers.“We are passionate and knowledgable about the sport and are happy to help,” he said. “If I had to give one bit of advice, it would be don’t just buy a board because it’s cheap or the only one in stock. Horses for courses.”

For information, visit www.caymanstanduppadlecoky and www.rumrun.ky.

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