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Battle on the Blueway returns to Fort Myers Beach

May 10, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The third annual Battle on the Blueway returns Saturday, June 10 to Crescent Beach Family Park, 1100 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach. The Battle on the Blueway is a competitive race event for paddling enthusiasts and includes competitive events for standup paddleboarders (SUPs) as well as kayaks, outrigger canoes and surf skis.

The event is a World Paddle Association Region 5 sanctioned points race that will include 7-mile and 2-mile races, sprints, a free Calusa Kids Race, and a Special Olympics Fun Race. More than 120 paddlers from Southwest Florida, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, and the U.S. attended last year's race.

"This year we really opened up the race for everyone to participate," says Calusa Blueway coordinator Mike Hammond. The first two years the event was geared more toward elite SUP racers and they are expected to return this year, Hammond said. But, by allowing all craft to enter the Body Glove 2-mile race, more recreational kayakers and youth paddlers are expected to participate. "Also, everyone has an equal chance of winning great prizes like the Body Glove Performer 11' iSUPs being given away," he said.

The event is free for spectators, who can see the races from the beach or the pier at Lynn Hall Park. This year, Battle on the Blueway organizers hope to attract even more local participants and spectators.

All non-motorized vessels are welcome. There will be a demonstration and vendor area for those who wish to try out a paddleboard or surfski.

Pre-registration is required for racers. There will not be an opportunity to register the day of the event. Race entries are $45 to $55. After June 5, the entry fee will increase to $55 to $65. There will be a fee to park at the beach. All proceeds from the Battle on the Blueway will benefit Special Olympics Florida - Lee County SUP Team.

For event information, call Lee County Parks & Recreation's Mike Hammond at 239-707-7981 or 239-533-7275.



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