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Surfrider Connecticut Wraps up the "Surfrider Sprints"

Connecticut is home to 96 miles of diverse coastline; with beaches, estuaries, marshlands, and a growing number of outdoor sports enthusiasts. Among those include the stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) community. 

SUP races are becoming increasingly popular across the state, with popular ones like the Charles Island SUP Cup held in June and the New London Cup in August. Joining in on the fun, the Surfrider Connecticut Chapter launched the Surfrider Sprint Series. Teaming up with five different paddle races, the chapter offered an exciting way to spread Surfrider's mission of protecting our ocean, waves and beaches. 

"In Connecticut we don’t have many breaking waves or surf spots where we can reach core supporters and recruit new members. However, we have a long history with the stand-up paddle race community and decided to lean into those connections," said Jack Egan, Connecticut Chapter Secretary. 
So what exactly did the Surfrider Sprints look like? Head to head races on a short, single-turn, out and back course to a buoy with a single elimination format. Winners advanced until the top male and female racers remained to be crowned Surfrider Sprints Champions and walk away with a custom Surfrider, carbon fiber race paddle created by Quickblade Paddles
"Spills, thrills and smiles abounded. Winning was the goal, but everyone walked away an ocean warrior" said Egan. 
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Aside from the Quickblade paddle, the chapter developed custom finisher medallion's and stickers for each participant. They also had success selling branded tees and recruited almost 25 new members across all five events. 
The Surfrider Sprint Series helped the chapter to cultivate new relationships, identify future cleanup partners, and to demonstrate how fun it is to be a member of the Surfrider community. 
"And the idea worked! We boosted racer participation for all of the events we attended, infused some excitement, reached a greater audience, made new friends, supporters and partners - while promoting the Surfrider mission of protecting our ocean, waves and beaches," said Egan. 
For more information on the Surfrider Sprints, including races standings from 2023, visit a major shoutout to Surfrider Connecticut, Jim Terrell at Quickblade Paddles and those at Session Magazine who helped to pull off such a successful season!image1-1