While most folks are gearing up for school, surfers and triathletes in the Charleston area are gearing up for their respective biggest local contests of the year this weekend.
Surfers will be competing in the South Carolina Governor's Cup of Surfing, the 26th annual state championship for the Southern South Carolina District of the Eastern Surfing Association, this weekend at the Washout on Folly Beach.
Triathletes will be bringing their best game to the championship race, the fifth of five this spring and summer, of the 24th annual Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series starting at 7:15 a.m. Sunday at James Island County Park.
End of an era
For a quarter century, the Sprint Triathlon Series has been the cornerstone of the triathlon community, providing locals with an opportunity to try triathlon in a non-threatening atmosphere.
The sprint series, which features a 600-yard swim, a 12-mile bike and 5K run, has not only helped launch a dozens locals into professional ranks, elite level triathlons and Ironman competitions, but has been an opportunity for people to heal from broken relationships, extreme injuries and cancer.
But Sunday's event will be the last for Paul and Kathleen King. Paul created the event and has filled the role of event director for various multi-sport events over the years, including the early days of the Kiawah Island Triathlon. Kathleen and their children, Amelia and Skylar, toiled alongside Paul in what is an often exhausting and thankless job.
But the children are grown and have flown the coop; Amelia is in South Korea and Skylar has been living in Spain.
And the Kings have been working with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission for the past few years to ease out of the responsibilities of putting on this event.
"We at CCPRC are honored to be chosen by Paul and Kathleen as the adoptive parents of the CSTS," says commission executive director Tom O'Rourke, noting that the idea for the tri originated with a post-bike ride conversation between the Kings and then-James Island County Park Manager Jay Dykstra in 1990.
"In Charleston there truly are only a few signature sporting events in this community. CSTS is arguably right there with the best of the best."
The commission is showing its gratitude to the King family by throwing a post-race party featuring live music by the Dunder Chiefs, along with a breakfast buffet from Black Bean Company, a champagne toast and special guest speakers.
Surfing's big weekend
While local surfers feast on a steady diet of contests throughout the warm weather months, no weekend in the Charleston area is bigger than this one.
Governor's Cup may or may not have waves, but this is the weekend all converge on the Washout to see who is best. Last year's champs, Kyle Busey and Veronica Bolus Bailey, will be back to try to defend their titles and collect on the $600 purse.
According to contest co-director Nancy Hussey, the event already is filled with 250 surfers and a waiting list, but those who waited too long may get lucky and find an open slot.
Hussey is hoping that the remnants of Hurricane Bertha, expected to be well up and out into the Atlantic by this weekend, will provide better-than-usual waves.
While the event is overflowing with participants, Hussey encourages people to come and watch, but also urges that people find alternatives to driving, such as riding bikes, due to limited parking at the Washout.
Surfing starts around 8 a.m. and wraps up around 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Mt. P. Junior Regatta
The water theme of the weekend continues with the Mount Pleasant Junior Regatta, to be held Saturday at the Hobcaw Yacht Club.
The 10th annual Mount Pleasant Junior Regatta, set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, is open to beginning sailors up to the most experienced.
One of the goals of the regatta is to encourage participation from youth who have little racing experience but possess basic boat-handling skills.
Boat classes will be optimist (green, white, blue and red), sunfish, 420 and laser.
A limited number of optimists and 420 boats will be available for use on a first-come, first-served basis and must be reserved in advance by calling Tina Carter at 849-2061.
The Mount Pleasant Recreation Department is coordinating the regatta.
Pre-registration ended Thursday
On-site registration is $25 and will be 9-11 a.m. Saturday. Racing starts at 12:30 p.m.
Special swim night
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission will offer a Special Needs Swim Night starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark at Wannamaker County Park in North Charleston.
The event will take place after the waterpark is closed to the general public.
Whirlin' Waters is the largest waterpark in the Charleston area and offers attractions for all ages, including the Otter Bay kiddie pool area, the Big Splash Tree House, Lily Pad Lagoon toddler play area, Rollin' River lazy river, the large Big Kahuna pool, Tubular Twister slide complex and the 347-foot-tall Riptide Run racer slide.
Lifeguards will be on duty throughout the evening.
Admission to Special Needs Swim Night is $9 per person.
In case of rain, the Special Needs Swim Night will be rescheduled for Aug. 16.
To purchase advance tickets for Special Needs Swim Night, call 795-4386 or go to www.ccprc.com/index.aspx?NID=1788.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516 or firstname.lastname@example.org