While surfing has been a Folly Beach tradition for nearly half a century, one of the most anticipated local surfing contests marks its 14th year this weekend.
The all-female Folly Beach Wahine Classic, to be held Saturday and Sunday at The Washout, has more than 100 registrants from ages 4 to 65. More than one-third are coming from out of town.
"As our 14th event approaches, we're grateful for the reputation we've gained up and down the East Coast as one of the most fun wahine contests to participate in," says event director Patti Noe.
"Girls loves competing in our contest because the energy is different from a co-ed surf contest. Women just have a different energy in general, but while they all want to compete and possibly win, I think they also come out to enjoy the wahine sisterhood on the sand and 'free surfing' out of the contest zone."
The event was started in 2000 (no event was held in 2007) when two young female surfers, Kelly Kane and Katie Coryell, decided an all-female contest was needed to foster both participation and friendship among "wahines," a Polynesian word for "woman" that has become a term for female surfers.
Noe says the contest helps push wahines to new levels of surfing.
"All levels are represented at Wahine, from novice to very experienced. We've got newbies who have never competed and women who have been surfing 20-plus years. The beginners gain a lot from watching the more experienced surfers," she says.
Registration closed last weekend, but spectators can catch the action starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The competition is expected to wrap up around 2 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds from the event benefit Surfer's Healing, a foundation for autism.
Sand sculpture contest
Folly Beach isn't the only local beach hosting a spectator-friendly event on Saturday.
Now in its 26th year, the Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Competition always draws some competitive artists, both professional and amateur, to the beach adjacent to the Ocean Boulevard business district, known as Front Beach, on the Isle of Palms.
"We are planning another huge event," longtime director Chris Tindal says in an email blast sent out to fans of the event a few weeks ago. "We want all of you to come out and have a good time. Whether you are a competitor, or just enjoy watching the talented artists turn raw sand and water into beautiful forms of temporary art, please plan on being there."
The event is free. The sculpting starts at 9 a.m. Competitions end at 10:30 a.m. for children, 11:30 a.m. for youth and family teams, and noon for adult teams.
Floppin' Flounder 5K
Almost as enduring as the sand sculpture contest on the Isle of Palms is the Floppin' Flounder 5K on Sullivan's Island. Originally founded by the Sullivan's Island Fire and Rescue Department, the Charleston Running Club took over the race in 2011.
The 23rd annual event will start at 8 a.m. Saturday on Middle Street near the department's Fish Fry Shack.
"One of the last events in the local spring racing scene, the Floppin' Flounder is always a good time, and this year promises to deliver even more," says Danielle Girard, the club's vice president of races. "We have a great new T-shirt design, fun overall and age group awards, and a not-to-be-missed post-race breakfast buffet provided by Triangle Char & Bar."
Race fees Thursday and Friday are $25 for club members, $30 for nonmembers; fees on Saturday are $35. More than half of the proceeds go to the fire department. Late registration and early packet pick-up will be 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant. On race day, it will be 6:30-7:30 a.m. Saturday at the Fish Fry Shack.
Race the Landing III
The Race the Landing 5K series returns to the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site Thursday, with kids races starting at 6:15 p.m. and the adult 5K at 7 p.m.
Other dates for the Thursday evening series are June 12 and July 10. The fee for the adult 5K is $30-$35. For kids, it's $10-$12 per race. The fees include food, beverages, awards for 5 year age groups and 5 deep, live music, commemorative gifts and door prizes.
The event raises money for The Friends of Charles Town Landing, a nonprofit whose mission is to support the programming of the site.
Be Fit, Charleston!
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission is trying to get families throughout the Lowcountry to be fit inside and out by coming to a new festival, Be Fit, Charleston! The action is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the 67-acre Old Towne Creek County Park in West Ashley.
All ages are invited to participate in a variety of active programming, as well as passive recreational activities, in the effort to encourage healthy living for families. Children will enjoy recycle relays and interpretive nature walks just for them, while adults can take part in boot camp and yoga classes.
Also on site will be a festival farmer's market and the opportunity to join Be Fit, Charleston! CSA (community supported agriculture) with Ambrose Family Farm. Starting this fall, the CSA will offer pick-up locations at three county parks - James Island, Palmetto Islands in Mount Pleasant and Wannamaker in North Charleston - in an effort to make it easy for families to be healthy and eat locally grown produce.
"We are passionately committed to whole health whether we are talking about supporting the wellness of families, our partners, or our local economies," says Allison Foster, the commission's fitness and wellness program manager.
Admission to the festival is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 3-12. Children 3 and under get in free. Admission includes lunch from Black Bean Co., beer from Palmetto Brewery (for ages 21 and up with a valid ID) and all activities.
In case of rain, Be Fit, Charleston! will be rescheduled for June 21.
Hell Hole Hundred
The Charleston area will host its first-ever 100-mile race, the Hell Hole Hundred, this weekend on the 19-mile Jericho Horse Trail in the Francis Marion National Forest. The event also includes a 100K run and relays.
The cost for solo runners is $200 for the 100-mile run and $125 for the 100K.
As you probably will hear or read, Friday marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of beach, heavily fortified by Nazi Germany, along the Normandy coast in France.
To commemorate that monumental, brave and bloody event, Pegasus Steel and CrossFit Discovery are holding an obstacle event, Operation Overlord (the code name for The Invasion of Normandy), for nearly 18 trained athletes, including two from South Africa.
The event, modeled after what the soldiers had to endure that day, will start at 8 p.m. Friday in the waters of the Sullivan's Island beach at Station 18. It will last about 12-14 hours and go to different locations.
The event is modeled after military events that soldiers did that day: carrying a pack, water/ammo resupply, buddy carry, etc.
Funds raised will go to Honor Flights, a charity that sends World War II vets to Washington to visit the National World War II Memorial.
Run the Runway
While the sixth annual Run the Runway 5K isn't until June 14, registration for the event, held on the Joint Base Charleston's 437th Airlift Wing's runway, is Wednesday.
The run is open to all mili-tary, Department of Defense civilians and the local community.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.
Rachel Mahaffey (right) and her niece, Jabrae Lanning, meticulously carve and gently blow away sand as they work on a castle sitting on a base carved with a 25 and titled “25 Years of Magic” that won the Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpting Contest Best in Show Overall in 2013.×
Some of the people training for Operation Overlord, an event to commemorate D-Day, have been spotted hauling around some unusual equipment lately.×