The 2011 Round the Rock Race

(SEATTLE, WASH.) — Northwest Paddle Surfers and Riviera Paddle Surf will present the third annual Round the Rock event on September 11. The event already has over 400 race entries and will be sanctioned by the World Paddle Association (WPA).

The main event is a 13-mile race around Mercer Island, located on Lake Washington between Seattle and Bellevue. Elite paddlers will be competing for a $10k purse in the “Sweep or Weep” format where various board length classes can try to steal the purse from those on longer boards. A spectator-friendly 3.5-mile race will be held off of Seward Park as well as a shorter kids’ relay race. This year’s event will also feature a relay team race where each member of four-person teams will complete 1-mile laps. Manufacturers and retailers will be present with the latest SUP products and the public can enjoy free demos throughout the day. Proceeds will go to Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Surfrider Foundation.

As the event falls on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, a memorial will take place before the first race to remember those fallen. Beau Whitehead, local paddler, firefighter and winner of the 2009 distance race will be racing a 19.7’ custom 343 board in honor of the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001. Other elite athletes on the roster for this year’s race include Overall and Unlimited 2010 winner Thomas Maximus Shahinian, Chuck Patterson, Collin McPhillips, and Rob Rojas. –Rob Casey

For more info, visit: Roundtherock.com