Ocean Competition 2023

The annual Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, from Two Harbors on Catalina Island to the Manhattan Beach pier, can have glass-like conditions, or, as in 2015 (above) broken glass-like conditions. George Loren (top of photo) named his restaurant, R10 Social House, after the R10 Buoy paddlers must round, where the course turns upwind. Photo by Patrick Fallon (Patrickfallonphoto.com)

The complimentary sports of surfing and paddling are central to the South Bay lifestyle 

South Bay Boardriders/Spyder Surf Contest

42nd Street, Manhattan Beach 

Saturday, May 20

The 7th and final contest of the SBBC 2022-23 Surf Series contest is open to the public as well as club members. Professional judges, and an electronic scoreboard put these contests on a professional level, with local and visiting pros often competing. But the contests are fun for all ages, and abilities, from assisted groms pushed into waves by their parents to Super Legends (60) and over. 

The South Bay Boardriders Club has over 200 family members. In addition to contests, it offers a related activities throughout the year, including the Introduction to Ocean Fun Series (scuba diving at Dive N’ Surf, outrigger canoe paddling with the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club, sailing with the King Harbor Sailing Youth Foundation, and deep sea fishing with captains Matt Meistell and Dave Schaefer).

Contest registration and other information at SouthBayBoardriders.com.

Ocean Prone Paddleboard Race

El Segundo to Marina Del Rey

Oceans Cafe and Grill

Saturdays, May 13, June 24, August 5

Oceans Prone’s first two events serve as early season training benchmarks for the longer races to follow. The May 13, and June 24 events include two mile, and seven mile, out-and-back races that head north paralleling the beach, starting at the Oceans Cafe and Grill, 12501 Vista del Mar, El Segundo (at the foot of Grand Avenue). The 7 mile races start at 8 a.m. The two mile races start at 8:15 a.m. The August 5 races are at Torrance Beach, also at 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.  The 8 a.m. race is 12 miles, from the beach to R10 Buoy to the Redondo racing pin, and back. Rental boards available. For more information visit OceansProne.com. Or text Kurt at (310) 993-4760 To register visit  PaddleGuru.com/races/OceansProneRaceSeries12023

South  Bay Paddle

Hermosa Beach Pier

Saturday,  June 3

The South Bay Paddleboard Race is a scenic, 15-mile race in generally smooth water. The race starts at the Hermosa Beach Pier at 7:30 a.m., goes south to Torrance Beach, then out to the R10 Buoy, and back to the pier.

Prone paddlers only. Three divisions: stock (12-foot and under), 14-foot, and unlimited. Awards are presented at a post-race party at Waterman’s, on Pier Plaza, to the top three men, and women finishers in their respective divisions.

Following the start of the 15 mile race, at 8 a.m., is a three mile race from the Hermosa pier, south to the Redondo Breakwall, out half a mile to the second sail race buoy, and back to the Hermosa Pier.

Awards in the three mile race are presented to the top three finishers in the stock, 14-foot and unlimited divisions. Entry includes VESL paddleboard raffle. Under 18 paddlers require parental consent. The South Bay Paddle was founded in 2018 by Race directors Scott Rusher and Matt Walls, with support from the South Bay Boardriders Club.  The race is a qualifier for the 32-mile Catalina Classic, on Sunday, August 27.  

Register at PaddleGuru.com/races/TheSouthBayPaddle2023.

South Bay Dozen 

Torrance Beach

Saturday, July 8

The South Bay Dozen is a premier event in ocean racing, drawing competitors from all over California, the East Coast, and overseas. The event features elite men and women, but also supports junior athletes by including members of the United States Surf Life Saving Association’s High Performance Team, and the Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguard Surf Racing Team. The South Bay Dozen was founded in 2006 by Los Angeles County Lifeguards Mike and Brian Murphy, and benefits the Jimmy Miller Foundation. Events include paddleboard, surf ski, swim and running races. Points are accumulated for each event participated in, making for a full day of water sports. Register at SouthBayDozen.com.

Former pro surfer Sean Burrell recovers after helping son Grayson win his heat in the groms-assist division at the South Bay Boardriders/El Porto Surf shop contest in February. Over 200 surfers from groms to grandpas compete in the annual SBBC Contest Series. Photo by Steve Gaffney (SteveGaffney.com)

R10 Paddleboard Race

Torrance Beach

Saturday, July 8

The R10 Paddleboard Race for prone paddlers has two events: a historic 8 mile long course, and a family friendly 2 mile short course. The 8 mile Long Course starts at Torrance Beach and heads south west along the beautiful Palos Verdes peninsula to the R10 buoy. From there, paddlers will round the buoy and race down swell back to Torrance Beach. The 2 mile Short Course starts at Torrance Beach and races north just outside the surf to Knob Hill Avenue, the paddlers will round a red buoy and race back to Torrance Beach. The short course was designed as a family friendly race, for Junior Lifeguards, and those who may be new to paddleboard racing. The short course has a foamy division for those who don’t have standard paddleboards. The 2023 R10 Paddleboard Race is a  South Bay Boardriders Club event.

Rock2Rock Paddleboard Race

Two Harbors Catalina Island

Sunday, July 16

Rock 2 Rock is a challenging, (generally) downwind,  22-mile, Catalina Channel crossing, from Two Harbors on Catalina Island to Cabrillo State Beach in San Pedro. The race attracts over 100 prone, stand-up, and surf ski paddlers, and is popular with relay teams. The 2023 Rock 2 Rock will utilize GPS tracking so all of the action on the water can be followed online by friends and family at home. Rock 2 Rock was started in 1997 by famed paddleboard shaper Joe Bark. The race is now presented by the South Bay Boardriders Club. This is a Molo2Oahu, and Catalina Classic qualifier, and benefits the Sarcoma Alliance. 

Register at Paddleguru.com/races/Rock2Rock2023.

Youth sailing

International Surf Festival

King Harbor

Wednesday, August 2

Young sailors will race in King Harbor Basin #3, between Joe’s Crab Shack, and the former Sports Fishing Pier. The race includes Optimists, which are a single sailor, 7-foot-9 inch dinghies, and FJ’s (Flying Juniors), which are 14-feet long, and have a two person crew. Racers must provide their own boats, though the King Harbor Youth Foundation has a limited number  of Optimists to loan to competitors. These boats are available on a first come first serve basis.

Entries must be received by July 31. KHYC.org

Round the R10 Paddleboard Race

International Surf Festival

Torrance Beach

Saturday, Aug. 5

The 25th Annual Round the R10 Paddleboard starts at Torrance Beach, runs offshore four miles to the R10 buoy (PV 10), and back to the start. Tradition calls for first timers to jump from the top of the R10 Buoy, which is approximately 15 feet  high. Buoy sea lions are intimidating, but generally make way for paddlers climbing the buoy. Prone and stand-up paddlers. Shorter races for kids and recreational paddlers. The race was founded by former Riviera Mexican owner Danny Williams and son-in-law Kyle Daniels. Proceeds benefit the Harbor Interfaith Services homeless programs. Surffestival.org

International Body Surfing Championships

International Surf Festival

Manhattan Beach pier, north side

Saturday, August 5

The Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Association hosts this contest, whose competitors range from novices to world champions. Men and women age divisions are determined on race day, based on the ages of the competitors. Swim fins only. SurfFestival.org

Surfing Championships

International Surf Festival 

Manhattan Beach pier, south side

Saturday, August 5

The ISF Surfing Championships began with the inaugural International Surf Festival in 1962, and has a storied history of great South Bay surfers. Divisions include groms (12 and under), Juniors (13-17), open, and longboard divisions. Longboards must be 9 feet, or three feet overhead. For information contact race director John Joseph at (310) 614-9996, or johnpjoseph45@gmail.com. Registration at SurfFestival.org

Velzy/Stevens Paddleboard Race

International Surf Festival

Manhattan Beach pier

Sunday, August 6

This race is named after pioneer board builder Dale Velzy, who built boards under the Manhattan Beach pier in the late 1940s; and Terry Stevens, who won the Catalina Classic stock division on a Velzy paddleboard in 1982, the year the Catalina Classic resumed, after a two-decade hiatus. The race starts at 7:30 a.m., off the end of the Manhattan Beach pier, and ends on the south side of the Hermosa Beach Pier, a distance of 1.6 miles. Paddlers of all ages, on all kinds of boards, from parents, and kids paddling tandem on soft tops, to elite paddlers training for the upcoming Catalina Classic. The race is sponsored by the South Bay Boardriders Club, whose members assist paddlers entering and exiting the water. Surffestival.org.

Audiologist and recurrent Los Angeles County Lifeguard Brian Bullock won the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Race for a fifth time last year. Photo by Ray Vidal

Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim

International Surf Festival

Hermosa Beach pier

Sunday, August 6

The Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim celebrates its 60th anniversary and remains one of the most popular long distance swims in the United States.  In 2022, 1164 swimmers completed this grueling, two-mile course. Swimmers start on the south side of the 10th Street lifeguard tower, round the Hermosa Beach pier, continue to the Manhattan pier, and swim ashore on the north side of the pier. The swim will again be conducted in 3 heats. The first heat, male swimsuit, will start at 9:00 am. The second heat, female swimsuit & wetsuit, will start at 9:05 am. The third heat, male wetsuit, will start at 9:10 am. Swimmers who did not complete the 2022 Pier-to-Pier swim must register for the swim on-line,and then pass a 500-meter “check out” swim.  Swim “check outs” will be held at the Hermosa Beach Pier on July 15, 22, and 23, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. SurfFestival.org

Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

Two Harbors, Catalina Island

Sunday August 27

The Catalina Classic is the oldest (established 1955) and longest (32 miles) organized prone 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 prone paddleboarding’s most prestigious race, attracting competitors from all over the world.  The race starts at the Catalina Isthmus and finishes at the Manhattan Beach pier. The race benefits ocean related programs. Past recipients include the L.A. County Jr. Lifeguard Scholarship Fund, The Manhattan Beach Roundhouse Aquarium and the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation. CatalinaClassicPaddleboardRace.org

Catalina Cup

Manhattan Beach pier

Sunday, August 27

The inaugural Catalina Cup will be a family friendly,  two mile paddleboard race starting and finishing at the Manhattan Beach pier. Paddlers will go south, round two red buoys, and return to the pier. The race will end in time for competitors to welcome paddlers in the 32 mile Catalina Classic paddleboard race, which starts at 6 a.m. at Two Harbors on Catalina Island. The short course is designed for Junior Lifeguards, family and friends, and those new to paddleboard racing. Softops, as well as traditional paddle boards allowed. Presented by The South Bay Boardriders Club. Register at PaddleGuru.com

Lanakila Outrigger coach Al Ching rounds a buoy during the 2022 Lanakila Regatta. Photo by Mike McKinney

U.S. Outrigger Championships

Saturday, Sunday September 9, 10

Newport, Catalina Island

The Annual Catalina Channel Crossing/U.S. Outrigger Championships is the longest Polynesian canoe race in the continental U.S. The women’s race begins Saturday morning in Newport and finishes 26 miles later, in Avalon. The men’s race departs Avalon the following morning for Newport. The South Bay is represented by Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in King Harbor Lanakila.com. CatalinaCrossing.org

Swim the Avenues

Miramar Park, Redondo Beach

Sunday, September 10

Swim the Avenues was founded five years ago by Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand and Steven Munatones, president of the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA). Their goal was to showcase the water off Redondo Beach as a venue for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics 10K Marathon Swim. That dream, while not yet realized, led to the founding of the annual Swim the Avenues. The event includes a one-mile race with wetsuits and non wetsuit divisions, and a half-mile race that combines wetsuit and non wetsuit swimmers. Awards for age groups, including $300 for top male and female finishers in the non wetsuit one mile race. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Redondo Beach Education Foundation (RBEF). VillageRunner.com/swim-the-avenues

Throughout summer

Scuba diving 

Dive N’ Surf, the nation’s oldest dive shop, offers scuba lessons for individuals 10 and older in its new indoor pool. Upon completion of an ocean certification dive, divers will have earned  PADI Recreational Diver certification, entitling them to Dive N Surf Dive Team membership and excursions. A PADI scuba certification qualifies divers to rent SCUBA equipment from PADI certified dive centers, worldwide. 504 N. Broadway Avenue, Redondo Beach.  DiveNSurf.com

The Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race statue is scheduled for unveiling at the Manhattan Beach pier this summer. Rendering by Michael Lee Architects

Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue

Summer 2023

Manhattan Beach pier

A sculpture commemorating the Catalina Classic Paddleboard race is scheduled for unveiling this summer, prior to the race’s 46th year on Sunday, August 27. The sculpture features a lifesize male figure holding an upright 16-foot tall paddleboard, flanked by a male and a female figure knee paddling. The sculpture is by former pro surfer Chris Barela, whose other local work includes the Tim Kelly surfer statue at the Hermosa Beach pier and the Meistrell twins sculpture at Seaside Lagoon in King Harbor. The Classic statue will be located alongside the beach bike path, just south of the Manhattan Beach pier. The statue is being paid for by funds raised by the South Bay Boardriders Club. For more information, visit SouthBayBoardRiders.org.


OPTI West Coast Championship at King Harbor Yacht Club

Sailing lessons for kids from the

King Harbor Youth Foundation

Like most sports, learning to sail young is better than waiting until you can afford to sail, but don’t have the time to learn. 

The King Harbor Youth Foundation offers morning and afternoon sailing lessons for kids throughout the summer. 

The first of four series runs June 19-30. The final sessions go from July 31-Aug. 11.

Courses include Opti I, for kids age 7-13, who must first pass a swim test. The class teaches students how to sail solo on an 8-foot single-sail “Opti” boat and reach a windward destination.

Opti 2 classes are for ages 7-13, with a focus on slow speed maneuvers, how to sail upwind and other, crucial boat handling skills, including tacking and gybing.

Adventure Sailing is for youth ages 8-17. Participants sail as a group on a 24-foot Martin sailboat, learning rigging, knot-tying, docking and open-ocean sailing. 

Youths 13-18, may also take beginning “Flying Junior” (F.J.) Sailing. This class is for those looking to sail with partners on these14-foot Olympic racing boats. 

Scholarships are available for all classes. 

For more information, visit KHYF.org. ER


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