The Friendly Greeting.
Laughter. And the thundering sounds of hands clapping. Connecting in a high five.
The reunion of great friends. Over 300 of us. Some who had just paddled together the day before. Others it has been a year since the last meeting. And some just met.
Everyone receives the same greeting.
This is the backdrop at the Villa Cofresi Hotel. The location of the 9th Annual Rincon Beach Boy. Located on the West Side of the Island of Puerto Rico. A plush green rolling landscape that meets the pristine blue waters of the Caribbean.
Friday with Acai Express and Paddle Friends.
After a morning on the water paddling. We headed back to our home to relax. We found some fresh coconuts providing for a perfect pre-race hydration. But we were then greeted with an amazing surprise.
Acai Bowls. Made in our kitchen. With fresh goodness.
The sounds of the blender echoed through the neighbor hood. And in a few minutes, Hector and Ricardo served up a heaping bowl of deliciousness. Acai Express style.
Bananas, granola, Acai and a few secret tricks. Providing us with the perfect snack.
But along with the healthy, tasty bowls. Fun conversations ensued.
Saturday Morning Racing.
Walking up to the beach, the friendly, arms wide open greeting was once again waiting. Friendly faces everywhere we looked. In the tents that lined the beach. And on the paddlers out on the water.
Kids. Adults. New racers. Experienced ones. It was hard to tell. As everyone was ready to race. Focussed but still wearing the stoked expressions.
The day kicked off with the kids. They lined up as if they have been awaiting this moment for a year. And took off with the sound of the conch. Sprinting down the beach. In a friendly battle
As they arrived back to the shore. The crowd erupted with cheers. And the kids sprinted across the finish line showcasing their determination. Setting the bar for the day. And inspiring all their fellow racers.
As the event rolled on the elite and open racers were up next. And with the sound of the conch we were off.
And They’re Off.
Paddling up the scenic, surf filled coastline of Rincon. Words of encouragement were shouted from the water. Shore. Boats. And other paddlers racing their way up the coast. The 300 plus paddlers lined the entire shoreline appearing more like a seas snake of stand up paddleboarders.
As we made our way back to the start line. We meandered just past the beach. Where the announcers called out our names and the crowd continued to cheer. We had two turns to get us to the finish. And sounds of encouragement helped bring us in. A brief fun up the beach brought us over the finish line, we were greeted with smiling faces, ice cold water and medals.
After being congratulated by everyone on the beach. We all became fans cheering in fellow racers. Witness some fun race endings.
From the Beach to the Awards.
As the day rolled on. We continued the celebration. The tents acting as beach front homes. And our friends greeting us and inviting us in.
Capital SUP brought their flare to the beach. Accompanied by their numerous, comical pool floats. Swans. Unicorns. Shamu and a host of others. Providing many laughs to beach goers and to those out in the flotilla.
The hospitality of Lexus SUP Team once again out did itself. As the welcome mat was rolled out in the finest fashion. Hugs and high fives greeted us. Along with cold beverages and delicious food. Stories of race day were shared. And many laughs had. It felt more of a family reunion than a paddleboard race.
Before we knew it the beach party brought us back into the beachside, open, ground floor lobby of Villa Cofresi. It was time to celebrate everyones performances, together.
Names and places were called. Paddlers representing decked with their favorite sponsors gear. Hats, shirts and paddles. Each name called was followed by an eruption of excitement from the crowd. And the paddler made their way onto the stage.
Sunday Fun Day
After the race day fun. We were thinking of a relaxing day. But after an invite from Chuck Patterson to surf. We quickly changed gears.
It was the perfect way to recover from a day of racing. Meeting new friends. Sharing waves. And enjoying a gorgeous sunset.
Continuing on the vibe set in motion by the Rincon Beach Boy.
Stand up paddling caters to all walks a life. And a trip like this one. Reminds me that no matter the ability level. Age. Or favorite discipline. The sport is all inclusive.
We do not have to surf. Race. Do yoga. Or even paddle. Just come down to the beach. And we will leave with more friends. Great ones.
This is why, I keep coming back. Especially to the Rincon Beach Boy.
5 points from Total SUP
Race Recap from SUP Racer
Event Recap from Stand Up Journal