Mayday! Midday! Miramar!
That’s right. You’re not crazy. The ravens squawked that at midday on May Day at Miramar Beach the Reef Madness Kayak Race will take place. At high noon an explosion will signal a passel of kayak racers to burst through five-foot surf and head north to Pillar Point, home of the infamous Mavericks surf wave. After clearing Mavericks by hook or by nook, the racers will surf land at Ross’ Cove, turn around and head back to Miramar. The winner will be the first boat to crash back on Miramar Beach and be dragged across the line in the sand.
To learn the scintillating history of these races and heed some survival suggestions, read the “Race of the Sea Gypsies” story in CONFESSIONS OF A WAVE WARRIOR. But all you got to know to race on May Day are these five things:
- You are completely on your own and responsible for yourself.
- You better be good in surf and rocks—and wear a helmet, wetsuit and PFD.
- It will likely be cold, foggy, and windy, with 50F water and treacherous reefs. Expect the worst.
- Paddle a boat that you don’t care about, as it might get busted.
- There are no prizes, just self-satisfaction and the esteem of your peers.
There are no sponsors, no organizers, no deep pockets, no nothin’—just friends out paddlin’ about in small boats. In fact, I don’t know for sure if this is happening on May Day, cuz I just got wind of it myself. What I heard is that you show up at One Mirada Road before 1100 if you intend to race, and you can paddle anything—a kayak, canoe, row boat, surf ski, baidarka, even a paddle board or SUP. Even a dragon boat, if you can get it through the surf. During the race, you must obey the law of the sea and help another boater in distress. Oh yeah, joyful spectators are welcome, as they will be needed to haul boats down the ramp to the beach. And, here’s the good part—the race is free!
There will be big time festivities after the race. Anyone who doesn’t want to be sold should dress up as a pirate, sea gypsy, Viking, or other sea creature. Bring good food and grog to share—or else. Be in the mood to dance up a storm as the renowned South City Blues Band will shake things up. The race may be free; but be sure to generously reward the band. Maybe I’ll see you there. Arrrrrr.