Team YOLO wins 2009 Florida State Paddleboard Championships

April 27, 2009

Local South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Director, Gary Wise defended his 2008 champion title status in the 18 foot + unlimited division
Local South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Director, Gary Wise defended his 2008 champion title status in the 18 foot + unlimited division

Locals Gary Wise and Sean Hughes take first place in divisions

YOLO Board announces that the members of Team YOLO Men, Gary Wise and Sean Hughes, won first place in two separate divisions of the 2009 Florida State Paddleboard Championship race event on Saturday, April 11th at Shepard Park in Cocoa Beach, FL. Wise serves as the South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Director and Hughes is the South Walton Deputy Fire Chief. Both men compete locally as Team YOLO, and are the defending champions of the 2008 YOLO Board Stand-Up Paddle Series.

“We are so proud of Gary and Sean,” said Tom Losee, co-founder of YOLO Board LLC. “They are both accomplished watermen and we are honored to have them representing Team YOLO. With all the intense training they put in year round they are definitely deserving of these wins.”

The Florida State Paddleboard Championship took place on the open ocean at Shepard Park and included 11 divisions of the paddleboard races and four divisions of the ‘King of the Beach’ race which is a paddle, swim and run event. Wise defended his 2008 champion title status in the 18 foot + unlimited division with a time of 1 hour and 27 minutes, beating the second place winner by an astounding 9 minutes. Competing against professional lifeguards from the entire state of Florida, first time competitor Hughes won the 12 foot and under division with a time 1 hour 41 minutes.

South Walton Fire District Deputy Chief Sean Hughes won the 12 foot and under division with a time 1 hour 41 minutes.
South Walton Fire District Deputy Chief Sean Hughes won the 12 foot and under division with a time 1 hour 41 minutes.

Wise has a busy season of racing ahead of him starting with defending his title in the May 10th Coast 12-mile Paddleboard Championship around Key West. Next are three new races: the May 23rd 1st Annual Daytona Beach Paddleboard Classic, the July 17th East Coast Paddleboard Championships in Ponce Inlet, FL, and the October 3rd Battle of the Paddle Doheny State in Dana Point, CA. He will follow up these races with the defense of two back to back titles (2007 and 2008) in the October 17th East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame Museum 22-mile Waterman Challenge in Cocoa Beach, FL.

The 2009 YOLO Board Stand-Up Paddle Series kicks off on Thursday, April 30th at Oyster Lake in Santa Rosa Beach.