The Long Strange Trip Paddle Race……The Race Within The RACE!
Yet another stellar race put on by Cort and David at 101 Surf Sports. Yes there were many folks behind the scenes that made this race one to remember, so we thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and safety support. From my vantage point this race went off without a hitch. Here is the race by the numbers…..
Start Time: 9:12am, yes it started 3 minutes early!
Total on the water scored competitors: 62 according to Paddle Guru (SUP, OC-6,OC-2,OC-1, Prone, SeaKayak, Surfski)
Weather: partly cloudy but mild temps
Water Conditions: Flood tide with a max flood at 10:46am. Water was calm with bit of a south wind bump.
Total Distance: 12:74mile according my SUUNTO Ambit 2 GPS
Total Race Time: 2:04:27
Paddle Craft Raced: Puakea OC-1
Video from the start of race using the Garmin VIRB
Story: The Race Within The Race
The 3rd Annual Long Strange Trip Paddle race started out on a partly cloudy morning in Horseshoe Cove at Ft. Baker in Sausalito. 60 plus paddlers gathered to race from Ft. Baker to the 101 Surf Sports World HQ on the San Rafael Creek, about a 13 mile paddle. The original name of this race was the Ride the Tide since we were riding the flood tide all the way into the bay and eventually ending at 101 Surf Sports. Hopefully we would have enough tidal push to get us to the finish in a quicker than normal slack tide race. Could a standup paddler finish the race in under 2 hours? As we sat in the cove awaiting the start I wondered myself how long it would take me in an outrigger canoe. Could I in fact break 2 hours?
It was a mass start with every paddle craft represented, OC-6, OC-2, OC-1, Prone, SurfSki, SUP, and probably a sea kayak thrown in the mix. All of the competitors pushed out through the mouth of the cove and hung a left towards Angel Island. The races within the race started to form right from the get go. I marked Fred Andersen who was also paddling OC-1, he was off my front port side. I moved further into the flood tide which seemed to improve my overall speed. As the race went on finding the flood would prove to be part of a winning formula. Bojan Bernard aka BB in the 14ft sup class was taking the inside line towards Raccoon Straits, he was behind me off to port, he was in a race all to himself, breaking two hours was his finish line, I could tell this guy was on a mission. Not too far behind BB was Grant McFadyen also in the 14ft sup class was off to my starboard side staying way outside in the flood tide, he was also pushing hard to catch BB but 2nd place would be his prize for today as BB was pulling ahead of both of us and not slowing down. Two other 14st sup class racers who were a couple minutes off Grant’s pace were Jean Rathle and Rune Hoyer Nielsen. Jean and Rune were neck and neck all the way to the finish, they finished a with a couple of seconds between them. Charlie Banfield also in a OC-1 paddled out off front and was going so fast he had a rooster tail off the back of his canoe. Behind me there were other races happening, the race between the men in the 12’6″ SUP class, Haakon Hoyer Neilsen, John Walsh and Michael Melville were battling and Jen Fuller was in the mix as a vicious game of drafting came into play. At the finish line the 18 year old Haakon prevailed over John Walsh followed by Melville and Jen Fuller.
As all of these racers were battling it out I was battling Fred Andersen, I had a pretty good lead on Fred but I did not mark him for a few minutes and next thing I knew Fred had taken an inside line into San Rafael Creek and was gaining fast. Thats what you get for not paying attention but I was still ahead and finished ahead of him by a mere 2o seconds. As I pulled my canoe out of the water I was listening to the cheers as paddlers came across the finish line. Everyone putting everything they had on the line to finish this race. Paddlers who had never paddled over 10 miles were finishing with huge smiles on their faces, they had ramped their paddling to the next level.
Fractions Of A Second Separate The Top On The Long Strange Trip-story by David Wells @ 101 Surf Sports
101 Surf Sports puts on some of the best run races here in Northern CA. The races always go off on time, the results are usually correct (in some cases Paddle Guru can cause David Wells a headache), the safety factor is always at the highest level and the awards party just rocks it. These guys know how to make sure you have a good time on and off the water. Many thanks to the crew at 101 Surf Sports.
Above Photo Credit: Capt. Ron Steinau
This past Saturday November 8th Race #2 of the Whole Foods Market Paddle Race Series happened at 101 Surf Sports in San Rafael on the San Rafael Creek Canal. This particular race was a Charity Race to raise funds for the UCSF Foundation. All proceeds from the race which amounted to $4602.75 will be donated to UCSF Hematology Department. Good on ya 101 Surf Sports and special thanks go to Cort Larned for sharing his own cancer survivor story. The races at 101 Surf Sports have a magnetic attraction for getting large groups of paddlers together and Saturday was no exception. Registration was closed the night before with 101 paddlers already pre-registered! Still folks came and tried to sign up the day of the race and succeeded, over 116 paddlers raced on a sunny, calm and rather balmy fall day in November. The Kayaks, surf skis, outriggers, standup paddlers and prone paddlers all showed up to take on the both the short (2 mile) and long courses (5.5 mile) that meandered out through the canal and into San Francisco Bay.
My paddle craft of choice for the long course (the kayaks and canoes had a slightly longer course 6.89mi. to avoid traffic congestion around the island) was my shiny new Puakea Ehukai outrigger canoe (OC-1). Since we are technically in the off season I have decided to shake things up a bit and try some other paddle sports. Fred Andersen just picked up an OC-1 so I figured I had to try my hand at paddling OC-1.
David Wells does a much better recap of the results and festivities so I will focus on my journey on the OC-1. The line at the race for the kayaks and canoes was packed, not sure on the numbers but something like 15+paddle craft were on the line. Keep in mind that this was my 5th time paddling my OC-1 and by no means is it easy to paddle. So we started and went down the canal, I watched Fred Andersen pull ahead of me just like he does in the SUP Races, he was wearing bright orange shorts so I could keep a third eye on him at all times. Ok first rounding mark was the #17 channel marker which is pretty much in the middle of the bay. Did I mention that this was my 5th time in my OC-1? North wind came in and things got a little bumpy and paddling on the right side (non-ama) was super tricky. Almost went over a couple of times but kept it together around the channel marker. Cary Fergus also in an OC-1 was incredibly patient with me as I think I cut him off a couple of times due to the fact that I don’t steer all that well. Thanks Cary! We cranked around the Marin Islands and made our way back to the calm waters of the canal for the final mile sprint. But wait no so fast, my inner animal instincts took over as I was digging deep to make the canoe go faster and then I was in the water! Flipped the canoe in the perfectly calm waters of the canal, embarrassed and struggling to get back on the horse I remounted the pony and finished the race. Finished a respectable 3rd place in the 50+ masters division with a time of 1:23, total distance was 6.89 miles.
Super fun day, great food and beer, and a carnival like atmosphere @ 101 SurfSports. Thanks Cort, Dave and the entire 101 Surf Sports Crew on another phenomenal race.
Next up is the 13 mile Long Strange Trip-Ride the Tide Race on December 6th.
Suunto Ambit 2 Course Data
Photo Gallery by Capt. Ron
September News and Events
September 18, 2014
It’s Thursday and what’s happening this weekend is the 4th Annual Battle of the Bay Paddle Race. The Battle of the Bay will be testing out its new venue at East Beach on Crissy Field in the Presidio National Park of San Francisco. This will be a fabulous weekend of racing in the City by The Bay. Weekend weather is suppose to be classic San Francisco fall weather with some morning fog giving way to sunny in the 70’s afternoons. Online registration is closing tonight so if you want to save some money on your race entry register today.
And on the casual paddle side of things, check out the Indian Summer Raft Up happening late Saturday afternoon with the Barbary Ghost out at Marin Islands. All starts at 5:30 with a leisurely paddle from Loch Lomond Marina out to the Marin Islands where the Barbary Ghost will be anchored. Sounds pretty fun!
Cannot forget to talk about the epic Tahoe Fall Classic Paddle Race last weekend on Lake Tahoe. The race or lets call it a crossing was from South Lake to North Lake Tahoe and covered the complete 22 miles end to end of Lake Tahoe. Congrats go to NorCal paddlers Jay Wild (Mens Elite Winner) and Ben Sarrazin (2nd place Elite) and for the ladies Jen Fuller took first place for the Elite Woman followed by Nina Oakley in 2nd and Wendy Ackerman in 3rd. Complete story on the Fall Classic is here. If you don’t want to read and just see a video recap then click here.
Hope to see everyone at the Battle of the Bay this weekend!
September News and Events
September 12, 2014
Warm weather is forecasted for the coming weekend, should be perfect for getting out for a paddle. Lake Tahoe, specifically South Lake Tahoe plays host to the events on the calendar for this coming weekend. South Tahoe Standup will be hosting the Paddle Against Cancer on Saturday September 13th, see their Facebook page for details. Then come Sunday September 14th, the O’Neill Tahoe Fall Classic Paddleboard Race will shove off from El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe @ 8:00am and finish in King Beach. The iconic Fall Classic covers the length of Lake Tahoe from end to end, south shore to north shore, 22 miles of deep blue water. Yours truly will be standing and sweeping my way to King Beach for 4 plus hours.
Last weekend we saw a number of paddle events happening from the Ghostryders West Cliff Challenge in Santa Cruz to the Butterfly Effect up on Lake Tahoe, both were well attended and lots of fun. Last Sunday, Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon put on their first paddle race which consisted of kayaks, outriggers and stand up paddle boards. Check out the recap of the Corinthian YC race here.
For those thinking about racing in the Battle of the Bay next weekend September 20 & 21, pre-registration is open, save yourself some time and money, pre-register at Paddleguru.
News and Events for August
August 29, 2014
It’s been quite a week with the remnants of hurricane Marie creating a perfect south swell mostly in Southern California but we certainly did see it here in Northern California. I caught a bunch of waves out at Bolinas late on Wednesday afternoon, rode the Patch on my 9’5 Boga Bullet, probably one of the most memorable stand up paddle surfing days I have had in a long time. As we roll into the three day Labor Day Weekend I am looking ahead to a very busy month of September for paddle events and races. Nope, summer is not over or at least the paddling season is not even close to being finished. Hoping for an Indian Summer here in NorCal with warm temps and light breezes for races like Battle of the Bay coming to San Francisco the weekend of September 20/21. And up on Lake Tahoe the final final race of Tahoe Cup is the Fall Classic, this epic 22 miler commences on September 14th. Lots of other events and races happening in September so stay tuned.
This weekend the Petaluma River Marathon/Half Marathon up in Petaluma on the Petaluma River is happening on Sunday August 31st. Online registration is closed but you can sign up the day of the race/paddle.
I cannot end this newsletter without talking about the Tahoe Waterman’s Challenge from last Saturday at Waterman’s Landing in Carnelian Bay. For those not familiar with the Waterman’s Challenge, it’s a old school lifeguard event that encompasses a 200 meter swim, a 700 meter prone paddle and a 900 meter stand up paddle. Jay and Anik Wild put on a flawless event that tested about 30 waterman to the Tahoe Waterman Challenge. See my post with pics and beta.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend.
August News and Events
August 8th, 2014
Just back from the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, checked out all of the new SUP, prone and other paddle sports gear. Lots of cool stuff on the horizon, more to come on that in an upcoming blog. What’s happening closer to home is Sea Trek
has found a new location for their operation and it’s literally right down the street at the Bay Model
, stay tuned for updates.
Not many events/races happened last weekend but this weekend is Race #3 of theWaveChaser Summer Downwind Series
. This epic downwinder starts at Fort Baker in Sausalito and finishes at the Berkeley Marina. Should be a fun race if there is wind.
The NORCAL SUP FITNESS: 2014 FOLSOM SPRINT Races at Lake Natoma have been canceled for tomorrow but the September 20th Race is still scheduled to happen.
Next Wednesday August 13th, 101 Surfsports will be hosting an instructional paddling clinic by legendary Dave Kalama. Not sure if the clinic is sold out so sign up