In case you weren't able to make it to Dana Point for this years BOP, here is 5 minutes of what you missed.See you next year...
It’s hard to believe that after last years Battle of the Paddle anything could possibly top it but this years BOP took paddling to yet another level. Participation was up with between 900 to a 1000 paddlers entered in all 7 events. It was truly an international event with paddlers coming from almost every corner of the globe. All three SUP mags were on hand to document the event, interviewing athletes and visiting with their advertisers. The number of vendors in the Expo was also up over last year with many new companies vying for a place in the rapidly expanding SUP market.
The elite race format changed this year due to the large number of paddlers wanting to participate. This year there were 2 qualifier heats where the first 50 % of the field would advance to the main event. The qualifier heats really changed things as some of the really skilled athletes did not make the cut do to collisions, missing sets and slower paddlers in the line. The elite race was as exciting as ever and once the first lap was over it was clear who the 3 strongest paddlers were. Danny, Conner and Jamie were in a real dogfight all the way to the finish line with Conner pulling ahead to take first place, Jamie 2nd and Danny in 3rd.
Sunday they tried to get the distance race started promptly at 9am but due to the large number on contestants they had to widen the start line to accommodate everyone. The conditions were calm as the horn blew and 223 paddlers headed for San Clemente pier. It wasn’t long before they were out of site. After about an hour you could finally see little specks on the horizon returning to Doheny. The announcer confirmed what we had been thinking that yes it was Danny Ching in the lead followed by Rob Rojas. As they rounded the final buoy and headed for the beach the crowd went crazy cheering Danny and Rob on. Danny Ching finished 1st with a winning time of 1:17 followed by Rob Rojas with a time of 1:17:42 3rd place went to Travis Grant and 4th place to Jamie Mitchell.
I think the high light of the day for the spectators was the Kids race. The groms are always a treat because their enthusiasm is infectious and the crowd really gets behind them.
All the kids have a great time and It’s fun watching the parents cheering the little ones on.
The last event of the day was the team relay race. All teams consist of 4 people 3 men and 1 woman except Danny Ching's team. Danny decided to race with all kids. And they did quite well by finishing 35th out of a field of 43 adult teams.
The day wrapped up with the awards ceremony followed by an after party at the Rogue house in San Juan…
Big thanks to Sparky, Rainbow Sandals, Gerry Lopez, Barrett Tester, Pat Huber, Kelly French and their entire staff of volunteers for putting on another great event.
The Super Bowl of SUP
Below are some photos from the event... Stay tuned for the Video.
posted by - Mike Muir
This year at the Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle we had a fresh batch of Commercials for the webcast viewers. If you missed it or were at the BOP this year, here are the commercials you missed... Stay tuned for pictures and video from the event!
Depression Hurts Stand Up Paddling Can Help...
404 - Danny Ching Commercial
If you've missed the web videos we have been making this year this is a short video of the highlights...
What a difference a year makes…
We arrived at Seaward Park in Seattle early Saturday morning to meet up with Chuck Patterson and Karen Wrenn to see how their Paddle with a Pro class was doing. The weather was amazing with clear skies, calm winds and the air temperature hovering around 78 degrees. Before long we were unloading boards and beginning to set up the site for tomorrows race, Barrett Tester and Kelly French arrived and began working with Dan Eberhart and Jeff Underwood on logistics, location of the finish line and buoy locations.
The conversations kept going back to the same thing, the amazing weather with record temperatures and the number of days the sun had been shinning. The weather forecast was predicting almost 90-degree temperatures for race day. The SUP Gods were surely smiling down on us and tomorrow was looking like it was going to be a fantastic day.
We woke up Sunday to what was maybe the best day of weather in an 8-day run of sunshine in Seattle. It looked like the weather men were right on and we were going to have a stellar day for the race.
We rolled into the event site around 7:00 am and finished rolling out our gear while the event staff and volunteers showed up and began getting things ready. Vendors were setting up tents racers started arriving and before long what was a deserted park a few hours earlier now looked like a small rock concert that was about to take place. We were hoping for a 9:00 am sharp start to the 13-mile race but do the overwhelming number of beach entrants the start was pushed back almost 45 minutes. Finally the last person was signed up and everyone gathered for race instructions and a few words about the significance of the day and a remembrance of those we lost on September 11th ten years ago to the day.
Soon everyone started heading out to the starting line, which was about 100 plus yards off shore. Kelly French the beach marshal paddled out on a board with a bullhorn and tried his best to get the racers all lined up for the start. After a few attempts at calling some racers into place on the line the horn blew and all 209 racers were off for the mad 13-mile dash around Mercer Island. It wasn’t long before the last racer disappeared around the corner. It would be another 2 hours plus before we would see anyone rounding the other corner of the island heading to the finish line.
We started rounding up the groms for what I think is the one of the highlights of the day the Kids Race. The kids are the future of the sport and it’s great to see the kids category growing at such a fast pace. 23 enthusiastic kids of all ages took part in the race.
Around 1 hour 45 minutes into the Elite race we saw some racers in the distance starting to round Mercer Island. Upon further inspection we could see it was Thomas Maximus the Unlimited class winner from last year coming in first again. Behind Thomas was local unlimited paddler Beau Whitehead followed by our event promoter/founder Dan Eberhardt. The next group to finish was the 14’ class led by Brian Haag 1st place, Cyril Burguiere 2nd place and in third place was Mike Darbyshire.
The 12’-6” class was led by Riviera’s Brandon Rambo 1st place, Blake Hanley 2nd place and 3rd place going to Greg Gilbert.
The over all women’s winner on a 14’ was Bend Oregon’s own Karen Wrenn.
Next up was the 3.5-mile fun race, which is a great event to do if you want to see how you would like racing or if you just want an excuse to get out and paddle and visit with your friends. 95 people lined up and decided to paddle, have fun and enjoy an incredible fall day on the water in the North West.
Team relay was the last event of the day and next to the kid’s race is probably the most fun to watch.
We would like to thank Dan Eberhardt, Jeff Underwood, REI, Barrett Tester, Kelly French and all the many volunteers who made this year’s event such a huge success.
Thomas Maximus Shahinian UL 2:04:48
Beau Whitehead UL 2:11:23
Dan Eberhardt UL 2:18:50
Brian Haag 14, 2:21:07
Cyril Burguiere 14, 2:22:30
Mike Darbyshire 14, 2:22:53
Brandon Rambo 12.6, 2:23:38
Blake Hanley 12.6, 2:32:19
Greg Gilbert 12.6, 2:37:34
Karen Wrenn 14, 2;23:47
Shannon Bell 12.6, 2:39:08
Terri Plunkett 12.6, 2:45:49
Jaime Donnelly 12.6, 2:52:42
Riviera Sales rep and Team rider Helga Goebel took the overall win in the SUP summer series... She has been on a roll this year winning the Key West Classic, the Florida State Championships, the Sunshine SUP race series, the Komona Paddle, and the Orange Bowl Race. Check out the article on (Endurance Sports Florida) about the race by clicking HERE... Congrats Helga!
Efforts between China and US suffer setback over SUP race board thought to be a missile.Efforts in instilling a culture of transparency and integrity in government and business between China and the U.S. suffered a slight set back when a suspicious shipment, thought to be a missile, was confiscated by Chinese customs. After several x-ray scans left officials perplexed, the carton was opened revealing it's content, a stealth water craft which later was found out to be the new Riviera 12'6" Eric Starnes SUP race board. The threat has been averted for now until these Riviera 12'6" raceboards start shipping to the U.S. for the Battle Of The Paddle and to civillians in 2012...
Riviera 12'6" raceboard... Shape by Eric Starnes... Available 2012.