Friday Paddle Racing News

Friday Paddle Racing News


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






The Jay Race: Results, Pictures and Story

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 left over west wind swell with some bounce off of the shore and a little morning southwest wind swell to make things interesting. What I am trying to say is that it was not calm and flat. In fact it was just downright hard to get a consistent paddle stroke rhythm.  At least it was hard for me to find my rhythm!  As we pushed toward the Cowell’s turn buoy the water became smoother and the strokes became more solid hence my speed was increasing. My legs were getting a bit tired from the constant balancing against the bumpy water. For some reason once we all made the turn at the Cowell’s buoy a sense of relief with a rush of energy came across my body, it was time to head out to the Mile Buoy for turn to head back to Capitola. Not so fast….that bumpy water returned with a vengeance only this time it was coming perpendicular to our boards making the bump even more challenging. I kept thinking, oh this is ride back to Capitola is going to be fun since we could catch the windless bumps back to the finish. Somewhat accurate, riding the bumps was fun and much faster than taking them head on. So the whole fleet of paddlers became bump riders, looking for  any forward momentum to get them down the coast to the finish.  It became a hard and hot run back to the finish. Let’s just say some were better at riding the lumpy bumps than others, not sure where I fell in the middle of that mix but I did make some progress to finish with a time of 2:09:20.

This race has great stoke which was evident at the finish line, Chris Hollingsworth kept the energy alive and kicking with every racer that came through the line. Fast time were had by many racers including Jay Wild with a course record breaking time of 1:52 on the standup paddle board. On the woman’s side, Jen Fuller took the SUP win charging the course with a time of 2:08:05.

Hard Chargers for this race include Haakon Hoyer-Nielsen the 16 year old who is kicking all of our asses these days. Brad Seyffer who doesn’t really train according him but recorded a sub 2 hour course time, John Walsh who made the comeback riding the bumps back from the Mile Buoy.

So many people to thank for putting on this race namely Kim Moriarity, Duke Brower, Chris Hollingsworth and the Capitola Junior Lifeguards and volunteers. The amazing sponsors, Surftech, Adventure Sports Journal, Jolyn Swimwear, Seven Seas Industries, New Leaf Markets, Pono Hawaiian Grill, H20Audio, Jay Moriarity Foundation, and BARK Paddleboards.

Suunto Ambit 3 Race Data

Overall Race Results

Last Year’s 12 Mile Race Results


2015-06-20 04.24.12-2

the before race photo of the three amigos

2015-06-20 06.58.03

at the finish with the hard chargers Jen and Haakon…..

2015-06-20 07.07.51

steve pugh finishing in style

2015-06-20 06.58.48

With the overall SUP Winner Jay Wild

2015-06-20 07.02.05

fast freddy always finishes with a smile

2015-06-20 06.57.31

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

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


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 final buoy turns, he could have passed me at the finish but in a show of honorable sportsmanship he let me finish in front of him. Ryan is a good paddler and will only get better as he gets stronger. Thanks Ryan for letting the old guy take the lead!

On lake conditions were practically perfect for the race this year so if you were racing it was all about just getting around the course. Other than some tired racers it appeared that everyone enjoyed the Tahoe Cup @ Donner Lake.

Standout performances include Jay Wild with his 2nd place in SUP Elite Class, Jen Fuller in 1st place Elite, Rand Carter taking the whole enchilada for first place overall on an Unlimited SUP.

Check out the pictures by Peter Spain Photography, he took some great shots of the start, finishes, individual paddlers and podium shots. Race results and my GPS data are below.

Don’t forget the Tahoe Cup #2 Watermans Jam is on July 11th at Watermans Landing. This year due to the drought conditions on Lake Tahoe the race will not be a race from Tahoe City to Carnelian Bay. Check the Tahoe Cup website for details.

Race Results

Pictures By Peter Spain

Suunto Ambit 3 Race Data

jen podium

donner podium TC 2015

Mid Week Racing is here!

Mid Week Racing is here!


First let’s just come right out and say what a total blast the 20 or so paddlers all had at the Bluerush Midweek Twilight  race last night. The race was held right off the beach at  Bar Bocce Restaurant in Sausalito (across the street from the new Bluerush Store), start line of the race was just 50 feet away from the onsite bocce ball court. Fred Andersen set a truly unique and challenging course using 100% of the existing buoys, markers and whatever else he could find to put in 5 turns in a 3/4 of mile per lap race course. Brian Thomas took a fleet of prone, SUP and OC-1’s onto a separate course which ended in with lots of smiles of tired paddlers. Beer can racing, twilight sprint racing or whatever you want to call it is a fun mid-week no pressure paddle event. Oh and the weather was nothing less than spectacular, think it was around 75-80 degrees at the beginning of the race. Well done Bluerush and Bar Bocce, Capt Ron Steinau shot some pictures, be sure to check them out on the Bluerush FB page. I shot video from my on-board Garmin VIRB, video is forthcoming. Suunto GPS Data Next BR/Bar Bocce Race will be 4/9. Not sure if there were any results formal results from the race but will check with Bluerush, we all were winners especially after a couple of beers.

Whats on tap for this weekend. Need to sell some water-sports stuff (surf, kayak, sup, kite, windsurf) check out the swap meet at 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael tomorrow from 9am-1pm. But before you commit to swapping your gear maybe go race at the Desolation Outdoors Tiburon Waterfront SUP Race, this is a new race with a 2.5 mile and 5 mile course, should be  good time. If nothing else you could just end up at Sam’s Anchor Cafe for a cold beverage afterwards.

Have a great weekend of paddling


Spring is here!

Spring is here!


Sure does feel like spring, warm temps, calm waters, and long days are here to stay. After an epic Santa Cruz Paddlefest last weekend (read my recap from the weekend) can’t believe we have yet another back to back weekend of racing ahead. Rumor has it that the WaveChaser Relay from Crissy Field to Redwood City has been canceled for tomorrow 3/21. Which leads me to a new event happening up on the Sacramento River called the Sacramento River Gold Rush put on by the Sacramento Standup Paddlesurf. Couple of distances to choose from and registration is still open on PaddleGuru.

And as if you did not get enough of  St. Patty’s Day, head on out to the St. Patricks  Scramble at Lake Natoma put on by Hui O Hawaii. 1, 5 and 8 mile courses to choose from, registration is still open at PaddleGuru.

Just spent some time looking at the pictures on the San Francisco BayKeeper Facebook Page of the SUP Cleanup that happened a couple of weeks back. It totally bummed me out how much junk, garbage and nasty stuff the paddlers pulled from the creek and bay. Our ocean, bays, lakes, rivers and waterways are not going to clean themselves, pick up a piece of trash from every time you leave the beach or a pull a piece of trash from the water every time you go paddling. Set the example, let’s keep our beaches and water litter free!

Last but not least big shout out to my friend/coach Jay Wild who did the Paddle/Run/ Paddle, yes you heard it right. Paddle from Palos Verdes to Catalina Island (22 miles), wake up the next morning run the Catalina Half Marathon, paddle back to Palos Verdes on Sunday all for a little girl names Callie Addison….. Check out his story about the weekend.

Paddle further and have fun this weekend.


The Weekend Lineup

The Weekend Lineup

This weekend we have a couple of good solid events that should test your paddling skills in more ways than one. First up is the Marin Brewing San Quentin Breakout Paddle Race tomorrow March 7th. This race starts next to San Quentin Prison in Larkspur and heads out under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge around the Marin Island with a much deserved finish at 101 Surf Sports on the San Rafael Canal. This is not a race for beginners but a true early season test of endurance, a little tide navigation and topping out the fun meter. Sorry to be missing this race because it’s one of my favorites, oh and the weather looks to be perfect, I think down right hot!

Then on Sunday March 8th, we need to clean up the bay because it won’t clean up itself. SF BayKeeper has organized a bay trash cleanup with standup paddlers and pretty much any other type of paddle craft. Time to give it all back to our mother bay, show up at 101 Surf Sports at 10:00am with or without a board then head out on the bay to pick up some trash. Here are the details. There are many people who have worked hard to pull this event together, let’s show some support and make this a successful trash pick up.

As always have a fun weekend of paddling wherever you are. Watch for the recap and result from all of the races on the results page here at Keep an eye on our events calendar, its always getting updated with new races and events.