July 23, 2016
On the Alabama-Florida state line, near Pensacola
Can you describe the different races and courses?
The long course will be approximately 9 miles, racers will do a beach start, turn on a hole shot buoy and head East, Turn again and head West to the Jetty’s where they will head towards the Ocean, rounding the Farewell buoy and heading into the pass. Once through the pass the racers will turn back East re-entering Florida, and finish the race on the sound side at the Ole River Bar and Grill. There are also beginner and short course races. The beginner race will start sound side with a beach start round the Ono Island bridge and back for a total of approximately 2 miles; where as the short course race will have the same sound side start but it will run to the Ono Island water tower and back for a total of 4 miles.
What kind of paddling settings and conditions will racers face?
The long course will incorporate all the conditions you could imagine: surf, eddies, traversing a pass, strong currents, and flat water. The short course will be all in flat water.
What makes your event great? What will paddlers love about coming to your event?
All racers will be afforded the ability to paddle in two states in the same day, and spectators will be able to actually see the race from several vantage points instead of following dots on the horizon; as for long course racers, they will be able to test how well rounded they are at paddling on a fun yet challenging course.
Will there be any clinics and what are the details?
We are offering stroke and PaddleFit classes with Zach Rounsaville, there will also be yoga classes and training an mindset seminars available throughout the weekend. We are also trying to secure some elite level paddle coaches to host clinics as well. There will be signup sheets on site for the clinics, or you can book by calling the shop.
Where can people get paddle gear like PFDs and Hydration packs?
The two main places to pick up any supplies you might need for race day are Gulf Coast Paddle Co. and West Marine, there is also an Academy Sports fairly close to the race.
Are there paddleboard rentals available and if yes, where? Contact info?
Yes Gulf Coast Paddle Co. will be providing rentals for the race on sight, but they prefer a reservation as boards are limited. You can reach them at 251-550-7235
Where can people buy groceries?
There is a Publix within five minutes either direction of the race sight, there is also a Walmart Market.
Where can people stay? Do you have a hotel you can recommend and contact info?
There are several hotel and condo accommodations available. For help with booking you can go through Laura Rents Vacations 251-455-8839 or look at full listings on the Gulf Shores Orange Beach sports commission gulfshores.com/sports
What great local restaurants can you recommend?
There are two great restaurants at the race location, Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Ole River Bar and Grill. For a more upscale dining experience you can visit The Wharf which has several great options including, Villagio Grille and Ginny Lane. For something quick and healthy there is a Chronic Taco, which is a counter service burrito/taco chain that was founded in Southern California.
Where is the best coffee in town?
There are two options we have a newly opened Starbucks, five minutes from the race site, and there is Southern Grind at The Wharf.