|The course is advertised as 11.35 miles. My GPS put it at 11.7 but that just could've been due to my zig zag paddling technique- specially designed to throw off any would be drafters. Or extend the agony.|
Course Overview: The first three miles of the course is open water out to the marker buoy at the tip of the Zuniga Jetty. Out there, you'll be looking at Point Loma and if the south swell is still running you're going to see some sweet little right hand peelers at Ralph's, the surfspot tucked inside of Point Loma. At the marker, you take a right hand turn and start blazing for the narrowest part of the San Diego Bay, the channel right off of Ballast Point. Watch for boat traffic coming out of Spanish Landing as you squeeze through this spot.
Next, you'll see San Diego's downtown on your left as you paddle along North Island Airbase towards the Coronado Bridge. This is the widest part of the bay and you'll likely see bigger ships moving through here; tugboats, aircraft carriers and destroyers. Don't get too distracted by the music playing through your headphones- those big ships are deceptively quiet and if one "sneaks" up on you, the blast from it's horn may trigger a sudden flushing of your bilges.
Finally, you'll wrap around into Glorietta Bay and head towards the finish line. You'll have to make a decision before you bend towards the finish line. You'll need to decide when and where to cut through the moored sailboats and yachts. The final approach to the finish line can be tough as you're heading almost directly into the wind for the last quarter mile. At this point there's no whining and complaining allowed- suck it up and finish strong!