Click to watch live feed replay above
Cape2Cape Virginia crossing 2016 presented by JMCM Channels and Solace SUP Boards kicked off on September 17th. The event paid out a total of $5,000 to first place winners in their category and offering up a unique challenging elite paddle race. This was the first year of the completed crossing at the Chesapeake’s mouth from Cape Charles, VA to Cape Henry, VA near the Virginia Beach area and the 23 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Categories that were accepted were OC-1, OC-2, Unlimited SUP, 14’ SUP Stock, 12.6” SUP Stock, Unlimited Prone, Prone Stock and Surfski.
The race was set to be capped at 50 paddlers for safety and ended up having 11 entries with 7 actually competing which was perfect for us to manage as a soft opening for a race of this caliber of challenges and for the racers as 5 out of the 7 paddlers received a $1,000 check! I think anyone who completes a 14 mile journey should receive a check :) BIG congrats to all the competitors who came out and completed this physical and mental challenge!
BEHIND THE SCENES:
The actual race course mapped out was 14.5 miles from course director, Frank Lundy, who has made the crossing many times on his prone unlimited. Safety was priority number one and event creator/race director, Jay Carrillo of JMCM Channels, pulled off a top notch event with 8 safety boats with experienced captains, 8 of the best local lifeguards and a safety plan to box in all racers during the crossing and pausing all paddlers if needed if any USA Navy cruisers or huge shipping tankers were to pass in the two major shipping channels that were being crossed. GPS tagging of all boats and each paddler helped with the safety during this process.
DotMotion GPS for each rider
I was brought on as a lead sponsor with Solace SUP Boards and contributed as an assistant race director/advisor. It was pretty amazing watching and participating with the 8 month long permit approval that Jay persistently hammered with a handful of knowledgeable advisors. The exciting thing is Cape2Cape Virginia is written into law so no more time has to be spent on government “red tape” and future participates can pencil in this race and plan training for something of this level and enjoy the stoke! I have a feeling that 50 spots will fill up fast for this event in 2017.
Starting line at Sunset Beach at the The JackSpot in Cape Charles, VA
The race started from sunset beach in Cape Charles, VA and headed south under the bridge and then a slight turn heading SW with a straight shot to First State Landing Park beach on Cape Henry near the Virginia Beach side. Conditions were perfect with a little bit of wind from the east and swells were manageable at just 1 to 3 ft. at the beginning of the race. Paddlers had some wind at their back but still had to battle some gnarly currents making their first turn under the bridge around fisherman’s island and in the open water passing through two major shipping channels used by the Navy and huge shipping tankers. A couple paddlers mentioned a pod of dolphins hanging with them as they were trekking along. Check out just some of the awesome pictures from Douglas James Studio below. Visit his full gallery here.
I was personally on the beach at the Jack spot restaurant/bar manning the Solace SUP tent for registration and the pre-race meeting at the start of the race. Theo, from Dot Vision Motion, was part of the team coming all the way over from Lyon, France setting us up with their state of the art GPS tracking software. Each paddler, safety boat and starting line buoys and finish line buoys were equipped with a Dotvision Motion GPS system. This provided safety and a trackable course screen via your smart phone or your desktop to follow the exact position and speed of your favorite paddler. These are the same guys they use for the most prestigious race, Molokai, in Hawaii. Crazy how technology can be used! You can watch the replay here.
Making my way over to First Landing State Park Beach was about a 35 minute ride by car from Sunset Beach to meet the racers coming in to the finish line. This spot was pretty neat as it had a maze of RV and camping spots that lead out to the beach. WRV surf was offering demos on the beach and Coyle Solar had there silent solar powered generator for power. This was the first SUP race I’ve seen using this type of generator and is a great idea. I hope to see this at more events.
Awards were held back at the starting line at Sunset beach in the Jack Spot reastaraunt/bar. Perfect spot to celebrate with friends and have a meal with some cocktails while right on the water watching the sunset. Both Sunset beach and First State Landing Beach are family and spectator friendly. I would definitely recommend putting this one on your calendar for 2017 and experience this unique race if your up for a challenge.
Congrats to all the participants as everyone finished! Big thanks to all our sponsors that helped make this event happen. Here are the results below: