Invite 50+ Teams of 4 Paddleboard “Privateers” to a remote island off the west coast of Florida with the promise of treasures and admittedly one tremendous trophy! The Red Bull Privateers event was located on Cape Romano in the Rookery Bay Aquatic Preserve.
David Gauzens of Adventure Sports Miami shared his perspective and a little more detail on adventuring to and from the island. He wrote, “Getting to the event site was an adventure itself since it is on island participants had the option of taking a ferry or paddling the 3.5 miles. Many participants chose to arrive Friday and camp out at the event site. The beach was full of tents, hammocks, and paddle boards. Unlike the competitive atmosphere created by most races, this event had more of a family reunion feel as paddlers with similar interest connected.”
All true, except we need to note there was an unlimited supply of Red Bull which really helps in pre-race warm up activities and the 10 minute countdown with less than two minutes to strategize before setting “sail” on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP)!
Technically it is a race, but to win, it doesn’t matter how fast you paddle, it’s how well you and team can navigate while battling against winds, waves and a seriously low-mucky tide! Even if you know how to paddle, the mangroves have a way of redirecting you and all Teams must cross the finish line together and get Red Bull’s official doubloon blessing side-by-side.
True privateering “SUP style” is a blast, but the real treasure was getting lost in the beautiful natural landscape of the 10,000 Islands, regrouping with the team, crossing the finish line together and knowing we’ll see each other on the water as Paddleboarding Season begins!