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Old 02-06-2014, 02:30 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Arrow 2014 Orange Bowl Paddle Championship - Part I

Back for the fourth year running, better than ever this unique event comes back to South Florida. Bringing hundreds of racers to a scenic venue in Miami benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami.

The morning of the big event at Bayside in Miami, FL.

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Paddlers arrive and get setup for the race.

Conditions were excellent, sunny with temperatures from 75 to 80 F, wind less than 10 mph, often a lot less. Ideal paddling weather in short.

Ken Russel and Garry Menk Jimmy Lewis distributers for the USA, Central, South America and the Caribbean, ( ) working hard to make the event happen and doing very well at it.

The Elite and Recreational courses. The later course was changed due to wind conditions, see Part II for the revised configuration.

The Miami River and surrounds have changed a great deal over the years. This is the view on the lower river in 1904.

Getting ready to start the Elite race.

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They're off with the start of the Elite race. There were 100 paddlers in this race.

I was on Jimmy Whited's excellent boat to capture the Elite and Recreational races. Captain Whited is co-founder and sponsor of the Orange Bowl Paddle Championship.

The racers jam up initially but spread out as the race goes on.

Charging down the marina channel.

Some locals practicing a variant of Standup on the Miami River back in the day.

The historic Freedom Tower creates a dramatic backdrop for this portion of the race.

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The Elite racers stretch out as they move south into Biscayne Bay.

Thomas Maximus paddles out on his unlimited class board. Wetted area and momentum are good things when you are in a hurry. This massive board saw him finish 6 minutes before the next SUP challenger.

Chip Bock, Jesse Kautz and another racer rounding the curve to head south into Biscayne Bay to the turning point near Rickenbacker Causeway about 2 1/2 miles off.

Kent and Maui of JP Australia and Imagine boards work with the kids from BBBS at the event. Hope Maui got some extra dog biscuits she put in a hard day on the water with several kids.

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The Elite race extends along the Miami skyline.

Drafting within size classes is a common thing. Attempting to maintain forward speed with less exertion as the paddler in front creates a lower drag slipstream for those following to travel within. As a result you see "trains" of paddlers going at it in sections like these leading 12.5 ft. racers.

Running south with the Port of Miami container area in the background.

The cruise ship area is just to the west of the container docks.

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You can see the full north to south extent of the Elite race in this 180 degree composite image.

Bayside and Brickell Key were quite a bit different years back. Brickell is more of a recent change on this old spoil island created from the dredging of the Miami River.

This used to be Tequesta Indian grounds evidenced by the statue. I understand they recently found the remains of another Indian settlement near the Miami River.

Click on image twice for full sized photo

Doing a seven mile race prone and in good time is an impressive accomplishment. The paddler's core strength is amazing.

Rounding the south mark just above Rickenbacker Causeway.

Rickenbacker in former times with a very empty Virginia Key in the distance and not a high rise in sight along Brickell Avenue.

Mary Anne Boyer or MAB moves out up the river.

Front runner Jesse Kautz moves under a bridge over the Miami River.

Coming and going

Bailey Rosen strokes hard to the western turning point in the River.

MAB shows excellent conditioning and form paddling the approximate one mile distance up the Miami River.

Victoria Zatorski hitting it hard up the river.

Moving back out into Biscayne Bay from the Miami River past some mega yachts.

The leaders in the 12.5 ft. class charge hard the last few feet to the finish line.

Mark Athanacio goes hard for the finish line.

The winners of the 12.5 ft. and under class finish, with Slater Trout in first place!

The front runners of the 12.5 ft. class pass around congratulations.

Mark winds down from the finish.

Mini, MAB and Silvia Mecucci charge for the finish.

Helga crosses the finish line.

The results of the Elite Race:

12’6 Elite Men:
1. Slater Trout
2. Fernando Stalla
3. Vinnicius Martins
4. Ryan Helm
5. Belar Diaz
6. Paolo Marconi
7. Ron Gossard
8. Joseph Morel
9. Joseph Cerdas
10. Ethan Luppert

12’6 Elite Women:
1. Lina Augaitis
2. Bailey Rosen
3. Kelsa Gabehart
4. Mini Cunha
5. Silvia Mecucci
6. Mary Anne Boyer
7. April Zilg
8. Dawn Ehman
9. Victoria Zatorski
10. Elizabeth Ruiz

14’ Elite Men:
1. Elvin Maldonado
2. Jesse Kautz
3. Kieran Grant
4. Brad Ward
5. Andrew White
6. Rob Bitzkowski
7. Frank Dillenberg
8. Patrick Lopez
9. Brandon Rambo
10. Matt Arensman

14’ Elite Women:
1. Nice Alberts

Unlimited Elite:
1. Thomas Shahinian
2. Chip Bock

Complete results may be found at:

Bailey Rosen talks with Lina Augaitis.

More finishers cross the line.

Annette Garcia

Nessa takes it easy after the race and chats with out paddlers.

MAB, Mini and many other racers wind down after a hard paddled race.

Some of these images can be found on Facebook at: and

Thanks to all the organizers, sponsors, racers and spectators who came together to make this great event happen again!

More about the race on its Facebook page at:

So, that is a look at the Elite race, stay tuned for Part II with images from the Recreational Race, Sprint Races and "lifestyle shots" at

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 02-12-2014 at 12:10 PM.
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