Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013 Swim and Paddle Board for Boston Harbor

On Saturday morning, at the BCYF Curley Community Center in South Boston, 50 swimmers and 35 paddlers took part in Save the Harbor/Save the Bay's Swim and Paddle Board for Boston Harbor, a one-mile, chip-timed, professionally staffed, competitive swim followed by the Boston Harbors first chip-timed Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) competition.

Competitors gather for a group photo 

"What a great way to spend a summer day" said Boston College Law Professor Sharon Beckman, who was the largest fundraiser and won a round trip ticket courtesy of event sponsor JetBlue Airways. "In the early 1980's I trained for my English Channel crossing on these beaches when they were filthy. Now I delight in the sparkling water and clean sand."

Katie O'Dair of Watertown and Adam Homaki of Boston won the swim for competitors without wet suits. Geoff Melton of Brookline and Anna Sheridan of Lexington won the swim for competitors with wetsuits. Mark Jacobson of Lexington and Cathleen Franey of York, Maine, won the Stand Up Paddle Board race.

O'Dair and Franey won JetBlue tickets as well. 

Paddle Boarders in action

Competitors raised more than $5,000 to benefit Save the Harbor / Save the Bay and the Massachusetts Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. Following the races, participants celebrated on the beach with refreshing beer and burgers, courtesy of event sponsors Harpoon Brewery and Tasty Burger.

"It was a pleasure to walk on the beach and see smiles on everyone's faces and to hear people already planning for next year" said Noel LaPierre of Surfrider.  "We can't thank our sponsors, the competitors, and most particularly Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, enough: mahalo nui loa!"

"Just a few years ago even a small summer rain would have forced us to cancel this event due to pollution from storm water" said Save the Harbor spokesman Bruce Berman. "Today we are proud to celebrate the fact that the South Boston beaches are now safe for swimming virtually every day, no matter what the weather."

The winners of the 2013 Swim and Paddle Board for Boston Harbor
These free Better Beaches programs are made possible with Leadership Grants from Harpoon Brewery, JetBlue Airways, P&G Gillette, the Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust.  Save the Harbor also appreciates funding support from National Grid, Comcast Massachusetts, and Russo Marine. 

We also want to thank our program partners at BCYF Curley Community Center, the Department of Conservation & Recreation, the Massachusetts Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, YMCA of Greater Boston, Tasty Burger, and Mix 104.1 FM.  Special thanks goes out to the 500 splashers and supporters of this year’s Cupid Splash and the 70 swimmers and paddlers who participated  in the Swim & Paddle for Boston Harbor. Together, they raised $38,000 to fund free event sand programs on our public beaches this season. 

If you want to learn a little more about water quality on the Boston Harbor Region's public beaches, you can download a copy of Save the Harbor's 2013 Beaches Report Card at http://www.savetheharbor.org/beachesreportcard/2013reportcard.pdf

About Save the Harbor/Save the Bay
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay is a non-profit, public interest, environmental advocacy organization, whose mission is to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for everyone to enjoy. 

About the Massachusetts Chapter of Surfrider
The Massachusetts Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was founded in 1996.  They are an all-volunteer chapter composed of local New England surfer/environmentalists dedicated to the preservation of the New England coastal environmental, elimination of pollution, and open access to our beaches. 

For more information about Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, please visit:www.savetheharbor.org

For more information about The Surfrider Foundation, please visit: http://www.surfrider.org.

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