Get ready Love City!
The third annual St. John Chaotic Kayak Race to benefit Team River Runner’s Love City program is set for Sunday, July 28, at 12 p.m. at Oppenheimer Beach.
Founded by Washington, D.C. area kayak enthusiast Joe Mornini in 2004, Team River Runner (TRR) is dedicated to the health and healing of wounded veterans through adaptive kayak sports. The program was launched at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2004 and has since spread across the country with chapters being founded by veterans who have benefited themselves from the program.
Mornini first brought a group of wounded veterans and their spouses to St. John in 2007 for a week of kayak trips in the beautiful
Caribbean waters and empowering companionship while staying at Cinnamon Bay Campground.
The trip was a huge success, but funding quickly became an issue. After the group was forced to cancel its 2008 trip due to lack of funds, community members stepped up to ensure that would never occur again.
Veteran and musician John Schuld and his wife Brandy, along with Sadie Sea owners Tom and Amy Larson, organized the first Chaotic Kayak race three years ago and the event helped to bring down a group of 24 veterans, making TRR’s St. John trip a reality.
This year the crew is back again to host the island’s most rewarding and zany kayak race with one hundred percent of the proceeds raised going to TRR’s St. John trip.
Don’t miss the chance to get involved. Teams of three people, two paddlers and one “water gunner,” will face off over several heats at Oppenheimer Beach on July 28. The entry fee is $150 and teams are encouraged to raise additional funds in order to get a few seconds’ head start, explained organizer John Schuld.
“Fundraising is encouraged for all teams to buy head start time in the race,” he said. “Each $100 will get you five seconds.”
Once a team registers for the race, the team will get an online link at stjohnchaotickayak.com to receive donations, Schuld added.
A maximum of 32 teams will be allowed to take part, so don’t wait too long as the roster often fills quickly. The deadline for entry fees is July 14.
Teams interested in participating should check out the Chaotic Kayak race’s Facebook page, Schuld explained.
“Please post your intent to compete on the Facebook wall for St John Chaotic Kayak 2013,” he said. “Captain Tom Larson of the Sadie Sea will stop by your business to pick up your entry fee.”
An official team meeting will be hosted on Saturday, July 27, at 5 p.m. at the Inn at Tamarind Court.
“At least one member from each team must attend the meeting to draw for their heat placement, buy head start time and receive any last minute race information,” said Schuld. “However, all team members are welcome to attend.”
Event T-shirts also will be available at the meeting. Schuld added.
This year’s event will also feature a Stand Up Paddle race for the first time. There is a separate entry fee of $25 to take part in the SUP race and participants must bring their own boards.
On race day, teams are asked to check in at 11 a.m. with all three team members present. Participants are asked to not park at Oppenheimer Beach.
St. John Community Foundation will provide free shuttle service from the gravel parking lot at Enighed Pond. The shuttle will run from 10:30 a.m. until noon. and return service will begin at 4 p.m.
Sadie Sea is offering a water shuttle for 20 passengers to Oppenheimer leaving the V.I. National Park dock in Cruz Bay at 10 a.m. and returning after the race.
Not a kayak enthusiast? Come on out for a happening beach party as the day will feature great food and drinks, live music and raffle prizes — all to support an important week of health and healing for wounded veterans.
Anyone willing to donate a raffle prize should call Suzanne Crosby at (704) 942-4594. For more information, call Schuld at (340) 227-9463 or Larson at (340) 514-0778.
“All proceeds from the St John Chaotic Kayak Race benefit TRR’s Wounded Veterans St John Leadership Program on island in November,” said Schuld. “This is the third annual race and, as always, all are welcome to attend.”
See you there!