Beach sports – First wins fourth
Los Angeles County Lifeguard Max First, of Manhattan Beach, and Australian lifeguard Lachie Lansdown led a field of nearly 100 paddlers in the 41st Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race on Sunday, August 25. The two exchanged leads while setting a record pace from the start at Two Harbors on Catalina Island to the R10 buoy, four miles off of Torrance Beach. the 20-year-old record of 5:02;12, was set by Tim Gair. But at the R10, an opposing current slowed the final eight miles to the finish at Manhattan Pier. First finished in 5:03:28, a minute, 16 seconds off the record. It was First’s fourth Classic victory. He also won in 2014, 2016 and 2017. First paddled in support of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House.
Lansdown, who won the race in 2018 and set the Classic stock board (12-foot) record in 2016 (5:38:06), finished in 5:08:04.
Liz Hunter, of Oceanside was the first woman finisher, in 6:18:33. Lifeguard Jenna Solberg, of El Segundo, was second in 6:20:33
This year’s race was dedicated to Hermosa Surfer Walk of Fame inductee Mike Doylewho competed in the 1960 Catalina Classic and died this past May. For more about the Catalina Classic, visit CatalinaClassicPaddleboard.org.
by Judy Rae