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2015 Subaru Ta-Hoe Nalu Paddle Festival presented by Nature’s Bakery – Recap

9th Annual Tahoe Nalu Paddle Festival 8/19/2015 The 9th Annual 2015  Ta-Hoe Nalu Paddle Festival coins itself as the Worlds Original Standup Paddleboard Race and that it is. Speaking from experience, my first standup paddle race was the Tahoe Nalu back in 2009, I have the event t-shirt to prove it. Since that first race in 2009 I have been committed lots of paddle races in California, Hawaii and Utah but always call The Ta-Hoe Nalu home. As my previous post explained, the Nalu has seen oh so many changes over the last 6 years since that race in 2009. This years 9th Annual Tahoe Nalu carried the same cool paddle festival vibe that I always remember. Hosted again in Kings Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe over 250 paddlers took to the Big Blue in outrigger canoes, on standup and prone paddle boards. On Saturday morning, the 10 mile race took off around 9:30am with staggered starts amongst the different paddle craft. For this race I chose to paddle an outrigger canoe (Ehukai-Puakea). There were a couple of OC-6’s and around 16 OC-1/2’s. Pretty strong field of paddlers I soon found out. SUP and Prones started about 4 minutes after us. It was a glorious day on the water, almost no wind and relatively flat for the speedy run into Crystal Bay. Deep, crystal clear water greeted us as we made the final buoy turns at the half way turn around point of the race. Being somewhat of a newbie to the OC-1 scene I was just trying to keep up with a pod of three other canoes including...

My First Standup Paddle Race…..the Ta-Hoe Nalu

8/14/2015 I was digging through all my t-shirts this morning and low and behold what did I find….the event shirt from the 2009 Tahoe Nalu.  Yep, you read it right, my first standup paddle race was the Tahoe Nalu in 2009 at Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe. Consequently, I have not missed a Nalu since that first race in 2009,  tomorrow will be my 6th year competing at the Tahoe Nalu. Last night, I stopped by Waterman’s Landing for a Tahoe Nalu Sponsor event, event founder Ernie Brassard was telling me next year the Nalu will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Not sure if the Nalu is the oldest SUP Race in the country but I would imagine it’s got to be pretty close. These days there are so many races in the summer that you actually need a race calendar to keep track of all the races hence the birth of supcurrents.com, supracer.com, distressed mullet.com etc. Tomorrow’s Nalu will actually encompass all sorts of paddle craft with OC-1, OC-6 teams, surf ski and prone, yes this will be a true paddling festival celebrating the heart and soul of what we all love to do regardless of the paddle craft. The Nalu has endured and pioneered so much  over the years including prize money then back to no prize money,  lots of pro athletes, gnarly race conditions (remember 2010), different race course and formats, the list goes on but at the end of the day this race is all about paddling on this great lake called Tahoe. It’s about the families that have been showing up and doing their first race...

DART/FLOW Standup Paddle First Annual Fundraiser Race

FLOW Standup Paddle First Annual Fundraiser for DART (Drowning Accident Rescue Team) by Jen Fuller The DART race showed up on my radar last minute and I have Michael Melville to thank for asking me to take a closer look. I loved the cause, which is to raise money for the Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART). Being a Professional Standup Paddle Association Instructor Trainer I took particular interest in the DART organization. This dedicated group of individuals is comprised of rescue divers, line tenders and other support personnel dedicated to responding to emergencies on a 24/7 basis. www.dartsac.org. I asked Rob when I saw him what the inspiration was to do this event and he said it happened over time and getting to know Kelsey Follett, who is the marketing director for Riverbank Marina and was instrumental in launching the fundraiser. They came up with the idea to fund raiser for a cause that keeps the community safe as well as educated. Rob said he expected 75 participants but over 100 showed up! He was thrilled with the support of the SUP community. Waking up before the crack of dawn and weaving my way up the highway to Sacramento from Sausalito, I was struck by the contrast in landscapes. The lush and brilliant colors of the Bay area began to fade to very arid dry conditions. The coolness of the Bay area turned to warmer and eventually hot conditions. The sunflowers, which normally light the way with their bright yellow color were all dried up and brown. This area has its own beauty but the long concrete highway is full...

Another Lights Out Race the Lake of the Sky!

7/2/2015 Having just returned from my 4th year at the Race the Lake of the Sky, the social media feeds have been buzzing with pictures, video, race results & recap and most importantly peoples stories from a glorious weekend of race events. In my humble opinion, sharing and reliving the event on social media is what social media does best.   My post today is not so much a race recap or a race report because that has been done in triplicate (see SUPRACER.com,and Distressed Mullet.com) but more of a thank you and a highlight of my 4th year at the Race the Lake of the Sky. But first a heartfelt thank you to the entire Race the Lake of the Sky Team;  the volunteers, Dreu Murin, the Hard Rock lunch folks, all of the sponsors and exhibitors, the water safety crew, and of course Chris Brackett and his lovely family. There is a reason this race event is so much fun, its because it has so much heart and soul from people who just want to make it better year after year. I was at the 1st Annual RTLS and frankly it was pretty darn good back then but every year this event just gets better.  Given that Mother Nature has not given us much in the way of snow or rain this past year, the lake level at the race venue looked to be more challenging than last. No problem lets just move the finish line out into the lake….brilliant idea! Having the spectators line the finish chute was incredibly inspiring and added a dimension that I don’t think I have...

The Jay Race: Results, Pictures and Story

June 23, 2015 The 2015 14th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race was a booming success with terrific weather, challenging conditions and over 300 paddlers! The Jay Race definitely has a following, given that there were two competing events the same day; the Payette River Games (Cascade ID) and the South Bay Dozen in SoCal but the paddlers came out for The Jay in Capitola.  Yes, its true there seems to be a paddle race or paddling event happening every weekend in the summer here in California.  Yes, The Jay is an incredibly challenging 12 mile paddle race from Capitola to Cowells in Santa Cruz and back, but its the coming together of the community that celebrates spirit of Jay Moriarity that make this race one of the most special of the season. Let’s run through the stats and numbers real quick: Total Number of Paddlers (prone and SUP) between all races (12 mile, 2 mile, waterman and grom): 300+, 12 mile-152, 2 mile-141, Waterman-20, Grom-20? Long Course Distance: 12 miles (10.77 gps corrected) Weather and Temp: Sunny and let’s call it 70 degrees Winning Long Course Time: 1:49 prone paddleboard, 1:52 sup Winning Short Course Time: 33.28 mins prone paddleboard, 34:03 SUP Yours truly raced in the long race, I came away with the following reflections on my race. The Jay Race long course 12 mile race is undoubtably a hard, grinding race that requires stamina and various board handling skills. After the beach start of the race, we hammered our way up towards the Santa Cruz Wharf, conditions were sloppy at best. Seemed like a bit of...

Tis’ the Season

It’s race season that’s for sure……Jay Race in Santa Cruz tomorrow (June 20th) , Payette River Games in Cascade Idaho, and next weekend is the mega race of the season the Race the Lake of the Sky   (June 27th/28th) in South Lake Tahoe. Probably missing some other races around the country but these are whats showing up on my immediate radar. The Payette River Games will have plenty of coverage over the next couple of days by way of Distressed Mullet and SUPRACER.COM. We will have the full download on the Jay Race by tomorrow afternoon since we have so many racers (including myself) on the water for the long course. Stay tuned for details.  ...

Water Safety Patrol Volunteer-The Reward

Morning Folks: Last Sunday, I was on the water safety patrol for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. I paddled my BluePlanet Bumprider 14ft standup paddle board from Bluerush Boardsports. The entire experience from start to finish was quite rewarding. For those not familiar with Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, the race consists of a 1.5 mile swim from the south east side of Alcatraz Island to the beach just west of the St. Francis Yacht Club. Then a short run to the T1 transition area (swim to bike), a 18 mile bike out to Ocean Beach and back followed up with a 8 mile run out and back to Baker Beach.  Baker Beach has the dreaded sand stairs that push the athletes to their limit towards the end of their run. While I  will not go into the details of being on the water safety patrol for over 2000 swimmers, I will say that being part of the water safety patrol for this race was incredibly rewarding and tiring. Our fearless leader from Water World Swim was Taylor Hurt. He lead the group of 30ish prone paddlers, stand-up paddlers, and kayaks from Aquatic Park with true precision.  I recognized many of our safety paddlers such as Emili Obara, Gary Leong, Jean and Shane Rathle, Brian Thomas….I am sure I am forgetting someone.  The paddle group moved through out the massive group of swimmers after they jumped off the Hornblower Start boat for the swim to St. Francis. We steered the swimmers toward shore countering the very strong ebb tide that was pulling the swimmers to the Golden Gate Bridge. We swept the...

Tahoe Cup#1 @ Donner Lake: Story, Results & Pictures

5/28/2015 This years  Tahoe Cup on Donner Lake last weekend (5/23) did not disappoint when it came to a in climate weather pattern. Once again the race had a bit of rain, chilly temps but calm water for the most of the race. Over 100 paddlers braved the drizzle to partake in one of the first Tahoe Cup of the 2015 paddling season. Lots of familiar faces showed up to test their paddle conditioning after a long and mild winter. The Donner Race is a nice way to ease into the race season because the course is  only about 4.5 miles long. In fact it’s pretty much an all out sprint, this year we saw winning times (42:37 by Rand Carter) in line with last year but personally I was about a minute faster this year than last. Race organizer Phil Segal started the outriggers and prone first, then standup paddlers next. Standup paddlers started in knee deep water to make sure we had a fair start and sure enough the start was a success. The front group of paddlers took their own lines, not many draft trains were happening just yet. As we rounded the turn buoy at China Cove the pace quickened and drafting was alive and well. A bit of rain started to fall as we angled toward the turn buoy on the north side of the lake although not enough to slow down the pace of racing on the water. The sprint was on as the first group of 20 paddlers made their way towards the serpentine style buoy finish. Ryan Funk was on my draft as we pulled into the...

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