On your mark, get set, go: Racers win $5,000 at Paddle at the Porch

Staff Writer
The Destin Log
Racers start of the six mile elite race.

On Aug. 16, 100 paddlers set off in the crystal clear Gulf waters behind The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House for the 3rd Paddle at the Porch sponsored by ML Healthcare.

“It’s so much fun watching this event take a life of its own,” said Shane Moody, president and CEO of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s only three years old and it’s already being talked about having big-time potential.”

Garrett Fletcher of Destin and Mary Hope Miller of Gulf Breeze each won $1,750 for setting the best times in the male and female divisions of the Six Mile 12’6” Elite Race. Second place winners Matt Wise of Miramar Beach and Mary Anne Boyer of Weston, Fla., won $500, and third place winners Joseph Cerdas of Galveston, Texas, and Mini Lagace of Weston, Fla., won $250.

The purse, which totaled $5,000, was possible through sponsor Destin Commons and race partner BOTE.

Racers, ages 8 – 74, represented nine states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. In addition to the Six Mile 12’6” Elite Race, they also competed in additional six mile categories, three mile categories, and a one mile recreational race.

Race partners and sponsors included BOTE and The Back Porch Seafood & Oyster House; title sponsor ML Healthcare; purse sponsor Destin Commons; gold sponsors 99Rock, Brannon & Brannon, The Beachcomber, Buffalo Rock Pepsi, Cox Communications, Inc., Destin Magazine, MC Photo, and ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals; silver sponsors Beach Butler, The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, Coastal Bank and Trust, Coastal Skin Surgery & Dermatology, Gulf Coast Dermatology, Legacy Boating Club, and Pleat, Perry & Ritchie, P.A.; accommodations sponsors Go Southern, Sterling Resorts, and SummerPlace Inn; and bronze sponsors Brookdale Home Health and YOLO Board.

The 4th Annual Paddle at the Porch is set for Aug. 15, 2015. Follow to stay up-to-date on race details and visit for a complete list of 2014 winners.

“We have great partners that make it strong, and without folks like BOTE Boards as our presenting host, it’s not possible,” Moody said. “This event is growing and feels as if it’s about to explode.  It’s on the beach, in the Gulf, on the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Can it get better than that anywhere?  I’m not sure it can.”