Paddle The May Race
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
June 17, 2023
Paddle The May 2023
Bluffton's Premier Paddle Race
Paddle the May, Stand and Paddle's first paddle event, will bring fun and racing right to the Lowcountry!
Races will feature an approximately 3.5-mile short course and 8-mile long course, plus, a 1-mile fun paddle on the May River waterways in Bluffton, South Carolina on June 17, 2023. We are part of the SEPSeries.
Questions contact Rachel (please excuse any confusion, this is our first race!).
Prizes for each class with minimum of 5 participants including cash prizes TBD based on participants. Registrants will receive race jersey, food and beverage.
Awards/Prizes: Cash prizes based on participants numbers
Race proceeds will go toward the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton/the Lowcountry and the Bluffton Youth Theater. Sponsors, Proceeds, Benefits: TBA; interest? view sponsor info here or email email@example.com.
A portion of proceeds may go toward the development of the Youth and Teen SUP Program at Stand and Paddle by Fusion Fit. This program was launched by Rachel Cantore in 2022 with a mission to get kids and teens active and outdoors, educate them about our waterways and water safety, and expose, empower, and involve them in stand up paddle boarding.
Hotel discounts to participants: please scroll down
Board rental options: available on registration page
Stay tuned for further info and updates on sponsors, proceeds/benefits, awards/prizes, accommodations, and more. Information will be provided on this page and on our social media page @stand_and_paddle
Race Location: The May River and Bluffton Oyster Factory Park
Paddle the May will take place in the Lowcountry's beautiful town of Bluffton, South Carolina. The race itself will be on the May River and start at the Bluffton Oyster Factory Park a historic landmark. There is a public dock next to the Bluffton Oyster Company which sits on over 100 years of discarded oyster shells that have been recycled from previous oyster shucking operations. (learn more about Bluffton and it's history below)
“Why is the May River a 'River'?”
If we want to be technical (and hear me when I say that NO ONE wants to be technical about this), the May is an inlet, a small arm of a larger body of water. read the full history here...
Winding through Bluffton’s Old Town area, the May River is home to a variety of outdoor adventures on the water. Take an eco-tour or fishing charter down the May River, and you’re bound to see Lowcountry marshes, bottlenose dolphins, an array of sea birds, other marine and wildlife, as well as spectacular views. You can even enjoy a meal of freshly caught fish, oysters, or shrimp at one of the many restaurants beautifully situated along the May River.
The May River is a State designed outstanding resource water that is significant to our community today for a number of reasons:
Its historic and cultural uses
Its aesthetics and views which add to the quality of life for its citizens
Its numerous natural resource populations that are directly harvested and utilized by local and regional residents
Its economic impacts, both direct and indirect, to the community
Hotel and Accomodations
We have been able to work with three local hotels to provide accommodations for racers traveling into town for the race. The following are links and information for each:
Hilton Garden Inn (click to be directed to options)
1575 Fording Island Road, Hilton Head Island
Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton (click to be directed to options)
29 William Pope Drive, Bluffton
Old Town Bluffton Inn (click to view hotel site)
1321 May River Road, Bluffton
Receive 10% off Hotel Bookings. **To receive discount, call the front desk and mention Paddle the May, Stand and Paddle and Rachel Cantore.
Boat and Board Classes
Paddle the May is a part of the SEP Series. Board classes are as follows:
Ages: Junior (under 18), Open, Masters (50+).
Age class is determined by age on race day....except that adult racers can race in younger adult classes, if they want to. For example, a 50 year old can race in the Open Class.
Gender: Male, Female, Mixed
SUP 12.6 and under/surf
Surf ski/Fast kayak (HPK, FSK)
Kayak – boat paddled with a double blade paddle.
Canoe – boat paddled with a single blade paddle.
Thank You to Our Sponsors and Donations
We appreciate your support!
Race proceeds will go toward the Boys and Girls Club of Bluffton/the Lowcountry and the Bluffton Youth Theater. Additionally, a portion of proceeds may go toward the Youth and Teen SUP Program, Stand and Paddle's program launched by Rachel Cantore in 2022 with a mission to get kids and teens active and outdoors, educate them about our waterways and water safety, and expose, empower, and involve them in stand up paddle boarding. A portion of all donations will be tax deductible.
To become a sponsor or make a donation, please download our sponsor letter here.
Our FIRST Sponsor! - The Boutique Bluffton
We will continue to update this list as our sponsor list grows...
Thank you to our Sponsors including:
The Boutique Bluffton
Local Dining and Entertainment
Bluffton is the home to various local southern, and Lowcountry style food and dishes, from seafood to BBQ to something in between.
An abundance of local oysters, shrimp, crab, and other local seafood may be purchased at the Bluffton Oyster Company where watermen go out on the water daily to pick freshest options.
For the best local seafood, try one of these:
Toomer's Family Seafood
For good BBQ or southern fare try:
Local coffee, breakfast and brunch spots:
Squat and Gobble
The Juice Hive
For lunch or dinner:
Local Markets, Delis, Grocers:
About Bluffton and the Lowcountry
In order to get to Hilton Head Island, once must drive through Bluffton whether that's via 278 or 46/May River Road and Bluffton Parkway. In less than 10 years, the town has exploded and attract vacationers and new residents.
Bluffton is the fastest growing municipality in South Carolina and one of the fastest growing towns in the entire region. Lnown as the "Heart of the Lowcountry"Bluffton offers a strategic location for residents, businesses and guests. It is central to other Lowcountry towns and attractions including Hilton Head (12 minutes), Savannah, Georgia (30 min), Beaufort 'city' (40 min), Charleston (2 hours), and Jacksonville, Florida (2.5 hours).
The May River has always been the town's centerpiece, and what is considered Bluffton's "heart". When Bluffton was first incorporated in 1852 it spanned just one-square mile right next to the May River. Bluffton got its name because this originating mile resided on a bluff just above the May River. The May River also provides easy-access to other waterways.
There is plenty of history amongst Bluffton. Just a 1/4 mile east of the Bluffton Oyster Factory Dock is the well known Calhoun Street Dock which was once a rest stop for boat travelers. During the Civil War 2/3 of the town was destroyed, but the Church of the Cross that sits next to the Calhoun Street Dock remained spared.
In just the last 10 years, Bluffton has exploded in both residential living and commercial and local small business growth. The Town continues to preserve historical buildings, homes, and landmarks, amongst new development.
Learn more about Bluffton here.