Shamrock SUP Race raises $1,500 for  Y2O

By Lorne Chambers | Editor

Charleston SUP Safaris and Flipper Finders hosted the sixth Annual Shamrock SUP (Stand Up Paddle) Race on the Folly River Sunday, March 19. The event was a huge success with more than 25 participants and five dogs. There was also a silent auction element to the event, that helped raise an estimated $1,500 for Youth to Ocean (Y2O) a local non-profit organization that provides environmental education and exploration of nature to area youth.

According to Jon Ory, SUP Safari owner and race organizer, he and Y2O founder Dan Yost have worked together at SUP Safaris for about five years leading tours and kids groups. “It made for a great fit to have Dan be our new charity as we both share to the same dream to get all kids out on the water and experience the awesomeness of being in nature,” said Ory. “These local kids also learn life skills while having fun on Folly Beach.”

Ory said the actual race was more challenging this year because of chilly conditions. “We have a core group of paddlers that attend all of our Races, so they braved the cold to make it a success. Everyone really cheered each other through out the race which made for great comradery (a.k.a. stoke),” said Ory, adding that that the “stoke meter” went up at the end of the morning when the dogs got on the board. He says it was the most canines ever on the river for the dog race. “Everyone loves coming together to start the SUP Race season with the Shamrock Race, and we had the same great support from all our local business sponsors who help make it a successful fundraiser.”

Sponsors for the event included Loggerheads, Surf Bar, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, Rita’s Seaside Grill, Vapor Apparel, Sea Island Media, and Lost Dog Café. Prizes were donated from Ocean Surf Shop, McKevlin’s Surf Shop, Jackson Davenport, Bohemian Bull, and several Folly Beach restaurants.

Robert Hess won the Men’s Elite 10K (61mins), Jenny Alderman won the Women’s Elite 10K (1:25). Ashley Starkey won the Men’s Recreational 5K (42:28) and Susan Ballinger won the Women’s Recreational 5K (54:31). Terry Perkins  won the Men’s Surf 5K (51:36) and Cate Sutz  won the Women’s Surf 5K (1:14). 

“The costumes are always a highlight as people really get excited about wearing green and winning the Best Costume prize,” said Ory. This year the costume prize went to Susan Ballinger, who also won the dog race.

“We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Races, and all of our sponsors that help make this Race such a successful fundraiser,” said Ory. “SUP Safaris is proud to have donated over $16,500 to local charities over the past 12 SUP races, and look forward to reaching our goal of raising $20,000 by the completion of the SUPer Scary SUP Race on Oct. 28.”

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