New York, NY — On Monday, August 18th, at approximately 9:15 a.m., eight boats loaded with surfers, supporters and media made their way over to the East River, just off the South Street Sea Port's Pier 1. There was a feeling of great anticipation and excitement, as helicopters buzzed overhead, a NYPD boat circled, and large ferry boats zipped around the boats, as the captains waited for the signal to begin the grueling paddle that lay ahead. Then, the moment came when a ferry boat carrying 3-time World Champion Surfer Tom Curren came around the bottom of Manhattan up into the East River to where the boats loaded with boards, supplies, and people were waiting. Curren, board under his arm and paddle in his hand, jumped from the ferry into the turbulent East River. This became the 'launch signal' and the other 80 plus paddlers from around the world, including Darrick Doerner, Gerry Lopez, Keith Malloy and Darian Boyle, jumped on their boards and started the grueling 28-mile journey around Manhattan organized by Surfers' Environmental Alliance (SEA).
The paddlers and a small flotilla of support boats followed a course up the East River, through the Harlem River and down the Hudson River, finishing at the North Cove Marina at the World Financial Center. The majority of the paddlers did stand-up paddle boarding, one of the fastest growing sports around. There were traditional paddleboarders, and an outrigger canoe paddled by the New York Canoe Club.
The difficulty of the paddle increased as the wind blew out of the South in the afternoon when the paddlers began their way down the Hudson. All those doing stand-up paddling became 'human sails'. It was quite challenging for everyone.
With the incredible success of the event, we are confident that we can raise even more money this year. We are looking for donations to be made through our paypal account through seapaddlenyc.org. For information on participating in or sponsoring Seapaddle NYC 2009 please contact Andrew Mencinsky at 732-804-4096 or visit seapaddlenyc.org. Additional photos and b-roll from the event available upon request.