More Success for Paddle & Party For Pink

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Paddlers take to the water off of Havens Beach during the 2016 Paddle for Pink event on Saturday. Michael Heller photos
Paddlers take to the water off of Havens Beach during the 2016 Paddle for Pink event on Saturday. Michael Heller photos
Paddlers take to the water off of Havens Beach during the 2016 Paddle for Pink event on Saturday. Michael Heller photos

By Gavin Menu

An estimated 200 stand-up paddlers took to the waters off Havens Beach in Sag Harbor on Saturday morning to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), which is said to have been involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

The fifth annual Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink, which included the paddle race at Havens Beach sanctioned by the World Paddle Association and a sunset party on Mecox Bay in Bridgehampton, has raised more funds each year for the BCRF than the previous year, and 2016 was no different. As of Tuesday, the event had raised $1.8 million and counting.

“This is why we’re here. To save lives,” said Larry Baum, speaking beside his wife, Maria, who won her own battle against cancer.

Celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson paddles out.
Celebrity fitness trainer Tracy Anderson paddles out.

On hand Saturday was Laird Hamilton, a former professional surfer and pioneer of stand-up paddleboarding, and his wife, Gabby Reece, a former professional volleyball player. They were not the only impressive athletes on hand, however, as a host of talented paddlers hit the water for the event’s 3-mile and 6-mile races.

Vincent Nieto, a native of Ecuador who lives in East Hampton, was competing for the first time after picking up the sport just last year. He won the 3-mile race with a time of 43:03, followed closely by Chris Dowling (43:34) and Chris Hanson (43:35). Nathan Reese, Sean Attebury, Amy Linnen, Jackson Rung-Wile, Robert Kohr, Conor Hartnett and Ann Welker rounded out the top 10 finishers.

In the 6-mile race it was Billy Swezey who crossed first in 1:14:25, blowing away the competition with second-place finisher Stephanie Shideler crossing nearly six minutes later in 1:20:16 and Val Florio finishing third in 1:27.07.

Complete results are available at racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=17063&RId=37.

Hamilton paddled the course alongside Maria Baum, who broke down in tears prior to the event during a speech thanking Hamilton for all he has meant to this particular event.

“You’re going to get dehydrated before the race starts,” Hamilton chimed in before adding a bit more humor and seriousness to the moment. “The winners are the survivors. If we can cure cancer with this foundation, I would like that. I would like to not come back here next year.”

Gwyneth Paltrow hosted a party, attended by approximately 500 guests, later in the evening in Bridgehampton.

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