Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race 2015

Lake Mary Jane Paddle Race 2015

by Jeramie Vaine

When you hear the words Stand Up Paddleboard Community a few thoughts come to mind. But what does it truly mean? This past Saturday in Orlando we saw first hand what this means. In honor of Andres Pombo and the campaign of #livelikePombo, racers from across Florida and the country, gathered to race and raise funds for the Special Olympics in Andres name.

On Friday night the event kicked off with a fun meet and greet hosted by the Event Sponsor, Albert Cichra Builders. Paddlers received their registration packets, looked over and sized up the amazing raffle prizes, from an SUP donated by Waters Edge to a Surfboard from ECS. Along with the race packet and raffle tickets, attendees could make a donation of $3 and get 2 slices of pizza and a frosty cold Sweetwater 420 IPA.

Race day paddlers arrived early to witness a beautiful Orlando sunrise and epic SUP race conditions. With air temperatures in the high 80’s to low 90s and the lake looking like a sheet of glass, the paddlers excitement begin to build.

Keeping with the true community, all inclusive vibe, the Lake Mary Jane had events for all levels and ages of paddles to take part in. The 3 and 6 mile course, a multi lap M Course, started the day off then the kids and 1 mile paddlers took to the water. During all the distance races people from shore, boats, docks and even a floating platform cheered paddlers around the course. As the day went on the 1st annual Lake Mary Jane Drag Race took to the water. Paddlers line up a ¼ mile away from the beach where the fastest man and woman to cross the finish line took home a cash prize. But the highlight of the event was the Lake Mary Jane signature event, the Tug Life relay. In the Tug Life Relay a race board and rec board are used between a coed team. One paddler attaches the leash to the race board and tugs their teammate around the course while holding the leash and sitting on the rec board. This race always brings all the paddlers to cheer and laughs are always in abundance!

The raffle and awards followed along with trend of the weekend, community and great times! There were so many great raffle prizes that people were on the edge of their seats and hooting and hollering on every ticket being pulled. The awards took over the afternoon fun with every paddle craft receiving recognition and a either a Lake Mary Jane plaque or hand crafted trophy. We saw awards in OC, Surf Ski, prone and also age divisions. At the end of the awards the Drag Race winners were called on stage and sprayed down with champagne adding more excitement to the afternoon.

With Andres Pombo life being remembered and his true community spirit being shared, Jessica Cichra the organizer and Race Director handed out the most coveted awards of the day, the spirit awards. Mike Dobbins and Jorge Moral, two amazing ambassadors of the sport took home these awards.

And in true SUP community fashion, the Lake Mary Jane Paddle race donated all proceeds to Andres Pombo’s favorite charity the Special Olympics, where Andres was a coach and mentor to these amazing athletes. If you have not attended this event in the past, it is what our amazing sport is all about!

1 mile, 3 mile and 6 mile
Drag Race


Paddle Monster Newsletter Signup

Related Articles