Got a chance to chat with Rich Hidalgo, Sergeant with the Imperial Beach Lifeguards and Avalon to Dana Point racer. Here's what I learned:
1. If you're going to compete, bring the right stuff: fourteen feet is nice, sixteen to eighteen with a rudder system gets you a little bit more competitive. Let's see, my old F250 4x4 came in right close to 2o feet long- looks like you'd need to construct a dedicated board garage for that kind of hardware.
2. Hardcore award goes to the two brothers who first crossed to Catalina the morning of the race on a PWC (Waverunner), then turned around and paddled a rudderless stand up board almost forty miles as a two person team. In trunks. So that's two hours crossing on the PWC and seven plus hours paddling- that's a long hard day. Who are those guys?
3. If it's worth doing once, it's worth doing again. Rich says the whole team is fired up to run it again- there must be something to it, these guys (and gal) are hooked. More races in the works.
If you haven't already done so, go check out KeNalu the online journal of stand up paddle surfing. Bill Babcock, the editor, is holding onto some additional Catalina photos from other racers and will be putting together a photo essay. Check it out!
And... If you're sending me photos to post please send high resolution photos as attachments to my email address. A few have sent links to photobooks etc. which I haven't been able to access- hook me up! Send photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org