Sixth Surf Swap and Paddle Board Challenge set for Sun.

Sixth Surf Swap and Paddle Board Challenge set for Sun.

(May 29, 2015) Fager’s Island will host the sixth annual Surf Swap and Paddle Board Challenge this Sunday, May 31, with proceeds benefiting the Maryland Coastal Bays Program.

“All ages are welcome on the water with the opportunity to try out paddleboarding and different kinds of boards,” said Dawn Ehman, coordinator of the event.

The family-friendly event runs into the evening with Stand-Up Paddleboard races for all ages and skill levels, including a kids’ relay.

A Surf Swap allows attends to sell or buy used equipment, and at least a dozen vendors will be hand with their products.

Entertainment will be provided by DJ Romo, and there will be food and drinks, raffles, children’s activities including face painting and SUP demonstrations at Fager’s Island on 60th Street starting at 10 a.m.

Dependent on the weather, organizers expect a crowd of 300 to 400 people, Ehman said.

Race day starts at 8:30 a.m., when participants can pick up their packets and register for the paddleboard races. There will be a 2.5-mile recreational race and a 5-mile elite race. Officials will determine the course on race day based on wind conditions.

Pre-registration for the race is open until 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 29, at www.paddleguru.com/races/SurfSwapChallenge and costs $40 for the 2.5-mile and $55 to participate in the 5-mile race. Same-day registration will be offered at Fager’s Island on Sunday for $60 and $75, respectively.

The top three elite race finishers will receive prices and cash.

Spectators are invited to watch the races.

Stand-up paddleboard demos will take place from 10:30-11:30 a.m. and are open to anyone who is interested in learning about the activity.

The Ocean City Surf Club is coordinating the Surf Swap, which will take place beginning at 11 a.m. on the beach portion of the restaurant. People have the opportunity to buy or sell used surfboards, stand-up paddleboards, wetsuits or other non-motorized water equipment. There is no cost to sell items.

Contact Sandi Smith at Sandis@mdcoastalbays.org if interested in selling equipment to insure a setup location.

In addition to the 2.5- and 5-mile events, there will be a children’s SUP race, which is popular and limited to 30 kids.

Participants can register their children for the Kids SUP Race at Fager’s Island before the event starts at noon, which costs $10 per participant. Boards will be provided. To guarantee a spot and pre-register children, visit www.paddleguru.com/races/SurfSwapChallenge.

There will also be raffles for a new SUP, a paddle and a beach cruiser bike at the event, Ehman said.

Dozens of vendors will have tables set up to sell merchandise and accessories including Ron Jon, Solace SUP, YogaVibez, K-Coast, Walk on Water, Lululemon, Sperry shoes, OC SUP & Fitness, Red Bull, Corona and local artists and jewelers.

Proceeds from Sunday’s races go to Maryland Coastal Bays, a non-profit organization working to protect the five coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island. 

Check out the event on Facebook under Fager’s Island Surf Swap and Paddle Board Race or at www.fagers.com/events/surf-swap.cfm.

For more information, call Smith at 410-213-2297, ext. 107 or email sandis@mdcoastalbays.org.

Those interested in sharpening their paddleboarding skills can meet at YogaVibez on Route 50 in West Ocean City for a Women’s SUPer Saturday Retreat beginning at 2 p.m. on a creek nearby the studio.

Each of the three classes last one hour with surfing tips and a boot camp kicking off the afternoon, a racing clinic for paddleboarding follows and a yoga class on a SUP ends the day.

The retreat costs $75 for the entire day with a board or $100 to rent a board.

For more information, call Ehman at 443-865-3109.

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