Video: Crowds cheer for the 500 witch swim

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 Video: Crowds cheer for the 500 witch swim

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The ninth annual Morro Bay Witches Paddle tournament, held in California on Saturday, attracted a record number of spectators in its history.

Thousands of spectators lined the piers, decks and shore to cheer on the 400–500 participants as they traverse the waters of Morro Bay harbor in kayaks, canoes and surfboards.

According to tradition, the rowers started from Coleman Beach and headed to Tidelands Park, dressed in costumes of witches or sorcerers. The Witches Paddle Tournament started in Morro Bay in 2013, when about 10 participants gathered to celebrate the birthday of friends on Halloween.

Since then, the popularity of the event has steadily grown every year. Currently, such witch rowing tournaments are held in California and several other American states, as well as in Mexico, Canada, Abu Dhabi and England.

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