Mastic Beach Conservancy to Host Paddle Board Regatta

Stand up paddle boarding or standup paddleboarding on quiet sea at sunset with beautiful colors during warm summer beach vacation holiday, active woman, close-up of water surface, legs and board
An upcoming paddleboarding event will benefit Mastic Beach Conservancy. (Getty Images)

Paddleboard enthusiasts have reason to rejoice: A regatta is being held for a cause this month in Mastic Beach, a waterfront town on the South Shore.

The Mastic Beach Conservancy, a local community-led organization, will host “Race the Narrows,” its first-ever paddleboard regatta, on July 15. Since its beginnings during the 2020 Covid lockdowns, the conservancy has organized a number of events to benefit the community and environment in Mastic Beach, Mastic, and Shirley. In particular, they focus on conserving the 6.5-mile waterfront in the Mastic/Shirley Conservation Area with the goal of establishing what they call a “blue-green trail” that is publicly accessible for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Earlier this year, the nonprofit hosted an Earth Day cleanup event. Attended by roughly 100 community members, the event focused on collecting trash that was dumped into the water and wooded areas surrounding Bayview Park in Mastic Beach. 

At the helm of the Mastic Beach Conservancy is Maura Spery, its founder and president. Once the mayor of the Village of Mastic Beach, today she’s focused less on politics and more on the environment. Events like the Earth Day cleanup and the upcoming regatta are examples of the organization’s mission in action.

“This is really to showcase how gorgeous our waterfront is,” says Spery. “People just don’t know. They come down here and look it and they’re like, ‘This is gorgeous, this is Mastic Beach?’”

Spery and the conservancy hope that bringing participants from all over Long Island down to Mastic Beach to compete in a paddle board regatta will garner appreciation for one of the South Shore’s least developed waterfronts.

“I think if people come down it’ll open their eyes,” Spery says. “These programs highlight the need for community outreach and for people to be educated on the asset that we have here that goes unrecognized.”

In the spirit of community outreach, the organization will host the “Bash by the Bay” celebration following the regatta, where paddlers and spectators alike can enjoy live music from Brooklyn-based band lovetempo, eat from Maui Chop House and The Pudding Lady food trucks, engage in kids activities sponsored by the Mastic Beach Public Library, and more.

The “Race the Narrows” paddleboard race begins at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 15 at Marina 5 in Mastic Beach. Race participants must register in advance and are encouraged to wear costumes. The free “Bash By the Bay” follows at Bayview Park, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. More information can be found at the Mastic Beach Conservancy website: masticbeachconservancy.org/events