Judy Rae

Beach Sports – Waterworks

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Paddlers of all ages and on all manner of boards compete in the International Surf Festival Velzy Stevens Paddleboard Race, from the Manhattan to the Hermosa pier. This year’s race is Sunday, Aug. 5. Easy Reader File Photo

South Bay Paddle

Saturday, June 9

The inaugural South Bay Paddleboard Race is being organized by Catalina Classic’s Scott Rusher and South Bay Boardriders Matt Walls. It will be the first paddleboard race to start in Hermosa Beach since the Hennessey World Paddleboarding Championships in 2011 (pending City approval). The SB Paddle starts at the Hermosa Beach Pier at 7 a.m., goes south to Torrance Beach, then out to the R10 Buoy and back to the Hermosa Pier, for a distance of 15 miles. This is a “hands only.” Stock (12-foot and under) and unlimited prone boards: Divisions: Groms (under 18), Open Men, Open Women, Legends (50+).


Open Prone Paddle

Saturday, June 9

Kurt Fry and the South Bay Boardriders Club have organized a “short” course race to start after the South Bay Paddle. Open Prone Paddle is a new organization formed to encourage young paddlers.



Sunday, June 24

The annual Rock2Rock begins at the Catalina Isthmus and ends at Cabrillo Beach. The 22.17 mile downwinder is open to both individual competitors and relay teams. Rock2Rock is a qualifier for the Catalina Classic and Molo2Oahu races in August. The race attracts up to 100 prone and stand-up paddleboards. Escort boats are required. Proceeds benefit the Ocean of Hope/Sacroma Alliance.


South Bay Dozen

Saturday, July 1

The South Bay Dozen was founded in 2006 by Los Angeles County Lifeguards Mike and Brian Murphy and benefits for the Jimmy Miller Foundation. The family friendly event includes paddleboard, surf ski, outrigger, swim and running races. Points are accumulated for each event participated in, making for a full day of water sports.  


ISF Body Surfing Championships

Saturday August 4

The International Body Surfing Championship features eight men’s and women’s age divisions. Age groups are determined immediately before the contest begins and will be approximately equal in size. Limited to 108 male contestants and 36 female contestants. The top 2 finishers in each preliminary heat will advance. The ISF Body Surfing Championships are run by the Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Association. Participants range in ability from the novices to former World Champions. Swim fins only.


ISF Surfing Contest

Saturday August 4

Contest director John Joseph is hoping (their website solicits prayers) for surf this year. Divisions will include men’s and women’s’ shortboards, longboards and stand-up paddleboards. Advance registration is advised. Beach entries will only be allowed if there are division openings. Check ins begin at 7:30 a.m. south of the Manhattan Pier.


ISF Riviera Mexican Grill R-10 Paddleboard Race

Saturday. August 4

The Riviera Mexican Grill R-10 race is a seven mile, in and out race from Torrance Beach to the R-10 buoy off Rocky Point. 8 a.m. The event is open to paddleboards, SUPs, and surfboards (boards under 10-foot-6). There are shorter races for kids and less serious paddlers, too. The race is affiliated with the International Surf Festival.


ISF Velzy-Stevens Pier to Pier

Paddleboard Race

Sunday, August 5

The Velzy-Stevens race, named after paddleboard builder Dale Velzy and champion paddler Terry Stevens, is part of the International Surf Festival. The race starts off the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier at 7:30 a.m. and finishes on the beach, south of the Hermosa Beach Pier. It’s family-friendly, with parents and kids paddling solo and  tandem and others riding all sorts of boards.


Grom O Rama

Sun., August 12

A day of paddling and instruction. Boards provided free. Organized by Open Prone Paddle, a new organization formed to encourage young paddlers. 9:30 a.m. at 22nd Street, Hermosa Beach.


Catalina Classic

Sunday August 26

The Catalina Classic is the oldest (established 1955) and longest (32 miles) organized paddleboard race in the world.  Legendary watermen Greg Noll, George Downing, Rick Gregg and Tom Zahn were among the 13 paddlers who competed in the first race. It continues to be the most prestigious prone paddleboard race in the world, attracting paddlers from all over the world.  Sorry, no stand-ups. Starts fro the island Isthmus and finishes at the Manhattan Pier. 



Paddling resources

Stand up paddleboard lessons and rentals are available in Hermosa Beach at Spyder Surf (Spydersurf.com), and Pier Surf; in Manhattan Beach at Nikau Kai (NikauKai.com); in Redondo Beach at Tarsan Stand-up (tarsanstandup.com), Paddle House (paddle-house.com) and Dive N’ Surf (DiveNSurf.com); and in Torrance at Olympus Board Shop (OlympusBoardshop.net).

Paddling, Hawaiian style

Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in King Harbor trains half a dozen men and women teams, ranging in experience from novices to world champions. People who have never paddled are encouraged to come out and compete in novice races. Visiting paddlers are also welcome. Novice practices are Monday and Wednesday evenings for women and Tuesday and Thursday for men. The practices begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue until dark. Weekend practices are scheduled at various times. Lanakila.com. 

US Outrigger Championships.

September 8, 9

The 59th Annual Catalina Channel Crossing/US Outrigger Championships is the longest Polynesian canoe race in the continental U.S. The women’s race begins in Newport and finishes 26 miles later, in Avalon. The men’s race departs Avalon the following morning for Newport. Proceeds support local charities.




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