Ever wanted to... Enter the Golden Nugget SUP race?
Stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding is fast becoming one of the world's most popular water sports.
Originating in Hawaii, paddle boarding offers the perfect way to relax and have fun, while providing individuals with an alternate open-water race.
The Golden Nugget SUP Race in Shem Creek, South Carolina, is hosted by Half-Moon Outfitters.
It's split over 5km and 10km. The short course accommodates boards 12ft and under, 12ft 6in and 14ft boards, while the longer 10km race caters for those with 12ft 6in, 14ft and over 14ft boards.
Both race distances will have a Grand Masters Category for those aged 50 and older, with no restrictions on board lengths. The elite SUP race will be an official sanctioned point event for the World Paddle Association, promising to attract some of the world's biggest paddle board names and best racers.
The mission statement of the race includes a platform for a fun, safe and competitive experience, while raising money for a worthwhile cause.
Proceeds will go towards Crisi Ministries in 2014, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing food, hope and shelter to the homeless.
Due to the status the event carries as being an official WPA event, a large crowd of spectators are sure to attend.
A popular vantage point for onlookers is in the Treehouse atop Red's Ice House on the historic Shem Creek, while Shem Creek Park is another busy spot on race day as spectators bid to get as good a view of race proceedings as possible.
Spectators can take full advantage of the 2,200-foot boardwalk for excellent views. All post-event celebrations are held in Red's Ice House where prizes are awarded and competitors and spectators alike get the opportunity to mingle and network links among plenty of passionate paddle boarding folk. All participants receive a ticket to the after party.
Paddle boarding in great surroundings for a very worthy cause.
The waters can get quite choppy at this time of year.
The race starts in Shem Creek outside Red's Ice House, where entrants begin their counter-clockwise course. First they pass red channel marker 16 on their right, before rounding Crab Bank at its north end, avoiding shallow waters by keeping their distance from the bank. From here, entrants race to silver weather tower and return to Shem Creek, two circuits for the 10km course, one for the 5km.
How to get there / where to stay?
Return flights from Dublin to Charleston International Airport in Southern Carolina sit around the €610 mark. There is no shortage of accommodation in the Mount Pleasant region. However, it is advised to make bookings in advance as accommodation will be in demand.
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Health & Living