ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – There will be new event categories and prize winners awarded to competitors who race around Absecon Island in the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Seashore Construction.
For the past 11 years, the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation only awarded trophies in three major categories: standup paddleboard, prone paddleboard and other; a catch-all category for all types of watercraft.
Trophies and prize money will be presented to the first three overall finishers in the new standalone surf ski and outrigger canoe categories at the after party of the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Seashore Construction, Saturday, June 12 at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. These previously fell under the other category and now, $250 will be awarded to first, $150 for second and $100 for third place for these races.
One competitor who requested the change is JC Malick, a surf ski paddler who makes the trip up from his home in Melbourne Beach, Florida to paddle in the race each year along with his wife and fellow paddler Lisa.
“It’s tough. Some surf ski and outrigger paddlers will come out and paddle their best race ever, and at the end of the day, they just want some recognition for their hard work. Above all else, the reason for this paddle is to support those fighting the fight against cancer,” said Malick. “I paddled my first race in 2013 in honor of my Aunt Betsy of Smithville, who lost her battle with cancer only a few months before the race. I know a lot of paddlers race and paddle in honor of those that they love who are either fighting or who have heroically fought the battle with Cancer including the race’s namesake and local legend Dean ‘Jersey Devil’ Randazzo.”
Malick was the first finisher overall in last year’s 22.5-mile race with a time of 3:31:48 and hopes the addition of the new surf ski and outrigger canoe categories will draw in more competition for him this year.
The overall course record stands with local surf ski paddler Sean Brennan who completed the race in a mindblowing 2 hours 44 minutes a few years ago. Prize money will be awarded in each of the new categories based on the number of new participants added to this year’s race and will ultimately be announced at the event.
“I don’t think the prize money is nearly as important as the recognition, said Malick. “But, there are some paddlers out there that could probably use the money. If I win any money, I will undoubtedly donate it back to the charity, because at the end of the day it’s all about coming out to fight cancer.”
In addition to the grueling 22.5-mile race, the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Shore Construction will feature and 8-mile race and 8-mile and 4-mile fun paddles again this year. These are open to all participants in all types of man-powered watercraft and all skill levels. Trophies will also be awarded this year to the top three overall finishers in the 8-mile race. The four-mile fun paddle ends at the Wonder Bar in Atlantic City and includes return transportation to the Golden Nugget where the event is being held and is a favorite of local fun seekers.
Anyone who has been impacted by cancer is also invited to join in an open paddle-out at 9:30 a.m. at the Frank S. Farley Marina. Guests will honor cancer survivors and victims by paddling into the bay on anything that floats and casting specially engraved memorial pocket stones into the water.
Honorary stones and keepsake stones are available with custom messaging for a $20 donation with all proceeds from sales going to the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation. The stones are environmentally friendly, 100 percent natural and contain no added color or paint. Stones can be purchased online at TheDRCF.org/honor.
All are also encouraged to come out and paddle or join on the Deck at Golden Nugget at 4 p.m. for an after party and awards ceremony. Tickets are $25 and include food and entertainment. For more information about becoming a paddler, fundraiser, donating or joining the party visit TheDRCF.org.