Crescent Beach Family Park
The Battle of the Blueway returns to Crescent Beach Family Park this weekend, June 11 & 12, bringing paddling enthusiasts and spectators to Fort Myers Beach for a weekend in the sun.
The event is a World Paddle Association Region 5 sanctioned points race that will include more than $10,000 in prize money, 7-mile and 2-mile races, sprints, an OC-6 race, a Calusa Kids Race, a Special Olympics Fun Race, a demonstration area, and vendor and environmental education areas.
Free for spectators, the races can be viewed from the park or the pier as races depart the park and head toward Bowditch Point so they’ll also be visible from Lynn Hall Park.
The event happens at Crescent Beach Family Park, 1100 Estero Blvd., and includes competitive events for standup paddleboarders (SUPs) as well as kayaks, outrigger canoes and surf-skis. More than 110 racers from Southwest Florida and the Southeastern United States competed in the 2015 event.
The event also is designed to introduce non-racers to paddling with a spectator area and places for those who want to try out a paddleboard. Nonprofits will be onsite to display wildlife, Native American artifacts and environmental education materials.
The complete schedule is available online at paddleguru.com/races/BattleontheBlueway, including details on June 10 pre-race event at Point Ybel Brewing Company, the June 11 and June 12 racers’ meetings and the actual race starts. Race day starts range from 8:30 through 10:30 a.m. Awards ceremonies are in the afternoon each day. June 11 features a post-race day after party at Pete’s Time Out.