Twenty paddleboarders took part in Mountain High's first annual Paddleboard Race.

All aboard first annual Paddleboard Race

A dozen “SUP”ers hit the water with determination, hoping to claim the winning title in Fernie’s first Paddleboard Race.

A dozen “SUP”ers (stand-up paddleboarders) hit the water with determination, hoping to claim the winning title in Fernie’s first Paddleboard Race.

Lined up at the starting point underneath the West Fernie Bridge, racers grabbed their boards and sprinted into the Elk River with determination. Those with advantageous spots closest to the water were awarded randomly for a waterfall positioned starting line.

Claire Shaw, office manager at Mountain High Adventures, said the race was meant to encourage the sport of paddleboarding in Fernie.

“I think it’s a great way for folks to get out on the water in a whole new way,” said Shaw.

The race was tight between participating “SUP”ers, who viciously paddled towards the finish line located at the Stanford Resort.

Overall winners were Jon Knauf, Stu Robbins and Josh Dube. The top three “SUP”ers in the women’s category were Haley Wright, Nicole Knauf and Bernice Notenboom.

Prizes including painted rock trophies, cash, and donated apparel from Giv’Er Shirt Works and Guides Hut were also available for the fastest finishers.

Participants also got to test the waters through a mini practice series prior to the race’s kick-off in the Elk River just behind Canadian Tire.

Costs of registration will also be put forward to buoy construction costs of building a whitewater park in Fernie.

“We are super excited about this park, and stand-up paddleboarding fits right into that as well as kayaking and rafting. It’s part of that water community and building it up here in Fernie,” said Shaw.