Paddlers of all disciplines gather on Saturday, June 29th, at the 2nd Annual Virginia Key Ocean Challenge (a/k/a the Eric Chan Open). Whether you're a competitive racer, first time adventurer, recreational paddler, professional spectator, World class party goer or just want to have fun in the sun, come out to the beach for a common gathering at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. All paddling clubs, teams, racers and individual paddlers are invited to participate in Race South Florida’s Summer Celebration & Race.
Race Courses open to all paddle crafts, teams and individuals. SUPs, OCs, Surfskis, Sea Kayak, Recreational Kayaks, and all other human powered paddle crafts are welcome. Categories will be determined based on registration. Race for fun or for glory, but race!
This is a not-for-profit event. We do ask for contributions and suggest a minimum contribution of $20. In trying to keep things equitable, we have broken it down by race registration and cookout contributions.
Racers -- Early Registration, paid by June 26th, is only a $10 person. Your donation covers event insurance and chase boat. Onsite registration is $20. Yes, this is meant to encourage early registration so that we can properly prepare for the event.
Cookout -- Cookout Contributions are, you guessed it, $10 per person by June 26th, $15 onsite. We will have chicken, corn-on-the-cob, rolls, fruit, snacks, drinks, treats.
Race Courses open to all paddle crafts, teams and individual, Race for fun or for glory!
Race classes will be based on registration.
7-Mile Virginia Key Ocean Challenge http://routebuilder.org/c05
Approximately 7-miles from the beach to the range markers and back. This is a triangular ocean course. Competitor categories will be determined according to participants entering the event.
3-Mile Sunshine Beach Dash http://routebuilder.org/c3e
Paddle out and back outside the markers please. How fast can you dash?
1-Mile Historic Beach Sprint http://routebuilder.org/c3f
Paddle down the beach and back. Excellent for relays and sprints. Teams are encouraged to participate
50-Yards -- Anything But A Boat Challenge. Rules are simple, you can compete on anything that floats, but a boat. Get creative and keep it simple. This is an after lunch event.
YOU MAY PARTICIPATE IN ONE OR ALL EVENTS. It all depends on just how fast you paddle. Now that would be a blast.
All human powered paddle crafts are welcome including SUPs, Outrigger Canoes, Sea Kayaks, Surfskis, dragon boats, recreational kayaks, and any other human powered paddle craft. Awards are by class for three places.
Final categories will be based on registration. WPA and Sound Rowers designations are used in determining classes. Gender banding will apply to single events only. Teams will be considered teams regardless of age or gender. Unless, of course, we change our minds. The judges decisions are final and subject to change at the judges' whims. Judges may be required to perform feats of strength when disagreeing on a decision. Bribery is encouraged but unlike since there is no prize money involved. Side bets are on your own.
If you don't want to race and just want to hang out, this is the perfect spot. You can paddle or enjoy the park's beautiful nature walk. You can hang out under a shady tree, swim with friends; lay on the sand as you bake in the wonderful South Florida sunshine.
More information on the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park is available at the parks website
You are encouraged to beat the heat with the Anything But A Boat Challenge. Rules are simple, you can compete on anything that floats, but a boat. Get creative and keep it simple.
In keeping with the spirit of building community, Epic Kayaks, The Paddle House, Riviera Paddle Surf will be on hand with some demo surfskis, sea kayaks, rec kayak and paddleboards.
Are you a business owner, or interested in donating something as a prize? Please do! Your support is greatly appreciated. Donations for awards are strongly encouraged. We want this to be a fun event for everyone.
It was late April 2012 when our good friend and OC paddler Eric Chan approached us to help assemble an event for a group of out-of-town racers visiting the first weekend in May. Two weeks later, with the blessing of the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, the first Annual Virginia Key Ocean Challenge took place. Other park visitors joined us as we held a friendly race with club members and friends.
The VKOC is now an annual social event in which the paddling community gathers on the beach to simply enjoy what we all love to do, together. It's a day of paddling and partying. All clubs, teams, and individual paddlers are invited to participate. SUPs, Outrigger Canoe, Sea Kayaks, Surf Skis, recreational kayaks, dragon boats and all other human powered crafts have an opportunity to try their hand at a friendly race.
All you have is an inflatable seahorse or kiddie lifesaver? Bring it! Okay, come race that in the 50-Yard Anything But a Boat Challenge. You might be able to swim faster, you'll certainly walk faster, but it wont be quite as much fun. Winners in this race will be awarded bragging rights.
The races are not sanctioned by any governing body, just by the awesome paddlers that come to enjoy a fantastic park on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
There will be raffle items and some giveaways for race winners.