They're Off!  Top banner photo by Mike Koughan.

Click photo for an exciting kayak-view video of the 2014 Regatta by Mac Aldrich!

Photos of the 2014 Terra Ceia Poker Regatta

Terra Ceia Island has been inhabited for more than five hundred years. The Terra Ceia Poker Regatta is a way for Floridians to connect with the past by paddling the same hidden mangroves as the ancient Timucans, Spanish Explorers, Cuban fishermen, and the odd Union sailor chasing Confederates. And connect they did; almost 140 of them on a beautiful Saturday May morning.

All photos by Mike Koughan unless marked.

poker The paddlers gathered at Seabreeze Park at 8:00 AM to unload their crafts; everything from kayaks and canoes to paddleboards.

poker Everyone registers with Melissa Neitzke and Julia Applegate, and gets their first poker card, course map, water bottle, and most important of all, the cool Poker Regatta hats to keep the sun off.

poker Paddlers meet for the race instructions.

Bottom left: Captain Bob Zonies gives instructions.

Bottom center: Wren Brady sells cool t-shirts.

Bottom right: Steve and Janet Nesius, family and friends gather before the race.

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The Launch

It took awhile to launch over 100 boats. The kayakers struggled to hold their boats in place in the high winds until the starting horn.

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Launching at Seabreeze Park  Photo by Mike Koughan.
poker The rowers gathered at Seabreeze Park at 8:00 AM to unload their crafts; everything from kayaks and canoes to paddleboards.

poker poker poker
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poker poker poker
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The Course

The exciting course took kayakers along windy Terra Ceia Bay. Then they tucked into unique mangrove tunnels so narrow everyone had to go single file. The tunnels opened up in the calm waters of Miguel Bay; through another mangroe tunnel to a secret sand beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and the Skyway Bridge until finally winding its way back to SeaBreeze Park.

they're off
A committee boat with 24 decks of poker cards awaits throngs of paddlers to pass by for their cards.  
All photos, this section, by Mark Rolewski.

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poker Here a Rescue Boat helps paddlers right their canoe after a capsize.

More photos by Mark Rolewski below.

Awards and Picnic

After the two+ hour struggle, the boaters came back to Seabreeze Park for a much needed picnic of cheeseburgers, hotdogs, and delectible homemade side dishes donated by our generous members. Afterwards paddlers took out their cards to scheme the best hand.

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First Place paddle award.  Photos by Mike Koughan.
poker The winners! Bill and Laura Krul.

poker While the paddlers were paddling, Terra Ceia volunteers cooked the great food everyone enjoyed.

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 Web design and editing by George Waller.