2009-12-18 / Sports

Uncle Richie Paddle Event Benefits Multiple Sclerosis

Paddlers gather to begin the Uncle Richie Paddle Event. Paddlers gather to begin the Uncle Richie Paddle Event. The first annual Uncle Richie Paddle for M.S. (Multiple Sclerosis) was officially underway when seven paddlers entered Jamaica Bay. The conditions were bordering on impossible. The sand was pelting the paddlers like freezing hail.

The wind was blowing the boards around like toothpicks. No board could be left un-manned for a second. These conditions turned the bay into a sea of small chop.

The wind gust of 40+ miles per hour would go north to northwest, creating a slight side-chop. This caused the course to be changed to a run of 2.2 miles from the Breezy Point Light - house to the Marine Parkway Bridge.

The tide was exceptionally low, causing some paddlers to venture into the channel, which is not a good place to be all alone. With the wind against the tide, the current was swirling the boards around. The 18-inch board handled the bay like an ice skater with the wind at his back. A feeling of accomplishment was experienced by all paddlers and support teams. This allowed a bond to be formed among them and between them and the bay.

Following the event, Jameson's Pub hosted a reception for the paddlers and friends. Everyone was welcome and the generous support of our community helped to make it a success. Special thanks to NYC Water Shots for their help. The organizers will host the event again next year in the Bay and they look forward to seeing participants and supporters there.

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