Monday, January 24, 2022

Red Bull Privateers Returns to Marco Island

Team paddleboard race inspired by local pirate history back for year two

The Red Bull Privateers stand up paddleboard (SUP) race is back for the second-straight year and scheduled to take place on Cape Romano, just south of Marco Island, Florida for a full event weekend from Friday to Sunday, February 15-17, including the competition and a beach cleanup, among other activities.

Submitted Photos

In this one-of-a-kind event, teams of four paddlers have two and a half hours to do their best buccaneer impression and navigate through the mangrove mazes of the Ten Thousand Islands to retrieve doubloons from fifteen hidden treasure chests. The team that collects all fifteen gold doubloons – Red Bull treasure coins – and cross the finish line in the shortest amount of time wins.

Since the early 1700s, Native American tribes, swashbucklers and outlaws have called the Ten Thousand Island area home. The most famous of which was Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham and there are legends of treasure still buried in the Ten Thousand Island area based on Calico Jack’s infamous stories. Red Bull Privateers is inspired by those tales and encourages everyone from experienced stand-up paddleboarders to novices from any area to join in on a modern pirate adventure.

The inaugural event was won by Team Choinski, a group of two Florida-based paddlers with teammates from the United Kingdom and Ohio, in a contest that featured more than 230 entrants on 58 teams.

The weekend long event will also include a cleanup of the Ten Thousand Islands area in Rookery Bay National Estuary helmed by the 4ocean Community Cleanup Team.

The entry fee is $100 per team of four or individual entrants can join for $25 and be assigned to a team of paddlers. The three-day event weekend includes a Friday night sunset party, the Saturday event and day-long beach games, and Sunday’s cleanup. Participants are allowed to camp at the event site or taker a boat to the event on competition day.

For more information, visit:


Who’s Participating?

Amateur and professional SUP athletes participate in teams of four and single paddlers are welcome to enter and be paired with a team. Sign up information at:

Among those set to participate are last year’s winners, “Team Choinski”, champion skim boarder Austin Keen and Matt Jaskol, a former Red Bull F1 development team driver, among others.

Where is it taking place?

Cape Romano located in the Rookery Bay Aquatic Preserve, Ten Thousand Islands, Florida.
The official launch point is Goodland Boat Park: 740 Palm Point Dr., Goodland, FL 34140

Event Schedule 

Friday, Feb. 15:

6 PM – Tunaskin Sunset Social with fire, food and drinks

Saturday, Feb. 16:

7:30 AM to 9:30 AM – Morning paddle clinic for novices and those leaning the tunnels of Cape Romano

11 AM to 2 PM – Red Bull Privateers

3:30 PM to 7 PM – Sun Bum Lounge with fruit, snacks and drinks, as well as a bon fire, beach games and beach side film premier

Sunday, Feb. 17:

9 AM to 1 PM – Cleanup led by the 4ocean Community Cleanup Team

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