Summer Ocean Competition – Easy Reader 2024

As a measure of the growing number of women surfing, the South Bay Boardriders Club is hosting Queen of the South Bay on Saturday June 1 in El Porto. Women of all ages and abilities are invited to compete in both longboard and short divisions. Local surfers (above) Luna Flores, Tristan Johnson, Darby Roach, Keane Honda-Snow, and Angelina Decesare were finalists in the SB Boardriders/El Porto Surf contest last February. Photo by Steve Gaffney 

Surfing, paddling, swimming, sailing, and diving are all complimentary sports that define the South Bay lifestyle


Local shredder Shiloh Page impresses the judges at the South Bay Boardriders/El Porto Surf Shop contest in February. The last of this season’s SB Boardrider contests is the Spyder Surf contest on Saturday 9, May 11. Contests are open to non members. Photo by Steve Gaffney. (


South Bay Boardriders/Spyder Surf Contest

42nd Street, Manhattan Beach 

Saturday, May 11

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. First heats, 7 a.m.

The South Bay Boardriders Club has over 200 family members. In addition to contests, it offers 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


Queen of the South Bay

SB Boardriders Surf Contest

42nd St. Tower,  Manhattan Beach

Saturday, June 1

Queen of the South Bay is for women of all ages and skill levels. Registration closes Wednesday, May 29  at 11 p.m. Beach sign ups morning of the event for available spots. Sign in opens at 7 a.m. for contestants to receive all their swag (QOTSB hat, poster, lunch ticket). Live events results will be available on  Longboards must be a minimum of 8 ft. For contestants under 14, long boards must be 3 feet over the competitor’s head.  15 minute heats, best two waves. Register at


Jack Bark sets the pace for drafting paddlers in last summer’s South Bay Paddle, a 15 mile race from the Hermosa Pier to Palos Verdes and back to the pier. This year’s South Bay Paddle is Saturday, June 8. Photo by Fabian Castro


South Bay Paddle

Saturday, June 8

Hermosa Beach Pier

15 mile, 3 mile races

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 25.  Register at


R10 Paddleboard Race

Sunday June, 29

RAT Beach/Torrance

2 Miles or 8 Miles

The 8 mile Long Course starts at 7 a.m. just off Torrance Beach and heads south west for four miles along the Palos Verdes peninsula to the R10 buoy. Paddlers will round the buoy and race down swell back to Torrance Beach. The long course route is one of the most popular paddle routes in the South Bay. The Long Course is designed for the more experienced paddlers who want to test their race fitness or maybe just want to race their friends.

The 2 mile Short Course starts just off Torrance Beach and runs  north just outside the surf to Knob Hill. From there, the paddlers will round a big red buoy and race back to Torrance Beach and sprint up the beach and across the electronic timing chip finish line. The short course is designed as a fun family friendly race for Junior Lifeguards and those who may be new to paddleboard racing. Don’t own a paddleboard? The short course has a foam board division. Register at


South Bay Dozen 

Torrance Beach

Saturday, July 6

The South Bay Dozen is a premier event in ocean racing, drawing competitors from all over California, the East Coast, and overseas. 8 a.m. start. The competition  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. The event benefits the Jimmy Miller Foundation. Points are accumulated for each event participated in, making for a full day of water sports. Register at



Rock2Rock Paddleboard Race

Two Harbors Catalina Island

Sunday, July 14

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. Rock 2 Rock utilizes 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.  For more information, visit Register at


International Surf Festival

Hemosa  Beach, Manhattan Beach

Wednesday, July 31 – Sunday August 4

​​​Hermosa Beach is the host city for this year’s 61st Annual International Surf Festival. Events will  also be held in Manhattan Beach and at Torrance Beach. The three signature events for the festival are the Judge Taplin Lifeguard Medley Relay Saturday night at the Hermosa pier, the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim on Sunday, and the Charlie Saikley 6-Man Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan throughout the festival. Other events include surfing and bodysurfing contests, a beach run, paddleboard and dory races, and youth events.  The festival begins with the Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Medal of Valor award ceremony at the King Harbor Yacht Club on Wednesday, July 31.  For more information visit


Lifeguard Medal of Valor dinner

King Harbor Life Club

Wednesday, July 31

The Los Angeles County Fire Department Lifeguard Medal of Valor award dinner recognizes lifeguards for Lifetime Achievement, and for heroic rescues over the past year. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Retired Beach Captain Jim Jacobson, known as the ‘lifeguards’ lifeguard.” Lifeguards Max Malamed and Ryan Aronson will receive Medal of Valor Awards. Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to lifeguards Brian Kari and Sean Kennedy. This year’s dinner will also celebrate the Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguard program. 5:30 p.m. at the King Harbor Yacht Club. Reservations at

The King Harbor Yacht Club hosts youth sailing instruction and races throughout the summer. For details visit Photo by Volker Corell


Youth sailing

International Surf Festival

King Harbor

Wednesday, July 31

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 29.  Register at



International Body Surfing Championships

International Surf Festival

Manhattan Beach pier, north side

Saturday, August 3

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. The top 2 finishers in each preliminary heat will advance to a championship heat in that division. Swim fins only. Register at



Summer Surf Off

International Surf Festival 

Manhattan Beach pier, south side

Saturday, August 3

The ISF Surfing Championships began with the inaugural International Surf Festival in 1962, and has a storied history of great South Bay surfers. Divisions from groms (9 and under) to super legends (60 and over). Longboard and shortboard divisions. Longboards must be 9 feet, or three feet overhead. For more information, visit Registration at


Oceans 7 Paddleboard Race

International Surf Festival

Saturday, August 3

The Oceans 7 paddleboard long course race starts in the water at 8 a.m. at Torrance Beach, heads north to the Hermosa Pier and returns to the start at Torrance Beach. Pre race safety meeting and course review at 7:30 a.m. Stock, 14-foot and unlimited prone divisions for women’s open, men’s open and men’s masters (50 and over). Also SUP 12-foot-6 and unlimited men’s and women’s divisions. Coffee, breakfast burritos and swag for all paddlers. Register at



Velzy/Stevens Paddleboard Race

International Surf Festival

Manhattan Beach pier

Sunday, August 4

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 is a signature event of the International Surf Festival. 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. Registration at



Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim

International Surf Festival

Hermosa Beach pier

Sunday, August 4

The Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim celebrates its 61th anniversary and remains one of the most popular long distance swims in the United States. In 2023, 1350 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 a.m. The second heat, female swimsuit and wetsuit, will start at 9:05 am. The third heat, male wetsuit, will start at 9:10 am. Any contestant who did not complete the 2023 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 on the south side of the Hermosa Beach Pier on July 13, 20, and 21 from 9am – 11am.  Decisions of Lifeguards at “check out” are final.  Register at



Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

Two Harbors, Catalina Island

Sunday August 25

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.  

Paddlers leave the Catalina Island Isthmus at 6 a.m and paddle 32 miles to the Manhattan Beach Pier on paddle boards between 12 and 19 feet long. Unpredictable swells, currents, and wind play into the notoriously grueling race. 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. Race Registration on

Registration for Pre Qualifiers: May 15  – June 15

Registration for Open Qualifiers: June 20 – July 20

Open-qualifiers will receive confirmation of race entry or receive refunds by August 1. Information:


Catalina Cup Paddleboard Race

Manhattan Beach pier

Sunday, August 25

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 


Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club paddlers train during an evening workout while sailboats race in the King Harbor Yacht Club Twilight Series Thursday night races. Photo by Ryan Scott O’Hearn


U.S. Outrigger Championships.

Saturday, Sunday September 7, 8

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


Swim the Avenues was founded by former Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand to showcase the South Bay as a venue for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics 10K Marathon win. This year’s Swim the Avenues is Saturday, September 8. Photo by Kevin Cody


Swim the Avenues

Miramar Park, Redondo Beach

Saturday, September 8

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. For more information, visit


John Shearer practices at the Manhattan Beach Pier for the International Bodysurfing Championships, sponsored by the Gillis Beach Bodysurfing Association. The International Surf Festival event is Saturday, August 3.

Throughout summer

Scuba diving 

Dive N’ Surf, the nation’s oldest dive shop, offers scuba lessons for individuals 10 and older in its 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.


Kids sailing lessons 

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. 

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 ER


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