The sport of surfski does not enjoy deep pocket sponsors and big-dollar corporate funding. Grassroots support is primarily the fuel that stokes the fire of our sport.
The good stewardship of the people on the street is where the ball gets rolling and is likely as effective if not more so than efforts from manufacturers to drive our sport forward and spread the good word.
Ted Burnell, or as he is known on race day, Theo Burn or Deadly Tedly, is one of these aforementioned stewards.
One of the first, if not the first to paddle a ski in the Chattanooga area, Ted has long advocated for the paddling lifestyle and has put forth more than his share of advocacy.
Always there in the mix at the front of races, Burnell is an all-around paddler who is as comfortable on an outrigger as he is on an elite ski.
Ted has become an ambassador of sorts in the Chattanooga region where he can often be found with out- of- towners, showing them around his home waters, sharing advice earned from years of paddling or providing a couch for travellers.
Since turning 50 a few days ago, Ted has officially become an old man and subsequently has earned the right to a new moniker.
Essentially, he is the "The Godfather" of the ski in the Chattanooga area, therefore, to you Ted, you deserve a true name fitting of this distinction:
Don Theodorico Burnettelli
Cheers Ted for providing the stoke!