NEW YORK, NY – After a grueling 28-mile race with unfavorable winds and tides, Thomas Maximus Shahinian won SEA Paddle NYC’s inaugural Elite Race on Friday, August 13. Fifteen-year-old Slater Trout took second place and stand-up paddler Will Reichenstein finished third.
Shahinian circumvented the island of Manhattan in less than four hours, taking top honors and prize money sponsored by TKS Miami and Sundance Vacations. A member of Team Ohana, Shahinian resides in San Clemente, Calif. In addition to the August-13 Elite Race, he has competed and won numerous SUP, Dragon Boat and Outrigger Canoe races.
At 15 years old, Slater Trout, was SEA’s youngest Elite Race competitor. Similarly, Trout was the youngest competitor invited to the 2009 Quicksilver Ku Ikaika Challenge and the only racer under the age of 18 invited to the Rainbow Sandal Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle, Elite Division. His Surftech team riders Candice Appleby and Jamie Mitchell also competed in SEA’s Elite Race. Third-place winner Will Reichenstein was also at The Battle of the Paddle and recently took first place in the Elite Race at the Newport Hovie SUP Festival.
SEA’s Elite Race began at 10:00 a.m. at Manhattan’s Pier 40. Racing north up the Hudson River, paddlers made their way past notable New York City landmarks including the Intrepid Aircraft and the George Washington Bridge. They then entered the Hudson River, paddling past the new Yankee Stadium before making their way to the East River via the legendary Hells Gate. After passing Roosevelt Island, paddlers raced by the United Nations while avoiding sea planes landing on the water every few minutes. Nearing the end of their journey, Elite Racers made their way under the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, and finished at the north side of the South Street Seaport.
The 2010 Paddle and Elite Race were fundraisers for eight autism beneficiaries and Surfers’ Environmental Alliance. Funds raised currently exceed $260,000. To learn more about the Elite Race or SEA Paddle NYC, please visit www.seapaddlenyc.org.
About Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA)
Surfers’ Environmental Alliance is committed to the preservation and protection of the environmental and cultural elements that are inherent to the sport of surfing. SEA’s goals are achieved through grassroots activism, community involvement, education and humanitarian efforts. The non-profit organization successfully engages in projects that strive to conserve the quality of marine environments; preserve or enhance surf breaks; protect beach-access rights; and safeguard the coastal surf zone from unnecessary development. To learn more, please visit www.seapaddlenyc.org.