Last weekend, the 7th Annual 2018 Lake Mary Jane Paddlefest in Orlando, Florida welcomed 132 total registered paddlers from all over the US—including Massachusetts, DC, and Tennessee— to one of the most fun events of the year.
Race Organizer Jessica Cichra tells us this is “the most challenging event I facilitate all year. It just has so many moving parts, relies on so many different contributors and factors. It’s a fundraiser, so I have to do a massive amount of asking, planning, prepping and promoting. I often wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. But then the festival begins. My people arrive. There are smiles, laughter, and hugs. A spirit of selflessness and support. There is competition and camaraderie. Moments of challenge and stress… then accomplishment and relief.”
There were a number of events including a 10K and 1 mi Green, the Homies Relay race, a drag race with one paddler pulling anotherr and of course, the Kids Nugget Race where the future of SUP shreds.
10k Albert Cichra Builders Cash Money and 1mi Green
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I’m so stoked I’ve been champion for the Lake Mary Jane Paddle Fest. I’m double happy actually bcuz I took 1st place at both races, 10k long distance and 200mts sprint!! I want to say thank God for this and thanks for @flying_fish_board_co for all big support! I really loved the champagne shower with the first overall girl @seychellesup !! Congrats for my friend Team Rider @warinjen to took 3rd and to @garrettfletcher7 for the 2nd place. Of course thanks to my coach @americopinheirojr for the insane trainings!! And many thanks to @bluelinesurf_paddleco and @wernerpaddles for the important support!! Thanks to @waveofwellness for the great event!!! 📸@johnmeskauskas . —- To amaradãoooo por ter sido Campeão do Lake Mary Jane Paddle Fest. Na verdade to duplamente feliz pq fui campeão de ambas as provas. 1° na longa distância de 10km e no Sprint de 200m! Queria agradecer a papai do céu por mais essa vitória e agradecer a Flying Fish Board por todo o suporte!! Adorei ter tomado meu primeiro banho de champanhe com a primeira mulher do overall que atualmente é top 5 no mundo!! Parabéns pro meu parceiro de equipe Tim Warner pelo 3° e pro Garret Fletcher pelo 2°. Claro que isso eh consequência dos treinos insanos com o melhor treinador do mundo Americo Pinheiro ! Valeu Blueline Shop e Werner Paddles pelo apoio essencial!! É isso!! Partiu treinador pra destruir no próximo!!! Woohoo . . . . #standuppaddle #championship #suprace #lakemary #orlandoflorida #teamflyingfish #teamblueline #wernerpaddles
Albert Cichra Builders Mo’Money Drag Race
Kids Nugget Race:
1st Porter Twigg, 2nd Emily Moreno, 3rd Felipe Moreno
Tug Life Relay:
1st Maddie Miller & Dylan Geiger
There are a few races that nail the community aspect and this sits atop the leaderboard. Every year, they find a way to include everyone, raise awareness and enthusiasm for their causes and still pound out a competitive race with top paddlers.
The event wanted to support a charity that focuses on education, preservation and conservation of our local waterways in which we love to play and paddle. LMJ2018 is proud to benefit Orlando Surfrider Foundation, who does just that. They are a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the ocean, waves and beaches through programs like Rise Above Plastics, Ocean Friendly Gardens, Blue Water Task Force, and Know Your H2O.
And don’t forget the fun
Photo Gallery by Jason Geiger
Nothing can happen without sponsors to support great races like these. Please thank and support:
Review from Brian Houston
We found this posted on Facebook to the race and loved it:
Congratulations on a fine event yesterday. The work you and your team (family) put into the planning and production of the Lake Mary Jane Paddlefest culminated in an outstanding event. I especially enjoyed seeing your safety boats on the water keeping an eye out on all participants and demo paddlers on the water. Your course was well marked and gave access to all quadrants of the course for your safety boats. Your team at the finish to assist racers finishing worked hard and politely with everyone. The PA system was excellent, as were the announcers communication skills.
Everywhere I looked I saw people having a good time, helping each other, encouraging each other and sharing in the joy of the accomplishments of the paddling community. I hope you can rest today, I am sure you will start planning for next year tomorrow (or today). Your vendors did a great job in sharing with all attendees.
Your event was a joy to attend and ranks in the top five of paddling symposiums, competitions, festivals that I have been involved with or attended over the past thirty plus years.
Thank you for a fine day on the water!
ORPSR (Old Retired Paddlesports Representative)😀
Save the date
8th annual Lake Mary Jane Paddlefest on September 20-21, 2019.