A paddleboarder takes advantage of the warm weather during a Sunday-morning paddle July 8. Paddleboarding will be featured at the Spirit of the Sea Festival next month

Paddleboard races coming to Spirit of Sea Festival

Through the Sea Festival, which runs Aug. 3-6, paddleboarding demonstrations and how-to clinics will be held at White Rock beach

Paddleboarding has been been added to next month’s Spirit of the Sea Festival, giving the annual event a sports twist.

Through the Sea Festival weekend, which runs Aug. 3-6, a number of paddleboarding demonstrations and how-to clinics will be held at White Rock beach, and a pair of races will also hit the water.

At 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, the Spirit of the Sea Relay Challenge will kick off, giving local companies, groups or teams the chance to compete against each other on a course near the White Rock Pier.

Then, on Sunday, the Sundog Semiahmoo SUP (stand-up paddleboard) Classic will be held, beginning with a beach start before heading out into the bay on a seven-km loop.

No experience is necessary to take part in the demos, clinics and the relay challenge, as the event aims to introduce the sport to newcomers.

“We thought, ‘let’s just run some races and let some people get out there and have some fun on the water,’” said festival president Matt Todd, who added that a goal of this year’s event is to get people more involved in activities, rather than simply acting as spectators.

The competitive paddleboard races will be co-ordinated by Scott Robertson, owner of Sundog Adventure Sports in South Surrey. Robertson said he’s expecting a strong turnout for the races, with paddleboarding coming from as far away as Oregon and Vancouver Island.

“Hopefully we’ll get a lot of people out, get a good turnout,” he said.

For more on the Spirit of the Sea Festival, visit www.spiritofthesea.ca

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