MANHATTAN BEACH, CA – 29 Jun, 2017 – Over 100 prone paddleboarders will compete in the 32 mile Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, to be held Sunday, August 27. The Classic is paddleboarding’s longest distance and oldest established race.
The race starts at 6 a.m. at Two Harbors on Catalina Island and ends at the Manhattan Beach pier. Top paddlers are expected to finish the race in just over five hours. The record is five hours, two minutes and 12 seconds, set in 1999 by Los Angeles County Lifeguard Tim Gair. Finishing times vary significantly depending on the wind, current, swells and tide. Paddlers race prone or on their knees, using only their arms. The narrow, carbon fiber boards range from 12 feet (stock division) to 18 feet (unlimited division).
The inaugural Catalina Classic took place in 1955. Legendary big wave surfer Ricky Grigg won the race in eight hours, 24 minutes and 17 seconds. Two other big wave legends competing that year were George Downing, who won the Makaha International big wave surf contest the previous year and Greg Noll, who pioneered surfing Waimea’s big waves in 1957.
Australia big wave rider Jamie Mitchell, winner of 10 consecutive Molokai Channel Paddleboard races, won the Catalina Classic in 2002. Olympic silver medalist swimmer (Sydney, 2000) and Los Angeles County Lifeguard Chad Carvin won the race in 2008.
This year’s top Catalina Classic contenders include 2016 men’s unlimited winner Max First, 2016 stock winner Lachie Lansdown and 2016 women’s winner Abby Brown. First is a Los Angeles County Lifeguard from Manhattan Beach. Lansdown is a professional paddler from Australia. Brown is a professional surfer from Santa Barbara and winner of the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard race. Though new to paddling this year, Beijing Olympics gold medalist and American 100 meter freestyle record holder David Walters could add another top finish to his list of achievements.
2016 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race video by Chris Aguilar/Fin Film
Professional surfer Abby Brown, of Santa Barbara, races to victory in the 2016 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race and will be a favorite in the 2017 Catalina Classic. Photo by Mike Ruiz/Easy Reader.
Company Name: Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race
Contact Person: Kevin Cody
Phone: (310) 944-1101
Country: United States