Key West, Florida
October 16, 2016
Can you describe the different races and courses?
This is an OPEN event! All are invited, no qualifications needed. There are many ways to be involved as a paddler and a non paddler. Family fun for all.
Open 2 mile SUP race within a swim zone area, with a beach running obstacle course. The first 10 women and first 10 men crossing the finish line will be awarded a medal by Mo the Sloth from the Monroe County Sheriffs Animal Farm.
Your Open Race registration fee sponsors one Special Olympics paddler for a free event day, including lunch and support on their race course. You also receive a free event shirt with a Special Olympics logo on it. Raffles will also be going on all day, with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics Florida Monroe County.
Special Olympics paddlers have the choice of entering one of four divisions that will support their abilities. Special Olympics Florida SUP Rules and Best Practices will be used to provide these atheltes to opportunity for safe and fun competition, along with traditional Special Olympics awards.
Make sure to purchase your Preferred Properties Beachside Luau access pass when you register. This buffet dinner at Higgs Beach, with live entertainment by Big Daddy Rich, along with sharing the dance floor with our Special Olympics athletes, is the perfect way to kick off the event. Pick up your race packet and get a view of the course along with meeting up with all your friends. Sat. Oct. 15 at 5 -7 pm there will be a grill station with your choice of fish, chicken, hamburger or hot dog, along with a pasta station, salad bar; including gluten free and vegetarian choices.
Open Racers with elite SUP experiance and/or are certified in water rescue, are invited to volunteer as marshals for the Special Olympics Races. Experienced board handlers for the Special Olympics Races and Open Race are also needed– this is your opportunity to give back! Special Olympics is a volunteer driven 503(c) organization that serves individuals ages 8 and above who are diagnosed with an intellectual disability. We never charge a fee to our atheltes, their parents or caregivers for participation in events.
The SUP Invitational is a weekend of inclusive fun in Key West for all paddlers! This is the most fun you will ever have at a SUP Event or we will refund your registration fee.
What kind of paddling settings and conditions will racers face?
The Gulf Of Mexico, directly off of Higgs Beach can provide a variety of conditions. We work to keep all paddlers in the swim zone with an upwind race off of the beach start and a downwind return for a beach finish.
What makes your event great? What will paddlers love about coming to your event?
FUN! Joy! and Dancing!
Will there be any clinics and what are the details?
Sue Cooper and the Lazy Dog Race Crew is holding a clinic designed for beginning paddlers at 3 pm on Sat. Oct. 15, at Higgs Beach, prior to the Beachside Luau and Race Registration party. They will review safety, equipment and also go over the race course for the event. Casey Dog will be available for meeting all participants, along with offering some tips to any doggy paddlers. There may be a pyramid photo opportunity involved also! All fees for the clinic will be donated to Special Olympics Florida Monroe County.
Where can people get paddle gear like PFDs and Hydration packs?
Lazy Dog Paddle Shack, 5114 Overseas Hwy #7, Key West, FL 33040 will be open all weekend, along with a vendor booth beachside for the event.
Are there paddleboard rentals available and if yes, where? Contact info?
Lazy Dog Paddle Shack will offer board rentals for the event at $10 each, with proceeds donated to Special Olympics Florida Monroe County. Give them a call to reserve (305) 295-9898
Where can people buy groceries?
There are two Publix Stores on the Island of Key West. Publix is the Premier Sponsor of Special Olympics Florida
Where can people stay? Do you have a hotel you can recommend and contact info?
Looking for a Hotel? The following have room blocks with reduced prices for our event. Our Event Hotel: Best Western Key Ambassador Call directly and ask for Armida Averette The Gates Hotel Access Code: SPECIALOLYMPICS The Hilton Garden Hotel Looking for a Vacation Rental? This is a fantastic way to enjoy Key West for the weekend! Contact Truman and Company — Regan Butler at 305-292-2244 ext. 104
What great local restaurants can you recommend?
Off of Duval Street we recommend; New York Past Garden, Date and Thyme on Southard Street, Roostica Pizza and Hogfish Restaurant on Stock Island and the backside of the Florida Keys, Geiger Key Smoke House
Where is the best coffee in town?
Sandy’s Coffee on White Street for your Cuban Coffee pick up!
Does your event benefit a charity and if so, can you tell us about them?
Special Olympics Florida Monroe County is our local Special Olympics chapter, serving the Florida Keys. People, ages 8 and above who are diagnosed with an intellectual disability benefit from the year round sports and training programs that they offer. As a volunteer led organization, 100% of all proceeds from the SUP Invitational will directly benefit the atheltes in the Florida Keys, without funding administrative costs. The SUP Invitational is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Special Olympics Florida Monroe County. We are proud to be able to offer a fun event that will help this awesome organization offer services to over 100 atheltes along US1 in the Florida Keys.