The third annual Shem Creek SUP Shootout isn't expected to draw more than 100 paddleboarders this weekend, but the ripple effects of the event are far greater than that number indicates.
The Shootout, created by Dave Clifford at Charleston Watersport Outfitters, was the first race for stand-up paddleboarders in the state and remains the only one that offers points for ranking in the World Stand-Up Paddleboard Association.
And while the event primarily attracts serious paddleboarders, Clifford said it exposes exponentially more people to the activity throughout the weekend.
"Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who are unfamiliar with paddleboarding," he said. "This event exposes people vacationing here from places like Indiana and Ohio on what is arguably the best venue for paddleboarding in Charleston, Shem Creek."
And Clifford doesn't really aspire to make the Shootout a paddleboard version of the Cooper River Bridge Run.
"I never envisioned it being the biggest race, but I do want it to be the most fun race, and to have it appeal to families," he said.
The event kicks off with a registration party 6-9 p.m. Friday. Racers gather at 9 a.m. Saturday for a pre-race meeting, with the elite division starting at 10 a.m. and all other classes starting at 10 minute intervals after that.
Adding to the SUP mix on Saturday will be divisions for outrigger canoes, surf ski and prone paddleboards. But there's no doubt about it, paddleboards are the star of the show, and it doesn't take many to create the effect that a paddleboard invasion is taking place on the creek.
For more, go to Charleston Watersport Outfitters' page on Facebook.
Another pioneering event, the Daniel Island Twilight Fun Run 5K Series, kicks off its 11th year this evening.
The event, a casual Thursday evening 5K series, has been emulated by organizers of the Bulldog Breakaway and the Race the Landing series.
The Daniel Island series race starts at 6:30 p.m. today near Bishop England High School sports fields. Other races in the series will be July 19, Aug. 2 and Aug. 16.
Cost for the entire series is $40-$50, or $20 for an individual race.
Check out www.theextra mileinc.com for more info.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.