This Week In SUP: The Chesapeake SUP Challenge

Featured, Outdoors — July 22, 2013 at 8:38 am by

By SUP Barton:

We’ve had some sun scorching days this past week.  One way to cool off from the heat is to hop on a paddleboard or (SUP) and go for a paddle.  One of the nice things about SUP’ing is you can always jump in the water to cool off or just enjoy that breeze that only exists on the water.

Last weekend was a fun-filled weekend of stand up paddling.  I traveled to Annapolis. Md to take part in the Chesapeake Stand Up Challenge sponsored by East of Maui and the Eastport Yacht Club.  This was East of Maui’s 2nd annual SUP race.  They had a great turnout with 73 paddlers.  There were first time paddlers, weekend warriors, and the local elite course racers in attendance.  This race consisted of two courses, the 3.5 mile recreational course and the 6.5 mile elite course.  The 6.5 mile course was more challenging than I expected  with the extreme heat and the side shore boat wakes that we battled the entire course, which can always make SUP’ ing a bit more challenging.  As SUP’ers we take what we get and roll with it.  That’s part of the allure to the sport for me.  No two races are ever the same.  Every race is about having fun and doing the best you can.  Anyone who completes the course is a winner in their own right and is looked on as such.  I really do enjoy the camaraderie and the conversations that take place at the after parties.  East of Maui provided good swag bags, a tasty food spread, and a local musician who jammed all afternoon.  And a special thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with the race.  They provided water support from their boats, and their time. None of these races could take place without the volunteers.

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SUP’ing the course and the elements

The overall winner and 1st place finisher for the 14’ board class was fellow SUP Annapolis Team Racer, Denny Grant.  Denny is pictured here wearing the Orange SUP Annapolis jersey. Congratulations to the other SUP Annapolis team racers Brad Lewis (2nd place 12’6 short course).  Chip Tydings (1st place 12’6 elite course), Chris Sperry (3rd), and Brian Schmiel (4th place).  Other SUP Annapolis team riders who performed well were Brian Meyer (2nd), Goose Norman (3rd), Neil Macindoe (6th), and of course, myself,  (9th place) all on the 14’ elite race course.  Thanks to SUP Annapolis owner, Ben Butterwei, for all the support he provides his race team.

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Winner, seen here in orange.

East of Maui Boardshop is located in Annapolis at 2303 Forest drive.  Check out their website at  East of Maui was originally founded as a windsurfing company over 25 years ago.  Co-owners Mark Bandy and Mark Saunders are avid SUP’ers, windsurfers, surfers, and snowboarders.  All of the gear for the above mentioned sports can be purchased from their Annapolis location.  I look forward to next year’s race.  There is talk about bringing in a corporate sponsor, drawing in some Pros, and expanding the event.  Good luck to East of Maui.

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Sponsor East of Maui

If you need to beat the heat, blow off some steam, or just want a great workout.  Grab a board and paddle and hit the water.  Everyone is welcome.


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