Sports & Recreation - Staff Picks
Published: July 18, 2012
Best race on water
Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival
If you've never seen Downtown Disney's Mickey-eared jollity suddenly turn to an assiduous pursuit to win, you haven't been to the annual Dragon Boat Festival. It's a sight to see, as a surge of national and local rowing teams launch into Buena Vista Lagoon each year, vying for the Southern Regional Dragon Boat Association Point Series title. When it comes to synchronization and showmanship, Disney's characters have nothing on this one-day rowing regatta.
Best sibling rivalry
Soven brothers compete in the Nautique Wake Games
A little friendly competition certainly hasn't seemed to hurt this pair of wakeboarding brothers. In fact, Orlando-based Phillip Soven and younger brother Bob have all but embraced the challenge. The two squared off in this year's Nautique Wake Games at Orlando Watersports Complex – Phillip finished with top honors, with Bob trailing close behind in third place. Taking it a bit further, the Sovens will star in their own MTV reality show WakeBrothers, which is set to premiere sometime this summer. A pilot of the show attests to the guys' playful relationship, and viewers should expect a slew of pranks in between behind-the-boat wakeboarding scenes.
Best bondage play
ZOOm Air Adventure Park
Central Florida Zoo
3755 N.W. Highway 17-92, Sanford
Admit it: You've seen the pictures. Your cubicle mate and her "adventurous" new beau went zip lining in Costa Rica and didn't invite you. Luckily, you don't need a passport or a pock-marked, sunburned boyfriend to feel the rush of defying your sad little gravity. Now, ZOOmAir Adventure Park at the Central Florida Zoo can have you swinging from the vine like Tarzan with thigh burns for less than $50, and it's even kid-friendly so you can dump the scamps and head for the Harness House for some uncomfortable double entrendres and life-saving leather straps. Hey, it's better than a bar.
Best affordable sailing
Central Florida Sailing Club's Community Sailing Program
Fleet Peeples Park, Winter Park
Who knew you could learn to sail for less than it costs to even buy a kayak? Not us – at least not until we stopped to gawk at a group of people preparing to launch their boats at the boat ramp on Lake Baldwin in Fleet Peeples Park. For a mere $145, anyone can sign up for lessons taught by Red Cross certified instructors that include both classroom and on-the-water time. Once you learn the ropes and have completed your course, you can then join the club and take part in racing days, fun sails, regattas and more.