Virtual Paddle for Access

2021 Virtual Paddle for Access

Clean water and healthy oceans are critical to fun ocean events, which is why we believe in a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all. Shoreline access limitations inspired the roots of our organization back in 2006 and to this day it is the most important, yet least understood issue that we work on. Paddle for Access celebrates our work to monitor all 50 rights-of-way across Aquidneck Island and ensure everyone has access to the shoreline. The event also sheds light on many other issues that impact public access to the shoreline, including erosion, sea-level rise, invasive species, and long term shoreline planning.

2nd Annual Virtual Paddle for Access

Date and Time: July 2 through August 21, 2021

How It Works: We’ve designed a 3 mile and 6 mile virtual race as well as multiple challenges grouped as: 1) Water Challenges 2 ) Land Challenges 3) Fundraising Challenges. You can register for either or both races and opt to participate in the different challenges via the PaddleGuru registration link. For the water racing challenges, we’ll be accepting a variety of tracking methods from apps. Please read further down the page for more details on challenges in each of these categories.

Registration: All registration will take place on PaddleGuru and will remain open through August 21, 2021. Participants are welcome and encouraged to join both the 3 and 6-mile race and to participate in more than one challenge. Your participation includes an invitation to further support us on GoFundMe where you can help raise funds to support our work. The link to your fundraising page will be sent in a separate email following registration. Please join us and help support our work to protect and preserve shoreline access throughout Rhode Island!

Cost: A one-time fee of $20 plus processing will go to support our work. ln addition to supporting our mission, the first 100 participants will receive a custom 2.5-liter dry bag with a clear pocket available for pickup at our office, 21 John Clarke Road, Middletown, RI 02842.


We’re hosting multiple water and land based challenges this year. Scroll through to find which challenges you want to do and keep in mind we welcome and encourage participants to compete in as many divisions and challenges as they can!

To participate, competitors should utilize fitness trackers such as Garmin, Strava, SpeedCoach, MapMyRun or any other GPS watch apps. This is required for us to be able to verify your activity. To find out where the ROW’s are, please visit: ROW’s Map

Water Races & Challenges

  • Fastest time for 3 and 6 mile races
  • Largest total miles paddled during the 50-day period
  • The largest number of miles paddled in one day
  • The most amount of ROW’s visited (launched from, paddled too)

Race Divisions

  • 12’6 And Under SUP
  • 14′ And Over SUP
  • Prone All Sizes
  • Sea Kayak – All Sizes
  • Solo Canoe – All Sizes

How it Works:

1.  Participate in challenge(s)

2.  Record your time and course on a Garmin, Strava, or similar app

3.  Email your information to

     a.  First and Last Name

     b.  Challenge(s) participating in

     c.  Craft type (SUP, Prone, Kayak)

     d.  Your Time

     e.  Screen Shot of your race path from any tracker app and picture of ROW sign if available.

Note: You may redo a challenge as many times as you would like and the best time will be the final score. Race times must be received by August 21 to be considered for awards.

If you are participating in a duration challenge such as the greatest number of miles traveled in 50 days or the greatest number of ROWs visited please submit each individual activity by email and we will compile the information and announce the winners after August 21.

**All participants are required to wear a personal flotation device and leash on the water.**


For competitors who wish to remain on land but want to support our work, we have devised a few additional challenges for you.

Land Challenges

  • Most number of cleanups hosted
  • Most amount of ROW’s visited on Aquidneck Island
  • Most amount of ROW’s visited in Rhode Island
  • Most amount of ROW site surveys

To find out where the ROW’s are, please visit – ROW’s Map

Here’s How it Works:

1. Participate in challenge(s)

2. For cleanup challenges please fill out our tally sheet

3. For site survey challenges please fill out our site survey form

3. Email your information to

     a.  First and Last Name

     b.  A picture or scan or your tally sheet or site survey form and picture of ROW sign if possible.

     c.  Name of ROW visited

Note: All information needs to be submitted by August 21 to be considered for awards.


To further support our mission, we encourage everyone on water or land to help raise funds and awareness for COA by joining our GoFundMe campaign. We encourage all participants to set a fundraising goal of $500 however for those who go above and beyond we have created additional goals.


Participants can win prizes based on their fundraising success. 

  • All paddle participants will receive a locally crafted medal to proudly show their support of COA!
  • $250 Raised:  COA branded t-shirt, stainless steel cup, and COA bag
  • $500 Raised: COA branded sweatshirt, t-shirt, stainless steel cup, and COA bag.
  • $1,000+ Raised: COA beach blanket, sweatshirt, t- shirt, stainless steel cup, and COA bag.

2021 Event Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors for this year’s event!

Fitzpatrick Team RE/MAX is a sponsor of this year’s Paddle for Access and will be helping us on site during the event! The Fitzpatrick Team is a strong supporter of Clean Ocean Access, helping us to run our flexible cleanup program through the #cleanitupJOE initiative on Aquidneck Island. We appreciate their commitment to a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all!

People’s Credit Union is a local institution that, from their beginning in 1922, have been about “people helping people.” We are proud that this dedication to the community extends to our shores, and supporting us through their sponsorship of this year’s Paddle for Access. 

Additional Info

Can’t make the race? You can still help support our work to protect and preserve shoreline access throughout Rhode Island by donating through our GoFundMe Campaign

Additional information about rights-of-way and public access please visit our Access page or the Coastal Resources Management Council website

For further information please reach out via email.

Past Events

Our Paddle for Access race has historically been a major fundraiser that allows us to continue our work. Since 2009, the Safe Harbor Newport Shipyard has hosted the longest running paddle event in Rhode Island. We became involved as a charitable partner in 2014, helping support the Newport SUP CUP.  In 2018, we launched the first Paddle for Access event that we continue today. Working with the existing event connected us to the passion and excitement of the paddleboarding community to get on the water and protect our shared resources. We are proud to build on this legacy and continue Paddle for Access to protect and preserve shoreline access for all.  In 2020, we went fully virtual for a 50 day Paddle for Access competition due to COVID-19. This year, we are happy to host both a Virtual and in person Paddle for Access event. We hope you’ll join us for each of these events to support our work and get out on the water! 
To see results and details from past year’s events, visit our Past Events page