Marine- and Boating-Related Events
Events of Interest to Sailors and boaters in the Southeast Coastal States and the Bahamas. Boat Shows, Marine Flea Markets, Regattas, Rendezvous, Seafood Festivals, Boating & Sailing Seminars, Instruction, and other nautical events.
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Everglades Challenge, Tampa Bay, FL
March 2 @ 07:00 - 17:00
The Everglades Challenge is an unsupported, expedition-style adventure race for kayaks, canoes and small boats that starts above the high tide mark on the east beach of Fort De Soto Park on Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, FL, and ends in Key Largo. It is run by the Watertribe, whose fearless leader, Steve Issac, conceived of the race in 2000.
This year’s event starts at dawn on March 2, although if you want a good look at the boats, go on Friday, March 1 (noon and early afternoon is best—before the 3pm captain’s meeting), when the competitors will be going through inspection and setting up their boats on the starting line. Along the 300-mile course, competitors are required to sail, row, or paddle into three checkpoints, but not required to stay there. The checkpoints going south along the coast are: Cape Haze Marina, Englewood; Chokoloskee, Everglades National Park; and Flamingo, Everglades National Park. After these checkpoints, the boats head to the Pelican Cottages in Key Largo at the finish. Held concurrently is the 64-mile Ultra Marathon, which goes from Tampa Bay to the first check point of the Challenge, Cape Haze Marina. Over 100 boats generally enter the two challenges.
For more on the Everglades Challenge, go to www.watertribe.com and go to the Events page. You can also read a short history of the Challenge in the February 2012 issue of SOUTHWINDS at www.southwindsmagazine.com. Go to Back Issues.