South Bay paddleboard race schedule summer 2012
by Tim Ritter
For South Bay watermen and waterwoman, the longer days signals the end of the surf season and the start of the paddleboarding season. Start those morning or evening workouts now and you’ll have just enough time to get in shape for the 10th Annual Hennessey’s Return to the Pier on Friday, May 25. By race standards, it’s short, just 3.5 miles from the Hermosa pier to the Manhattan pier and back. This is a fun race for everyone, not just elite prone and stand-up paddlers. And it’s the only evening race.
The following weekend, on Saturday, June 2, is the Hobie / Hennessey’s U.S. Championships. Despite its intimidating title, it’s also open to recreational paddlers. The stock race is six miles and the unlimited is eight miles. Though traditionally held in the beach cities, this year’s championships will be at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point.
Saturday June 9 brings the return of the Riviera Mexican Grill R-10 race. This is a fun race from Torrance Beach to the R-10 buoy off of Palos Verdes, with great food waiting back at the finish.
Keep training and you can be ready for the Rock2Rock on Father’s Day, June 17. This one’s a bit longer, but relay teams are allowed. Rock2Rock starts at the Isthmus on Catalina Island and ends 22.17 miles later at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. Race director George Loren changed the course last year, making it more of a downwinder, which was good news for the stand-up paddlers. Paddlers are required to have an escort boat.
On July 7, the Murphy brothers and the Hennessey Paddleboard Series put on the South Bay Dozen at Torrance Beach. The dozen events include includes prone and stand-up paddling, dories, surf skis, and a run-swim-run. This is a family friendly day and competitors need only compete in a single event. Proceeds go to the Jimmy Miller Foundation.
The shortest paddleboard race of the season is the Velzy-Stevens Pier to Pier Paddleboard Championships on Sunday August 5, as part of the International Surf Festival. This is another family friendly event, with parent and kids paddling side by side, and sometimes on the same boards.
The longest race of the season is the Catalina Classic, on the last Sunday of summer, August 26. The 32 mile race from the Catalina Isthmus to the Manhattan Beach pier attracts paddlers from around the Pacific.
The paddleboard racing season ends with the Hennessey’s World SUP and Paddleboard Championships in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on November 3 and 4. This could be the last warm water local paddlers enjoy until next summer.
No one ever regrets time spent on the water. But if you need motivation to get out of bed early enough to paddle before work, signing up for a race will solve that problem.
For more information on this summer’s paddleboard races visit:
Tim Ritter is the director of the Hennessey’s SUP and Paddleboard Racing Series.