Do you remember how I spoke about all of the amazing events we used to have on island when I wrote up The Return of Bar Wars a few months ago? Well, another incredible community event is returning to Cruz Bay this weekend that will be sure to keep you entertained all day long if you are visiting. I highly recommend finding a seat at The Beach Bar or on the beach in front of Rum Hut or High Tide this Sunday to take in the spectacular hilarity, filled with community spirit, that is Chaotic Kayak!
Ok, so here’s what you need to know about the Chaotic Kayak Race:
The first annual Chaotic Kayak race took place in 2011 and has happened every year since, with the exception of the pandemic years (2020-2021)
Each year, the race benefits Team River Runner, an organization founded to provide all veterans and their families an opportunity to find health, healing, community purpose, and new challenges through adventure and adaptive paddle sports!
In the beginnings, the race took place at Oppenheimer Beach. Since the storms of 2017, it has taken place on Cruz Bay Beach.
The race involves teams of three, two paddlers and a rider/super soaker operator 😉 The kayakers race in a short sprint out into the bay, around the Hinckley sailboat, Sail Helios (more super soakers), and back to shore. Anything goes in this enthusiastic event…”Tipping” the competition in your favor has been known to occur.
Oh, speaking of tipping, you can support your favorite teams from home. By throwing money into the tip jar of one of your favorite St. John establishments, you can buy them extra time in the race AND donate to this amazing organization committed to the emotional and physical well-being of our veterans.
If you are on St. John this Sunday, join in the fun on Cruz Bay Beach beginning at 11AM. You can jump into the competition by buying more time for your favorite team on site. Or watch on the Beach Bar web cams and do the same from home!
Take a peek at the list of competitors below and click on your favorite to buy them some time!
Each year, Team River runner sends several veterans and their families to St. John to participate in one of our annual events and gain some relaxation and stress-free family time. Paddle the Park, the Beach to Beach Power Swim and 8 Tuff Miles have all seen these veterans as a part of the stiff competition. But Chaotic Kayak is the reason they are able to be here for these awesome events. And the businesses and individuals that give back to the soldiers and their families while they are here, make each trip to Love City THAT much better.
“We are truly grateful for St. John,” coordinator of Team River Runner St. John and veteran of the Iraqi war, Shelton Gore, told me. “Without Love City putting out the love that they do, we wouldn’t be able to be here!”
Shelton also explained to me how incredibly essential this program is for the veterans who reap its rewards. “Every single day, 22 veterans take their own life,” he told me. This program promotes a sense of community, well being and reconnecting with other vets and with nature. In short, it is healing for the soul. And nearly 100% of the funds raised go directly to bringing more soldiers to St. John each year for these retreats.
Last night, the Windmill Bar hosted the veterans and their families for an evening of music by DJ Adonis, dinner, drinks, Mokojumbies and all-around great times.
On Friday, the Beach Bar staff will donate their tips and 100% of the proceeds from the evening will go direct to Team River Runner. So, if you leave on Saturday or Sunday, you can still head to Beach Bar on Friday night and drink to (and probably with 🙂 ) our veterans! You can also have someone on island grab you a Chaotic Kayak t-shirt from the Beach Bar this weekend. 100% of the proceeds from those sales also go to Team River Runner!
I hope that all of you out there can take a bit of time to support this amazing event and the cause behind it this weekend. And if you are on island this Sunday, do not miss the opportunity to cheer on the vets and St. John competitors in this incredible race!