The 3rd race of the Salt Life Cup concluded this weekend in beautiful and sunny Key West!
Coming off a long and challenging course at the Carolina Cup last Saturday, the 2nd race of the Salt Life Cup, many competitors cruised down A1A all the way to Key West. In it’s 19th year, the race did not disappoint. Originally a canoe and kayak race, the Key West Paddle Classic has evolved into a primarily SUP affair, with OC-1, OC-2, Surf Skis, and kayaks blended in.
There aren’t many courses that make paddlers sweat whilst merely recalling the difficulty of the race. The Graveyard at the Carolina Cup is usually one of them. This year, however, it will be the Key West Classic that makes paddlers groan with just a mere mention. Conditions were at an all-time challenging level. Winds were strong out of the east, southeast making for a fun bump in the ocean leg. After paddlers were in the lee of the island, however, an outgoing tide made a long, up-hill battle for the back 7 miles. Paddlers that were on the course long enough were not welcomed by a tidal push in Cow Key Channel, rather, they were hit with another battle against the tide.
Not to be discounted are the paddlers who opted for the “short” course of 4 miles. This course was not any easier with paddlers battling hard into the wind for 2 miles, before turning around for a fun downwinder.
Full results are available on PaddleGuru.com
Taking home top honors, and some Salt Life points were the Elite Men’s and Women’s Competitors:
- Vinnicius Martins
- Kelly Margettes
- Larry Cain
- April Zilg
- Seychelle Hattingh
- Kim Barnes