Fort Myers, Fla. -- The third annual Battle on the Blueway returns to Fort Myers Beach on June 10. The Battle on the Blueway is a competitive race event for paddling enthusiasts. It will be held at Crescent Beach Family Park and includes competitive events for standup paddleboarders (SUPs) as well as kayaks, outrigger canoes and surfskis.
The event is a World Paddle Association Region 5 sanctioned points race that will include 7-mile and 2-mile races, sprints, a free Calusa Kids Race, and a Special Olympics Fun Race. More than 120 paddlers from Southwest Florida, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, and the U.S. attended last year's race.
"This year we really opened up the race for everyone to participate," says Calusa Blueway coordinator Mike Hammond. "The first two years the event was geared more toward elite SUP racers which was great and we look forward to seeing them again this year. But by allowing all craft to enter the Body Glove 2 Miler, we expect many more recreational kayakers and youth paddlers to come out and enjoy the fun. Also, everyone has an equal chance of winning great prizes like the Body Glove Performer 11' iSUPs being given away."
The event is free for spectators, who can get a good view of the races from the shore or Fort Myers Beach Pier. This year, Battle on the Blueway organizers hope to attract even more local participants and spectators. A renewed emphasis will be placed on introducing more people to the joy of paddling and is a family-oriented event. All water vessels are welcome. There will be a demonstration and vendor area for those who wish to try out a paddleboard or surfski.
Pre-registration is required for racers. There will not be an opportunity to register the day of the event. Race entries are $45 to $55. After June 5, the entry fee will increase to $55 to $65. There will be a fee to park at the beach. All proceeds from the Battle on the Blueway will benefit Special Olympics Florida - Lee County SUP Team.
-- Visit the event site HERE for a complete schedule and registration.