It’s that perfect kind of spring Florida day, 80 degrees, a slight breeze and the sun is shining brightly. The cinnamon hue dusted sands of Flagler Beach display the footprints of visitors eager to kiss winter goodbye once and for all and welcome spring with open arms. A quick glance at the cars parked along the coastline provides easy clues to everyone’s intentions for the day. Most decked out with racks to transport everything from kayaks to surfboards, and boasting stickers of sports enjoyed and distances conquered.
Matt Dunn can’t help but smile from the boardwalk just south of the pier, as he takes in the scene around him. “I have had the idea for this event since the day I set foot on this beach. This place is so unique. It’s one of those last few quirky Florida beach towns that remind us all what coastal living is all about” Dunn states, turning to point east to the Atlantic’s aqua blue waters “getting to play out there.”
The Inaugural Coquina Cup rolls into Flagler Beach FL, May 17-19, 2018, a once sleepy fishing town that is popping to life and quickly becoming known for its abundant opportunities for coastal sports. The brainchild of tourism executive director Matthew Dunn, this multi-day, multi-sport festival will feature lifeguard skills competitions, open water swimming events of various distances and multiple paddleboard race distances.
“This event is designed to be a true celebration of the ocean athlete community. Practice is great, but you only get better at competing by competing. And though all of these sports are growing, finding places to race is still a challenge. We want to offer some great competition for those ready to grow in that area, in addition to offering opportunities for those new to the sport, or more relaxed in their competition style” Dunn explains. “We have some amazing partnerships in open water swimming including United States Masters Swimming and Open Water Planet. We want athletes to come ready to swim hard, and then have a whole lot of fun enjoying everything this area has to offer and the awesome comradery that comes with being surrounded by fellow athletes.”
Swimming distances for the event include a USMS and USAS sanctioned 5K and 1 mile, in addition to an Open 1 mile. This provides a rare opportunity for swimmers to compete in multiple open water events in one day. There are also options if athletes want to challenge themselves to some or all of the disciplines across the event weekend, collecting points along the way to vie for the Coquina Cup Championship. The website features a wealth of knowledge for other activities available from dining to mountain bike trails to swimming with dolphins, further reiterating the event’s “live like a local” tone. Other partnerships announced have included brands like Jolyn and Saltwater Hippie, further adding to the idea that this is more than just a “swim”.
The Coquina Cup seems a welcomed addition to the Florida open water scene, packing an event development team that’s committed to working hard for their swimmers and creating something truly special. Though an inaugural event, this team seems devoted to do their part and help lead the charge in the latest FL trend to get open water swimming back to the beach.
For more information on this event, visit www.coquinacup.com
About Open Water Planet
Open Water Planet (OWP) was created to provide the open water sports community a place to call their own. We are spread all over the world but we are alike in so many ways. We work hard, we play hard. There is always an excuse to travel and the thrills are all the reward we need. Our pools have no walls and the lanes are ever-changing. OWP spreads it’s core message of never fearing the unknown through the company’s series of open water events, clinics, swim travel, training programs and custom gear. All specifically aimed at helping those passionate about the water to get where they want to go.
Swimming news release is courtesy of Open Water Planet, a SwimSwam partner.