Some of Florida’s fastest paddleboarders were among the 82 racers (and one dog) from across the state and beyond who descended on PADDLE! the Florida Keys and Tavernier Creek for the Midwinters in Paradise on February 13. Midwinters was the second competition of eight races in the new Fastest in Florida Points Series.

The course went into Tavernier Creek and then back out to the Atlantic Ocean. Elite racers completed a 10k course that included Kalteaux Key and Tavernier Key roundings, while the open class did a 5k race which only rounded Kalteaux Key.

Local racer Seychelle Hattingh won the womens elite 12’6″ division. Garrett Fletcher placed first overall and in the 14′ mens elite division, while Mark Athanacio took first for mens 12’6″. Amy Carden won the 14′ womens elite, Bill Whiddon the prone paddle, and Emily Davis the short course. Download the full results.

Kids races followed the adults, with a down the canal and back sprint that came down to a very close finish. Roma placed first in the race board class, and Sophia won the stock SUP class.

Afterward, the racers hung out on the back porch of Casa Mar Village, where they enjoyed crepes made on site and beverages at the Casa Mar Bar.

The Midwinters are an annual event hosted by PADDLE! the Florida Keys. This year the event was sponsored by Smith Optics, Sun Bum, and Geckobrands.

Check out the store’s other upcoming events on Facebook.