Just finished updating the 2017 supcurrents.com event calendar! Revising the events calendar always takes me down memory lane, we are so lucky to have such a deep selection of fun paddling events in Northern California and beyond. 2017 brings back over 30 events happening here in Northern California, Southern California, Hawaii and beyond. Check out the calendar and let me know what I have missed, some race directors have not posted event dates yet so keep checking the site for updates.
Lastly, let’s give a big thank you to the race promoters, event directors, race volunteers, timing companies, water safety, announcers, food vendors, and industry partners who support our sport of paddling, without all of these folks we would not have a thriving paddle racing community. Thanks for keeping us safe and making the sport of paddle racing fun!
Have a great 2017 paddle racing season!
Feeling compelled to restart my weekly news and events posts today. Been too long since the last post on what’s going on in the Standup Paddle Community and what’s on the racing calendar.
This week, the news broke that Race the Lake of the Sky (RTLS) will be postponed this year but will be back in 2017. Been thinking about this news all week, RTLS has been one of the foundation standup paddle races in the West and certainly gets international attention. Personally, my entire family looks forward to the pilgrimage to the South Shore of Tahoe to see what Brackett Crew will unfold for two days of unforgettable paddle racing. Many other families and paddle athletes make the RTLS the race of the season. My message to Chris Brackett and Crew is thanks, thanks for the last couple years of great fun on the South Shore, we are eagerly awaiting the race in 2017. Build your new shop, we will come and visit, remember South Tahoe Standup Paddle Series is still happening this summer, go check it out I know I will.
Racing this weekend April 16th and 17th
Saturday, April 16th The Sacramento River Paniolo SUP Race #1
Sunday, April 17th The River City Paddlers Tax Relief Race
Been spending the last couple of weeks talking and emailing with race directors to do a big update on the 2016 SUPCURRENTS Event & Race Calendar. I think the racing calendar looks pretty solid for 2016 with some new events however a couple of events still have not checked in. Take a gander and let me know what you think, it’s a work in progress but lets just say we have a good start to the season ahead.
Battle of the Bay: That’s a Wrap!
This years Battle of the Bay was an EPIC weekend of paddle racing on San Francisco Bay. The event organizers Steve Pugh from Bluerush Boardsports and Laree Mancour delivered what could be called an unforgettable weekend of paddle racing at the Crissy Field event site. By the way putting an event on at Crissy Field in the Presidio of San Francisco is no small feat, Steve, Laree and the entire team busted their butt through wind, a bit of rain and an impromptu low rider car show & BBQ (which was really cool btw). Way to go!
Ok here is my breakdown on the two days of racing:
The San Francisco Bay always dishes out inconsistent weather, wind and tides that make for challenging paddle conditions (and keep the event management on edge). And this years Battle of the Bay did not disappoint when it came to delivering an assortment of conditions. On Saturday, the 8.5-mile-long distance had practically perfect paddling weather with a low ceiling of clouds that kept things nice and cool and practically no wind. SUP’s prones, outriggers (OC1/2) and surf skis all raced the same course. The Open SUP Race started from the beach with sprint to the water then a very fast paced run east to Alcatraz Island, David Wells from 101 Surf Sports took an early lead and pretty much never looked back. Rounding Alcatraz was straight forward, but never, ever think that the rounding the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge will have easy passage because it wont and it didn’t. Racing up to South Tower was a grind even staying close to shore did not provide relief from the flood tide. As I was approaching the South Tower I saw David Wells hammering down towards the finish with Bojan Bernard (BB) about a minute off his tail. The water at the South Tower took its toll on folks, bubbling popcorn like water made for some paddlers to either fall in or go to the safety of their knees (for 4 strokes of course) to move from the mayhem of the tower. There was a mad dash of canoes, surf skis, prones and SUP’s from the bridge down to the last mark rounding which lead to the final right hander towards the finish line. As I came through the finish arch there was a sense of relief that the race was over. While its only 8.5 miles, it’s a hard 8.5 miles of paddling. I watched the competitors come through the line one by one, they were all smiles and had a look of satisfaction on their faces, yes many of these folks had never paddled this race course and felt a sense of accomplishment. High fives ensued.
One might argue that the best racing that day took place in the long course open class race with David Wells and BB battling it out for 1st and 2nd place with tight finishes all the way into 15th place in the men’s 14ft class division. All in there were 72 racers in the Open Class Long Distance Race. In the OC1 class, there were some tight finishes there as well with Rob Rousset and Justin Banfield battling it to the finish and Aimmee Spector and Linda Banfield taking 1st and 2nd in the womans OC1 fleet. Pro/Elite racing fleets were much smaller but highly competitive with Mo Freitas taking the long course race and Bailey Rosen gliding into first place for the woman.
Sunday was a completely different day of racing right out of the gate with San Francisco Bay doing what it does best, get really, really windy. Event orgnanizers scrambled to shorten the 4 mile technical race course into more of an upwind/downwind race that made for what I would consider some of the hardest but fun racing of the weekend. Sunny and blowing 20 knots the bay was alive with sail boats and white caps. At first, I was bummed and paddling in the nasty wind would be not so fun but the upwind downwind configuration of the course was super fun and challenging. Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen jumped out the lead and dominated the Open SUP Technical Race all the way to the end. Shanna Upton ended up taking the Open SUP Technical Race on the woman’s side.
The Pro/Elite Technical Race on the short course (3 laps) was fun to watch as Mo Freitas took the win with Bailey Rosen taking win on the woman’s side. Amazing how these paddle athletes barely look like they are struggling the a 20 knot head wind and then really open it up on the downwind leg. Big props go out to Jay Wild of Tahoe Waterman who raced in the prone race prior to racing in the Pro/Elite Technical Race, still getting 5th overall in the Tech Race. And how could I forget my friend and training partner Jen Fuller, she raced in the Pro/Elite Woman class and let the ladies know that age does not affect performance, well done Jen!
This was my 4th Battle of the Bay, I helped put on the inaugural race in 2011 at McNears Beach and have competed in every Battle of the Bay since then. I know what it takes to put these races on and many thanks (again) go out to Bluerush Boardsports and all of the sponsors:, World Paddle Association, Salt Life, Desolation Outdoors, F-One Stand Up Paddle, Paragon Commercial Brokerage, Bluewater Yacht Harbor, Kings Paddle Sports PR, Hobie Surfboards, OnIt Pro, Just Add Water SUP, Lagunitas Brewing Co, SUP Currents, Stokeshare, Sean Cope Pictures, Hint Water, Adventure Sports Journal, OneBar, Nature’s Bakery and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, hope I did not forget anyone. Chris Hollingsworth and Barrett Tester, yeah you guys are pros, these guys run races in their sleep, thanks!
Here is to the off season!
Pictures are courtesy of OnitPro, Thanks for capturing the moments! See more great pic from Onit Pro here
Race Results on Paddle Guru
Training Peaks GPS Data using the NK SpeedCoach
SUPRACER.COM Race Article
RaceHub Pictures sponsored by West Marine
October 12, 2015
While I wish I had gone to the Pacific Paddle Games at Doheny in Dana Point I was doing the next best thing, racing at the 101 Surf Sports Oktoberfest Paddle Race. The guys (Cort and David) have mastered the art of putting on a very well run race with on time race starts, timely results, and of course good food & beer. Everything went down like clockwork yesterday and was a good tune up for the Battle of the Bay race next weekend at Crissy Field.
What’s always refreshing to see at the 101 Surf Sports races is the amount of first time racers, think I counted over 20 folks when David Wells called on the new racers to raise their hands. The San Rafael Canal/Creek is a safe place to test yourself in a paddle race environment, not to mention have a ton of fun while before, during and after the race. The canal also allows a paddle racer (beginner or expert) to practice the course and then see measurable improvement from race to race. Oh and the canal is almost always sunny and warm.
Fun morning of paddle racing with lots of friends, no matter what its always better to race in a pack of racers rather than by yourself. Yesterdays race was no exception. I battled it out with Jamie Willin the whole race, I mean the entire one hour and 2 minutes of racing. We caught and passed Daniel Alvarez once we got inside the 1 mile mark of the canal, but Daniel put up a nasty fight all the way to the finish. Way to go boys those are fun times.
Let’s have fun at Battle of the Bay, should be some fun racing.
Thanks to the whole crew at 101 Surf Sports, David, Cort, Pete, Tom, Derek (I am probably forgetting someone)
And the sponsors….Marin Brewing, Whole Foods, Mamies Pies, Hint Water
Results for Short and Long Courses.
Training Peaks GPS Data from Suunto Ambit 3
David Wells Race Recap
Photo by Ron Steinau