The 12-mile distance around the island of Key West is to become a saltwater race course for competitors on paddleboards and self-propelled watercraft during the 2015 Key West Paddle Classic. The race is scheduled May 2, with accompanying events for participants April 30 through May 3. The challenge is open to watersports enthusiasts on standup paddleboards, prone boards, outrigger canoes, dory boats, surf skis and kayaks.
Participants can compete in the 12-mile race or a four-mile race. Events are headquartered at Higgs Beach at 1000 Atlantic Blvd. on the Atlantic Ocean. The 12-mile race is a World Paddle Association southeast region national points event.
May 2’s action kicks off with a 7:30 a.m. expo opening at Higgs Beach. The start for participants in the 12-mile race is set for 9 a.m., followed by a 9:15 a.m. start for the four-mile event. After circumnavigating the island, racers finish at Higgs Beach. The four-mile race is to follow an out-and-back course determined by wind and tide conditions.
An awards celebration is planned for 6 to 10 p.m. that night outside Turtle Kraals at Key West’s Lands End Village at the foot of Margaret Street. Highlights include awards presentations, prize drawings, live music, dancing and food and drink specials.
The weekend also features a 5 to 7 p.m. meet-and-greet April 30 at Lazy Dog at the Hurricane Hole Marina, 5130 Overseas Highway on Stock Island. A standup paddleboard clinic is set for 2 to 4 p.m. May 1 at Higgs Beach followed by a 5 to 8 p.m. kick-off party and registration packet pickup at the Turtle Kraals.
Events are to conclude May 3 with a Higgs Beach day featuring a kids clinic and race, a Special Olympics race, adult sprint races and a paddleboard relay for four-person teams.
For event registration, go to http://lazydog.com.