Over 200 participants and spectators were on hand Saturday morning for the first annual SurfAid Paddle for Humanity, despite the Weatherman’s predictions of rain and questionable conditions. The event proved to be a great experience for everyone involved. Paddlers raised over $11,000 for SurfAid International to help support their efforts to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.
Although the Weatherman called for rain early Saturday, the weather cooperated and conditions were excellent for the start. With 130 competitors in the water the race provided some truly exciting moments and a great showcase for the upcoming sport of paddling. Surftech and Bark Paddleboards were on hand with over 40 demo boards and provided many competitors with their first true race experience. “Both the SUP and Paddleboard markets are really taking off,” commented Joe Bark, legendary paddleboard shaper and race sponsor. “We are seeing twice as many orders this year for both SUP and Paddleboards with a lot of cross over. It is a really exciting time for the sport.”
More importantly, sponsors and competitors rallied to surpass the events fundraising goal for a grand total of $11,000. “We couldn’t have been more excited with the turnout and everyone’s support,” said Watermans Macon Brock “We are really looking forward to next year.” SurfAid, the beneficiary of the event was equally inspired by the success of the event. “We were thrilled by the participation to support SurfAid,” said SurfAid Director, Javier Guerrero, “The paddleboard community is amazing and we look forward to future events with the paddleboard industry to raise funds for SurfAid’s programs in Indonesia.”
The award for most money raised by a single competitor went to Chris Koerner, Orange County resident and long time paddle sports advocate. “I’ve had my share of surf travel over the years and I am happy to join the paddling community in helping SurfAid’s cause,” said C4 Ambassador and top fundraiser Koerner, “We had a great turnout and fantastic conditions for the paddle and post-race gathering and hope to see more of these types of events.”
For photos from the event and race results please visit http://watermansappliedscience.com/blog/?cat=294