Sixth annual paddling festival continues to grow, thrive
By Andrea Swayne
The Mickey Munoz Mongoose Cup has been gaining popularity each year for five years and with inevitable “growing pains,” the sixth annual stand-up paddling event, held Saturday at Baby Beach, nearly didn’t happen, organizers said.
“With growth came a need for things like electronic chip timing, increased lifeguarding staff, new permitting fees and moving away from running in conjunction with the Festival of Whales, which all had an impact on expenses,” said event director Barrett Tester.
A benefactor of the fundraising event since last year, The Sport of Kings Foundation found out about the need for funding approximately six weeks before the event and went to work, this time as a sponsor, to find the funds and other sponsorship needed. With their help, the event secured sponsorship from Salt Life, Dodge Ram Trucks, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and Damian Collins, who volunteered to host the after party at his restaurant, Waterman’s Harbor.
“It was an unforgettable day. There’s no way to describe how great it was. We have such an amazing community and we all just came together for a great day of SUP, friendship and family,” said Vicki Patterson, Sport of Kings Board member and an event organizer. “We want to thank the sponsors and also give special props to Performance Paddling, World Paddle Association and the Paddle Academy for their help in making the event a success as well.”
According to Tester, this year’s event had 127 paid participants. The day included free adaptive paddling for invitees from the Wounded Warrior Project, races, demonstrations, SUP yoga, clinics, food and fun.
“The way the Sport of Kings Foundation Board and other sponsors rallied to support the Mongoose Cup’s growth made this great event even better and further strengthened the community vibe,” Tester said. “This has become such an important event to the SUP community, especially the up-and-coming youth SUP racers. It’s a true community event and we thank all who helped make it happen.”
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