Local Sports

Paddleboarders back in the Keys for Classic

Paddlers in a previous Classic crowd their area of the water.
Paddlers in a previous Classic crowd their area of the water. Miami

Standup paddle sports fans of all ages can learn fundamentals and techniques during the 20th annual Key West Paddle Classic April 27 to 30.

The first day features classes, paddle yoga, eco-tours, demos and clinics with Lazy Dog watersports at the Hurricane Hole Marina, 5130 U.S. 1, just outside of Key West proper, plus a 5 to 8 p.m. happy hour. April 28 includes classes and paddle-performance clinics.

The Paddle Classic’s main event is set for April 29: A 12-mile around-Key-West race. While circumnavigating the island, competitors follow a course past landmarks such as the Southernmost Point marker, Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park and Mallory Square before reaching the finish at Higgs Beach.

Registration and packet pickup is set for 5 to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Turtle Kraals Restaurant & Bar in Lands End Village, at the foot of Margaret Street in Key West’s Historic Seaport.

April 29’s kicks off with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. provided by health-food market Date & Thyme, along with an all-day vendor expo at Key West’s Higgs Beach beside the Atlantic Ocean on Atlantic Boulevard. The racers meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and precedes the ocean start off the beach.

Paddlers have five hours to complete the race. They can compete individually on a single paddle craft or as a group on a multi-person craft, or as a three-person relay team. An awards event is planned at Turtle Kraals at 6 p.m. Dinner is free for racers and is open to the public for $18 per person. The weekend concludes April 30 with a morning kids’ stand-up paddle clinic and race.

For more specifics, go to www.lazydog.com.