All ages and skill levels are invited to take it to the river on Saturday, when Paddle the Navesink Day returns to the Red Bank waterfront, above, while Skimbash brings top Skim USA Pro/Am Tour action to Sea Bright. (Photo above by John T. Ward; below by Peter Lindner)
The beach-badge booths are boarded up; the “Bennys Go Home” banners lovingly folded with the care befitting a precious family heirloom. But on the ocean beaches and waterways of the Greater Red Bank Green, it’s still very much Local Summer; a busy interlude of family-friendly festivals, recreational opportunities and other welcome rituals.
The weekend ahead sees the reappearance of three such signifiers of Local Summer living — including the September edition of SkimBash in Sea Bright, and the annual Iron Girl Women’s Triathlon on Sandy Hook.
In Red Bank, the post-Labor Day window offers a unique perspective on our community’s most picturesque resource, courtesy of the yearly happening known as Paddle the Navesink Day. Returning on Saturday for a sixth installment since its 2010 inception (not counting a one-year hiatus in 2013), the free rain-or-shine event is an interactive celebration that’s hands-on, oars-in, and all about the history, culture, and ecology of the river from which a thriving community took shape.
Going on between the hours of 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the event invites community members of all ages and skill levels to demo a kayak, paddleboard or rowing shell; try a class in paddleboard yoga — and just generally look at the Red Bank riverfront with new eyes. As in previous years, the action is centered around Maple Cove, at the north end of Maple Avenue, the borough’s only public access site in which small non-motorized watercraft can be launched in the Navesink River. It’s there that paddlers can enjoy “mini guided demo tours” of the river, with Navesink River Rowing hosting learn-to-row sessions and previewing its programs for ages 14 and up.
A variety of kayaks — for one or two rowers; on sit-in or sit-on-top models — will be made available courtesy of Red Bank Marina‘s Steve Remaley. The marina owner plans on-water safety support for kayak users from his pontoon boat, along with additional safety support services from members of Exit 109 Yakers Group. Those who wish to try paddleboarding can select from boards (including inflatables) for all skill levels, furnished by Brave New World of Little Silver. A certified instructor will be on hand to supervise paddle board activities, and certified yoga and flexibility instructor Sally Bruno will be on premises to conduct an introduction to Flow Paddle Yoga.
There’s more at the Cove, courtesy of environmental and historical groups like Navesink Maritime Heritage Association, who will be hosting informative presentations and hands-on activities for kids. Representatives from Sandy Hook-based Clean Ocean Action will be on hand, as will rangers from the Monmouth County Park System‘s Bayshore Waterfront Park. No registration is required for this free event, and additional info can be obtained by contacting Red Bank Council President Cindy Burnham at (732) 241-9532, or Linda Ensor at (732) 693-3067.
The latest in a long-running series of competitions on the Skim USA Pro/Am circuit, the nationally sanctioned Skimbash tournament draws top skimboarders from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts to the Sea Bright Municipal Beach, in an event that was founded in 2003 by Jersey Shore Skim Camp and its owner Felecia Stratton. Beginning with sign-up at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the stretch of sand and surf out back of Borough Hall will host an all-star assembly of competitive pros, in addition to the talented sharks, shredders, newbies and groms anxious to show off their skills. Spectators (who, unlike those who attend the June edition of the event, can now step onto the sands free of charge) can cheer on a display of aquatic acrobatics that include spectacular leaps and spins, with the occasional slapstick finishes that have the spills running neck-and-neck with the thrills. There’s serious purse at stake for the pros too, with the first of the competitive heats scheduled for 9 a.m. There’s still time to enter as a pro ($100 fee), semi-pro ($50) or amateur ($30) in advance of tomorrow’s midnight deadline, with online registration right here and a rain date of Sunday, September 11.
This Sunday also marks the rain-or-shine recurrence of the Iron Girl Triathlon, with an invitation to “Iron Girls” across the region to take part in the annual late-summer competition that began more than 25 years ago as the Danskin Triathlon (and was branded through last year as the Athleta Triathlon).
Scheduled from 7 to 11 a.m., and commencing from the Fort Hancock area at the north end of Sandy Hook, the Triathlon features a one-third-mile ocean swim (shortened from the previous half-mile), a 15-mile bike (increased from 10 miles) and a 3-mile run, all centered on and around the Hook. It’s a season-capping event designed to offer “a supportive, energetic and empowering environment for females pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle” — and there’s still time to register here as an individual or relay team entrant for the 7 a.m. Triathlon, with options to participate in the Bike and Run only (7:30 a.m. start time), or a 5k Run/Walk that commences at 7:15. All finishers receive a medal on race day, and all participants get access to a post-race café, plus personalized race bibs, just-for-women performance shirts, and other giveaways. Take it here for details.