Coastal Team Challenge Athletes Successfully Complete Sea Journey

By Richard Rhinehart

August 20, 2014, Patchogue NY – Participants of World T.E.A.M. Sports’ Coastal Team Challenge relaxed this afternoon at the tropical-themed Dublin Deck restaurant in Patchogue, New York, following the successful conclusion of the non-profit organization’s two-day, 22 nautical mile sea kayak journey from Westhampton.

The ten disabled athletes and ten able-bodied participating athletes were welcomed to this central Long Island community by friends, family and supporters upon their arrival at the Leeward Cove Marina.

Teams completed today a transit of Narrow, Bellport and Patchogue Bays along the southern coast of Long Island from their early morning departure from Smith Point County Park, where they camped overnight on the beach. Fortunately, weather for the two-day event was warm and sunny, with none of the heavy rain that crossed the region last week, resulting in a seven-day postponement of the Challenge.

Like all World T.E.A.M. Sports events, the Coastal Team Challenge provided an opportunity for disabled and able-bodied athletes to work together to successfully complete sporting challenges. For the ten participating developmentally and physically-disabled athletes from Long Island’s Independent Group Home Living Program, the two-day sea kayak journey offered an outdoor adventure that will be long-remembered. It is through their exceptional effort that the teams successfully reached Patchogue.

Sponsors and partners for World T.E.A.M. Sports’ 2014 Coastal Team Challenge included Independent Group Home Living Program, American Portfolios Financial Services, TimeCapital and Capital One Bank. Each partner provided valued support for the success of the Challenge, from sponsorship funding to logistical support to volunteer assistance.

Deer visit the camp site.

Curious local wildlife visited the Smith Point County Park camp site the morning of August 20. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Deer visited the kayaks.

Deer inspected the parked kayaks on the beach at Smith Point County Park during the early morning of August 20. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Rich Antunovich and Preston.

Rich Antunovich and Preston make good time in their sea kayak during the morning of August 20. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Close teams on the bay.

Teams paddled close together as they crossed the open water of the bay. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Along the Long Island coast.

Coastal Team Challenge athletes enjoy their coastal journey. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Teams head in for lunch.

Teams head in to the lunch stop on the coast. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Van Brinson and Western.

World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President Van Brinson (on right) stands with Western, a participating athlete in the Coastal Team Challenge. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Teams gather for the final leg of the journey.

Following lunch, team members at the Coastal Team Challenge gather together for the final leg of the coastal journey. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Spectators welcome the athletes to Patchogue.

Spectators gather at the dock to welcome the participants of the Coastal Team Challenge to Patchogue. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Family and friends welcome the athletes to Patchogue.

Family, friends and colleagues gather around the athletes as they arrive on the Patchogue dock. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Dublin Deck celebration.

Group photograph of the athletes and volunteers at the Dublin Deck in Patchogue, New York August 20. Photograph by Van Brinson.