This year’s 13th Annual FSPBC was held at the iconic Cocoa Beach Pier in conjunction with our partner, the Easter Surf Fest. The last two years we had been plagued with truly awful weather conditions. The 2012 race even had to be moved to the Indian River due to hazardous sea conditions.
This year, though, we finally got a break with picture perfect weather, a calm sea and enough surf to allow the ESF to hold a great event. The 71 paddlers who participated were quite happy to avoid the beat down they endured the previous two years. The favorable conditions contributed to the outstanding performances displayed by the elite field of competitors.
Gary Wise had the fastest overall time for this year, clocking in at 1:04:44 in his OC-1 outrigger canoe. Chase Kosterlitz returned to capture 1st place and best overall time among the SUPs, covering the 7-mile course in 1:11:02 in the 14 ft. class, followed closely by Matt McDonald at 1:12:27. The Men’s 12’6″ class was taken by Packet Casey, with a time of 1:18:03, barely squeaking by Justin Cook’s time of 1:18:27.
Helga Goebel, the favorite to win the women’s category, was surprised by newcomer Hope Miller, whose time of 1:22:15 bested Helga by over 3 minutes. Matt Wise once again took first in the Junior Boy’s Division at 1:18:31, showing that he is going to be a dominant force on the race circuit in the future.
In the traditional paddleboard divisions, Brian Bencie took top honors in the Men’s Open Stock with a time of 1:21:16. Greg Schmidt had the fastest overall time of 1:20:22, taking first in the men’s over-50 division. Cynthia Aguilar once again came in first in the Women’s Open in 1:28:06.
In the King/Queen of the Beach sprint event, Chase Kosterlitz smoked the field, proving that he is a formidable opponent in any format. Cynthia Aguilar easily put away her competition in the women’s division leaving no doubt that she owns the Queen of the Beach.
This year’s event was a great success. After the trophy presentation the lucky winners of our free raffle were able to take home some great products donated by our sponsors.
We would like to recognize Lipship Marine for their generous cash sponsorship and, also, SeaTow and Brevard Ocean Rescue, who provided the all-important water safety support. And, as always, thanks to Dick Catri and John Griffin for the opportunity to stage our event at the Easter Surf Fest. All proceeds from this event go entirely to support the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum.
Last, but most important, we want to thank our many volunteers who make the FSPBC a success year after year.