Champion of the Crescent returns

July 16 event in South Surrey to benefit child and youth mental health facility

More than 200 paddlers participated in last year’s Champion of the Crescent event. (Contributed photo)

The second annual Champion of the Crescent returns to the waters off Blackie Spit this weekend.

Featuring 10- and 3.5-kilometre races, kids races and a relay challenge, the day-long stand-up paddleboard event – getting underday at 10 a.m. Sunday (July 16) – raises funds for the new youth mental health facility at Surrey Hospital & Outpatient Centre.

Pro racers will compete for a piece of Canada’s largest SUP prize pool – $10,000.

Last year, more than 200 paddlers took part; a ceremonial paddle was created by Semiahmoo First Nation artist Roxanne Charles to honour it; and more than $128,000 was raised.

The inaugural event also attracted more than 800 spectators, according to organizers.

This year, the 2016 10-km champion, Danny Ching, is returning in an effort to repeat the performance.

The event features “something for paddle boarders of all ages and abilities,” a news release states. In addition to competitive and recreational races, there will be an SUP exhibit, a family activity zone and food trucks.

A relay challenge aims to get four-member corporate teams out on the water. The $1,000 entry fee includes the use of a paddle, a board and a life jacket on race day, if needed.

Funds raised from Champion of the Crescent will benefit the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU) – a 10-bed facility for children and adolescents who need an immediate five- to seven-day hospital stay for urgent mental-health issues.

For more information on Champion of the Crescent, or to register, visit www.championofthecrescent.com

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