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 Post subject: Historic Standup Paddle Race
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2009 10:22 pm 
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Location: Florida
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The guys got together to put on the first ever Standup Paddleboard Race (or Standup for short) on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Liquid Surf & Sail, Tiki Beach Watersports and a bunch of others threw in to create this fun event. It is part of the Hobie Standup Paddleboard Series. Jesse with Liquid did most of the organizing with help from Neil with Tiki and a ton of volunteers.


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The Coastal awaits



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Originally an epic five mile looping south around the barrier island was planned but strong winds and seas changed the venue.


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The roundtrip run starts behind Coconuts, just beside the International Swimming Hall of Fame on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, running south along Bahia Mar, then turning west into New River, turning off Lauderdale Yacht Club and returning.


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The wind. The race went off between roughly 10 and 11 am. Nice to have that east wind at your back on the way out but a bear coming back. Land shadow may have reduced winds somewhat at points along the run from what shows in the wind plot.


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Folks are arriving



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Jesse conducts the Captains Meeting


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Getting ready along side Coconuts


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The 31 odd paddlers line up for the "Grayhound Start." In effect the boat "playing the rabbit" travels from north to south at speed in front of the line. Once the boat gets out of the way, you can go! Hey, no fair, the blond fellow on the left has THREE arms! Then again, he has no paddle blade. Problem with QTVR panoramas is that if the subject moves, strange things can happen.
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The boat's moving and so are the guys


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Digging in. The second fellow from the right is Neil Hutchenson of Tiki Beach and birthday boy for a day.


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As far as I know, this is the first time something like this has been seen in Ft. Lauderdale. The white stuff in the water is the boat's wake, that is how fast these folks are moving out.


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A lot of history to this place. The paddlers may be passing over the former haunts of the Hotel Amphitrite. The Amphitrite was a Monitor class war vessel as in "The Monitor and Merrimac battle" in the Civil War. It saw action during the Spanish American War having been towed to San Juan for bombardment of coastal defenses. It helped out in Sub defense duty in NY Harbor during WWI. It was even said to have been sent to China to help deal with the Boxer Revolution but given inadequate coal bunkers onboard and coaling logistics at sea, it seems unlikely. It landed here as a hotel and served until the Hurricane of 1935 blew it into the former Las Olas Bridge.
Photo from: http://www.ibiblio.org/maritime/ , info from The Broward Legacy (1.1.26)


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There used to be a sea plane base off to the right near the SW side of the Las Olas Bridge



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There goes Bonnie and newly minted Dr. Laura stroking along by the mega yachts. This used to be the home of the "Sea Scouts" houseboat. Sort of like water going boy scouts back in the day.


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Taking the turn south into the Intracoastal, heading towards Pier 66 and FLL



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At the front of this group is Jim DeSilva of Liquid Surf & Sail with the Las Olas Bridge in the background.


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Steve Bean pulling out, smart, brought tunes along


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There is a local story I heard growing up that Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan and Jungle Jim fame used to swim to the Hall of Fame from his home off Las Olas. Wonder how he would have done at Standup? The folks are likely racing along his swimming route.


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Grace keeps an eye on things as Jay cons the support boat near the front of the pack


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Paddlers are stretching out


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Who needs a big yacht if you have a good paddleboard, uh anyone?


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Roray Kam and Packet Casey went hard at it throughout. Excellent athletes these two and so many others in the competition.


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There is Gebi leading a group around the turn to the west and into New River formerly served by an inlet at the south end of Bahia Mar. This inlet was closed in the Hurricane of 1926, with Port Everglades being dredged from Lake Mabel to the south some decades later. I recall reading that you used to be able to drink the water about where the guys are shown here. Things change with salt water intrusion and a lot of years.


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Things just before the hurricane. The inlet and New River are up there to the north with parts of early Ft. Lauderdale. That mangrove cay off Whisky Creek on soon to be Dania Beach vanished in the hurricane. That's Lake Mabel just to the west.
From: http://www.broward.org/


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Lots of interesting boats along the run


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The leaders are setting a fast pace and working hard to pass the other and pull out.


Things are just getting going, more photos to come ...


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 Post subject: Re: Historic Standup Paddle Race
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:33 pm 
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Back to the race ...

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The paddlers are charging on


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Heading out in the Intracoastal


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During Prohibition a USCG base was located in the area of present day Bahia Mar. The "Volstead Act" banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in the USA from 1920 to 1933. This created a thriving smuggling trade. Florida history is full of stories. Haul Caudal as a 17 year old coastguardsman shipped out on patrol into the Straits of Florida. They intercepted a known rum runner, James Horace Alderman by strafing across the bow of his vessel. Alderman managed to grab the gun of one of the men and shot three of them. Two didn't make it. Alderman was threatening to kill the remaining crew. Hal managed to get possession of the gun and nailed Alderman in the chops with it. Alderman was later executed as described in Hal's book, "The Hanging at Bahia Mar." Met Hal in the 1970s, quite a guy even then.
Photo from: http://www.uscg.mil/history/uscghist/Prohibition_Photo_Index.asp


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Around the turn into New River, Packet pulls ahead of Roray and the rest and stretched out his lead. He maintained it until just south of the Hall of Fame.


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Our boat was at the front of the group, so most of the photos deal with folks in that part of the race. A look east toward Bahia Mar and the old inlet location.


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Turning south, past the former location of Rat Island. Apparently, it just washed away, likely sucked down into depressions created by maintenance dredging.


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A bit further west was the former New River Settlement around Tarpon Bend in the 1830's. Cooley, the Justice of the Peace and wrecker was leading a salvage effort on the Spanish vessel "Gil Blas" just north of Hillsboro Inlet with most of the men of the settlement. They Seminoles attacked the settlement during the men's absence leading to the second Seminole War. We took the Secretary of State to the wreck site in the 1970's when the sands normally covering the wreck were lower than normal. Wasn't a lot left, mainly just some large timbers.
Photo from: http://moodvane.com/?p=1795



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Packet approaches a floatilla of Optimist Dingy's. Think these are a sort of sailing right of passage for kids at the yacht club.


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Looking south towards SE 17th Causeway Bridge. But for a week of nice winds, the race would have gone through here, into Port Everglades Basin and out into the Atlantic. Next time, should be a memorable run.



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Pulling around the Red Bull marker at the turning point


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Gebi and Roray approach the mark


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As we lead the leaders back we pass the rest of the racers to port. This used to be a nice Misner style house, then they started working on it.


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Don't let an Optimist take you out!


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The pack leaving the turning point and working back east against all that wind


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Already heading north across Bahia Mar with Pier 66 in the background



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Here comes the rest of the pack and Roray is moving up


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There's a contrast in images


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The guys are lining up along the mega yachts. Not only do they need to make to the east eventually, they are trying to shelter a bit in the lee of the vessels from the strong easterly wind.


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Packet made an error turning one canal too far south of the Hall of Fame. Roray moves up fast.


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Rounding the corner into the final stretch to Coconuts. Packet and Roray are paddling hard for the lead.


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Roray pulls ahead in a rush of speed.


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Roray touches the dock first well and truly knackered. Packet comes in four seconds later.


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Here comes Gebi, not looking winded for third place.


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Here comes Amanda taking first place in the women's


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Then Nicole for second


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Blanca comes in for third. Helga of Tiki Beach looks on.


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The overall race results and times


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Group shot.

Thanks to all for a great event!


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