Gasparilla SUP Invasion 2016: Race Recap

This was my first race since November last year, well actually I did sign up for a race a few weeks back but that one was cancelled due to race conditions being too dangerous. Anyways, I was so excited for this race because it was in TAMPA, FL… All my family lives there so it was going to be a fun weekend with everyone!

I had my aunts and uncles come to the race to cheer me on, which was awesome but the event quickly turned for the worse…

Here’s what happened:

  1. First of all, parking was 15 dollars!
  2. You had to walk your board about a half mile to the dock
  3. The race was supposed to start at 10:20 am, we didn’t get started until 11 am.. Oh and it was 90 degrees outside!
  4. The dock was a single file line that took forever because it was super small with a long path to the actual dock
  5. There was no picture of the course for racers to look at, which made it difficult to picture in your head where to go exactly
  6. No one knew the buoys were little white crab trap buoys! Who does that??!!
  7. We all missed the first buoy! Going a half mile further, until the police came from behind us telling everyone to turn around. They should have told my friend, Brad, who was in the lead to turn around first so the order of the Elite class would not be messed up
  8. About 3-5 people turned around (those people ended up beating us all) and they were also in the back of the group to begin with…
  9. The rest of us, about 12 people sat in the water discussing what to do next since the race was now messed up
  10. We decided to start from there and create the race again, so we did
  11. Times were really messed up because we stopped for about 15 minutes and then stopped after the first lap because the race director didn’t know what was happening
  12. Then half the group went in due to frustration and the rest of us did the second half of the course to finish the race
  13. A 6 mile race turned into over 7 miles of confusion
  14. Plus, boat traffic was insane, so many boats!
  15. Also, the race finished around 1 pm but awards weren’t until 4!! Who wants to wait around for a piece of paper, I heard that’s what the trophies were because I left before the awards since times were so screwed up
  16. Overall, it was a mess

The good thing was I got a great workout in and meet some really cool paddlers out on the water!

Here are some pictures from the race:

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Paddling in Tampa, FL

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Going under the bridge

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Trying to finish

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The start

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When we were discussing what we all were going to do

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