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The Mongoose Cup returns this weekend at the Dana Point Festival of Whales

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) comes home to one of the sport’s iconic locations this Saturday at the Fifth Annual Mickey Munoz Mongoose Cup at Dana Cove Park, Dana Point Harbor. Part of the internationally renowned Dana Point Festival of Whales, the Mongoose Cup is a daylong event designed to introduce participants to the sport of SUP. The event will include a Wounded Warrior Project Paddle, Waterman Expo and Skills Clinics, Sport of Kings Races and a “Luck of the Draw” Relay.

Mickey Munoz, born in New York City in 1937, is an early pioneer of surfing and well-known surfboard shaper.  Mickey currently lives in Capistrano Beach, CA with his wife Peggy and is an avid stand-up paddler (SUP).
Mickey Munoz, born in New York City in 1937, is an early pioneer of surfing and well-known surfboard shaper. Mickey currently lives in Capistrano Beach, CA with his wife Peggy and is an avid stand-up paddler (SUP).
Mickey Munoz Mongoose Cup

The Mongoose Cup is a family friendly paddling event open to everyone, regardless of experience. The event will be of particular value for newcomers to the sport of SUP where they will have the opportunity to learn paddling skills and demo a range of paddling products from some of the top names in the industry. Jim Terrell, four time Olympian and founder of Quickblade Paddles, will be offering his highly sought after paddling stroke clinic alongside professional SUP athletes Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela, the hosts of Performance Paddling. Additional clinics will include Indo Board SUP Yoga, XSUP and an Adaptive Paddle Clinic for disabled athletes.

The Adaptive Paddle Clinic is a notable addition to the Mongoose Cup’s offerings. Indicative of SUP’s growing popularity, disabled athletes are increasingly draw to the sport and equipment manufacturers are responding in kind. I had the opportunity to speak with Pam Patterson, a Southern California-based adaptive community instructor, who said disabled participants will have the unique opportunity to test adaptive equipment made specifically for the paddling community at the Mongoose Cup on Saturday. “There is widespread support throughout the adaptive equipment industry,” said Patterson. Characterizing herself as “the Tool Time girl of outdoor recreation”, Patterson is passionate about working with manufactures to adapt equipment for the disabled community. “The inflatable SUPs in particular have opened up paddling to so many different types of people,” she said. “They are easy to use and transport, while greatly reducing the risk of injury from a large [traditionally manufactured] board.”

This year, the Mongoose Cup will begin with a memorial paddle out in memory of Bob Risner, one of the great ambassadors of SUP. Bob passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 24 and his loss has been felt throughout the close knit stand up paddling community. Following the paddle out, the Wounded Warrior Project Paddle around Dana Point’s Harbor Island will commence. “We really want to help out the Wounded Warrior Project this year,” said surfing legend Mickey Munoz. “It is a vital organization for our nation’s wounded warriors and we want to be able to help inured service members in the best way we can.” Founded in 2003, the Wounded Warrior Project was created “To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.” The highly successful veteran’s support organization works through a variety of avenues to raise public awareness, directly assist and provide unique programs for injured service members throughout the country.

The Sport of Kings Races and “Luck of the Draw” relay will kick off at 12:15 p.m. in support of the Sport of Kings Foundation. According to event coordinator Barrett Tester, the foundation was established “to assist and support former surfboard manufacturing workers who have fallen ill from the exposure to the harmful products they worked with during their lives as board production workers”. The short course, technical SUP races have been designed to challenge participants’ balance and agility. Contrasting with other SUP races where competitors quickly fade from view, the Mongoose Cup’s races will be conducted close to shore in order to maximize the excitement for spectators and participants.

Proceeds from the Mongoose Cup will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, Sport of Kings Foundation and the Doheny Longboard Surfing Association (DLSA). For registration and additional information, see the Mongoose Cup’s page on Eventbrite. Participants are also welcome to sign up at Dana Cove Park (Baby Beach) on the day.