With over 900 racers and about 15,000 spectators, Battle of the Paddle, which took place in Dana Point, California on the weekend of Sept 24/25 2011 was probably the biggest and most important SUP event this year. Here is our race report, with a slight bias towards how our European friends did.
DAY1- Elite Race – course around buoys, surfing waves and beach running
Saturday was the Elite Race, a short distance 3 Mile race around buoys. New rules meaning Elite racers had to qualify in 2-Mile heats to get a spot in the final. That meant 2 heats for every racer and of each heat 50% went to the final.
Eric Terrien (Spain) was in heat 2 and came in 4th after top 3 Australians Jamie Mitchel / Travis Grant / Kelley Margaret. The final was a tough 3 lap course with turns around buoys, surfing the waves to the beach and running through the sand.
Eric had a bad start, he got stuck starting in too deep water, he was about 15th at first buoy, then make a incredible comeback to finish neck in neck with Slater Trout but Slater ran quicker in the sand and finished 1 second in front of Eric. Despite the bad start, Eric confirmed his standings in the World top ten paddlers by finishing 8th !
17-year old Conner Baxter (Hawaii) took the overall win, closely followed by Jamie Mitchell (Australia) and Danny Ching (Redondo Beach)
Here is a video of one of the heats thanks to Paul Jackson: http://www.vimeo.com/29638194
For the ladies, our friend Annabel Anderson (Starboard/New Zealand) came in 3rd after Candice Appleby and Brandi Baksic.
Well done, Eric and Annabel!
Men’s Elite Race Results:
- Baxter, Conner (17) 0:43:52
- Mitchell, Jamie (34) 0:43:55
- Ching, Danny (28) 0:44:00
- Cronsteadt, Georges (31) 0:44:50
- Lenny, Kai (18) 0:45:06
- Grant, Travis (28) 0:45:17
- Trout, Slater (16) 0:45:20
- Terrien, Eric (29) 0:45:21
- O'brian, Beau (28) 0:45:38
- Margetts, Kelly(39) 0:45:58
Women’s Elite Race Results:
- Appleby, Candice (26) 0:49:44
- Baksic, Brandi (39) 0:50:12
- Anderson, Annabel(30) 0:50:19
- Kalmbach, Jennifer(28) 0:50:31
- Gibree, Gillian (26) 0:50:37
- Gangini, Talia (18) 0:51:13
- Baus, Heather (39) 0:52:31
- Vento, Gail (35) 0:52:49
- Zur, Krisztina (30) 0:52:59
- Hoesterey, Morgan (30) 0:53:00
Check out this great video from the event:
DAY2 – 10 Mile Long Distance Race
On Sunday, 130 racers competed in the long distance race. The course was from Dana Point to San Clemente and back. Different from the day before, the conditions were calm seas and a light side-onshore wind that offered no free rides.
Danny Ching (Redondo Beach), who had finished 3rd in the Elite Race the day before, broke away in the first minute and never relinquishing his solid lead. He took the win with a time of 1:17:00, finishing with over a minute lead on the other competitors. San Clemente’s Rob Rojas took second (1:18:12) and Australia’s Jamie Mitchell and Travis Grant finished third and fourth with a shared time of 1:20:23 (all in the unlimited class).
Danny said: “This was definitely a tough race.Y ou had to work every inch of the way – no bumps or glides like you get in the Hawaii Battle. But after losing yesterday in the Elite race, I was pumped to get out there and make it happen today. It feels good to finish up with a win."
For the ladies, Saturday’s winner Candice Appleby took first, finishing at 1:30:14 with Annabel Anderson (1:32:22) and Brandi Baksic (1:32:44) close behind at second and third.
Men’s top 10 long distance (all classes)
- Ching, Danny (28) 1:17:00
- Rojas, Robert (38) 1:18:12
- Grant, Travis (28) 1:20:23
- Mitchell, Jamie (34) 1:20:23
- Cronsteadt, Georges (31) 1:20:58
- Vargas, Jared (27) 1:21:02
- Maximus, Thomas (42) 1:21:10
- De Zwart, Bart (41) 1:22:09
- Baxter, Connor (17) 1:22:59
- Stockdale, Brian (48) 1:23:20
Women’s top 10 long distance (all classes)
- Appleby, Candice (26) 1:30:11
- Anderson, Annabel (30) 1:32:22
- Baksic, Brandi (39) 1:32:44
- Kalmbach, Jennifer (28) 1:33:33
- Wrenn, Karen (39) 1:33:43
- Strazzulla, Suzy (39) 1:39:59
- Vento, Gail (35) 1:40:29
- Lee, Jennifer (30) 1:40:55
- Vesler, Ruthy (33) 1:41:42
- Jackson, Angela (35) 1:43:20
Our friends from Europe did really well in the 30-39.12’6 class. Gaetan Sene (Mistral/France) came in first before Paul Jackson and Belar Diaz (both Fanatic)
- Sene, Gaetan (34) 1:29:03
- Jackson, Paul (35) 1:31:36
- Diaz, Belar (34) 1:34:43
Congratulations to all winners!
We briefly spoke to Belar Diaz (Fanatic/Spain) after the race:
Congrats Belar on your 3rd place at BOP in the long distance race 12'6 class. Tell us about the event. How was BOP? Pretty big event. was it?
BOP is the most amazing event I've ever been involved with. The atmosphere is amazing, and the athlete's level impressive.
The Elite race was chaos around the buoys but all worthy when you caught a wave on the inside and you pass 10+ competitors. I did 49th on my heat and I learned a lot from the experience.
And how did the long distance race go for you? How were the conditions?
The Long distance race on Sunday was almost as spectacular with nearly 250 people and more my type of race. The conditions were excellent, with no wind or high seas. I felt great during the race and I managed a 3er place in 12'6 M30-39. Getting the award from Gerry Lopez himself & Sparky was special for me.
For the ladies 30-39 12’6 class, Angela van Hoof-Jackson (Fanatic/Australia) came in first (1:43:30) before Heather Baus and Monica Pasco.
We also briefly spoke to Angela after the race:
Congrats Angela, on winning the 12'6 class of the women's long distance race. Tell us about it. How were the conditions and how did the race go for you?
Yep, I was pretty stoked to find out i had won. The 12'6 carbon race is a great race board. We had small chop on top of the water and it was pretty hot. The race for me was great, it was probably the best I had felt since finishing the 11 cities tour of Holland.
How did you feel paddling in Cali so shortly after the very demanding Elevencity tour?
My body was buggered after Holland!! I think it took at least 2 wks to get myself back on track. I ate so much food after Holland LOL.
LOL. Same same, glad I was not the only one binge-eating after Eleven City ☺ For those who weren't there, tell us about BOP, what kind of event was it? How did you like it?
BOP is unreal, I love it. The vibe is great! Typically the main Elite race is in/out through surf with running in transitions followed by a Distacne race and Team Relay race. Highly recommend everyone doing at BOP, so much fun.
And here are some pics (c) Carl Cambilargiu and Zone57/Rainbow Sandals.