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Coastal Urge 1st Annual Newport SUP Cup

Posted on October 09 2010

Coastal Urge put on quite the show this weekend in Newport, RI. The 1st Annual Newport SUP CUP impressed not only the race organizers, but the locals, tourists, and four-legged friends alike with the number of boards present on the beach in King’s Park at 08:30 on Saturday morning. Sixteen experienced paddlers turned out for the Elite Division, split into a Men’s 12?6? and under division, along with a Women’s Elite, and Men’s 14? and over. The number of competitors grew exponentially in the Recreational Divisions; 38 guys and an impressive 26 ladies paddled out for a gorgeous day on the water. Seven Prone boards also made an appearance, starting with the Recreational Division, and claiming finishing times right alongside the top competitors of the Stand Up folks. That’s nearly 90 people for a first ever event- wow!Racers, sponsors, family and friends gathered at the Newport Shipyard the night before the big race, and were all treated to some great live music by Honky Tonk Nights, the best Southern BBQ in the North courtesy of Patrick and the Preppy Pig, and a few educational videos by SUP Cleanup. Dozens of raffle prizes were given away, courtesy of Smith, Kaenon, Vibram Five Fingers, Chaco, Vineyard Vines, Naish, Patagonia, and Hinano Tahiti just to name a few. Ice cold Landshark Lagers, perfect weather, and one of Narraganset Bay’s classic sunsets over the Newport bridge made for a darn good Friday night. Race day provided near perfect conditions for the 1st Annual Newport SUP CUP- sun, sun, sun, and a bit of breeze brought the crowds out to the park nice and early. Sponsor and Stand Up vendor tents were in place, and as registration was coming to a close, riders were being briefed on the course, safety, and protocol for the day. The Elite division, with a required two laps around Goat Island, totaling a hair under 6 miles, was to set off first; while the Recreational and Prone divisions racing a one 3-mile lap around the Island, were to start just after 09:00. Beach start- which meant competitors stood just about knee deep at the shoreline, paddle in hand, ready for the gun, “Three, two, one (loud siren)…” and they were off. At 38 minutes, 22 seconds, a Prone boarder, Justin Casey, took line honors for the quickest time to finish overall, in addition to his division on the one lap course. Just under a minute and a half later, Ian Balding came running through the Coast Urge finish line to claim first for the Recreational Men’s 12?6? and Under Division. Coastal Urge North Carolinian riders Ian Balding and Katie Moore showed the locals how it was done, each finishing first in their respective divisions. New to the Coastal Urge team, Jamie Haines, Jeoffrey Nathan’s right hand woman in organizing the event, finished at the top of the Women’s Recreational SUP Division. Keeping it all in the family, Jamie’s mom, Trice Kilroy placed third in the same division, while brother and surf photographer Jason Kenworthy was out lapping Rec racers, rounding out the family results with a second place finish in the Men’s Elite Division. Jeoffrey (co-owner of Coastal Urge) Shipped his brother a race board only two weeks before race day and after two weeks of training on the Charles River in Boston, Brian Nathan took fifth place in Men’s Rec. This is just another example of why SUP is the fastest growing paddle sport in the world. Part of a small but powerful California contingent, Kenworthy and friends may have had the longest commute to the event, but once in Newport, dominated the course with some quick finishing times. Tommy Lloy hailing from Dana Point, California, had an impressive result winning the Men’s Elite 12?6? and Under Division in just under one hour. One element of the day became quite prominent with everyone at the beach, and it wasn’t that we all had matching Victory race jerseys, or the super speedy race boards, or a new paddle shape. Instead it was an ear to ear grin and a hand reaching out from one waterman to the next. It was a beautiful day of racing, SUP education, and friends- and it’ll all happen here in Newport again next year! In the mean time, check in with the Coastal Urge website, and the back of your Stand Up magazines for the next event near you- or hey, take a road trip and pay those California boys a visit to one of their events. I hear they’ve got a nice stretch of beach over there. See you on the water, -Tara Thomas

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