Kevin Cody

First, Pugliese dominant in Ocean Prone final

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Tiana Pugliese, of Redondo Beach, cruises to victory in the summer’s fourth and final Oceans Prone race at Torrance Beach on Sunday. Photo by Kim D. West Photography

by Kevin  Cody

Three-time Catalina Classic Paddleboard champion Max First, of Manhattan Beach, reasserted his local dominance by winning Sunday’s 12-mile Ocean Prone race in 2:02:36, nine minutes ahead of second place finisher Mauricio León de la Barra, of Marina Del Rey. Finishing third was Alex Merrill, winner of the previous weekend’s 22-mile Rock 2 Rock paddleboard race. 

Los Angeles County Lifeguard Tiana Pugliese, of Redondo Beach, won the women’s division on a stock (12-foot board) in 2:26:03. Pugliese also won last month’s 15-mile South Bay Paddle in Hermosa Beach. Pugliese finished five minutes ahead of second place finisher Kailyn Winter, 15, of Santa Cruz. Liz Hunter, of Oceanside, was third.

Over 30 padders competed in the race, which started at Torrance Beach, went out 4 miles to the R10 Buoy off of Palos Verdes, then north four miles to the Redondo Breakwall and back to Torrance Beach. The race was the fourth and final of the progressively longer races in the Oceans Prone Series, founded this year by Manhattan Beach paddler Kurt Fry. The series also included short races and board rentals for paddlers new to the sport. For more information, visit OceansProne.org. 

The next local paddleboard race is the Velzy Stevens Pier to Pier Paddle on Sunday, August 4. The race is part of the International Surf Festival and presented by the South Bay Boardriders Club. For more information visit SurfFestival.org.

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