Surftech SUP Race in Santa Cruz–Via Supconnect

    Results in 12’6

    Matt Becker 1st

    Anthony Vella 2nd

    Dan Gavere 3rd

    Candice Appleby 1st in Women’s


    From the sounds of it, this was an amazing race.  Between the winds (40mph), and the hail, the conditions were not very conducive to racing.  Below is an excerpt from the SUP Connect story.  Read on or head over for the full story.


    SANTA CRUZ, California – Pouring rain, hail, and 20mph winds were just some of the challenges the stand up paddle racers had to face at the Surftech Sand & Duel-athlon on Saturday, March 19th, 2011. Add to the challenge a sea of wind chop, with bumps coming from all directions, plus a head-high shorebreak, and perhaps you’ll begin to get the picture of this highly challenging chapter of stand up paddle racing history. “We came inches to canceling the race, but since no competitors complained we decided to go ahead,” said race director, Duke Brouwer. (Join the Sup Racing group on Supconnect.)

    Part of the original plan, hence the name Sand & Duel-athlon, was to incorporate a beach run with the sup race. However, the shorebreak was so difficult to overcome – in fact, by some, completely impenetrable – that the sand part of the event was scrapped and reduced to a beach start and finish. But that alone became an insurmountable hurdle for many racers, who, after unsuccessfully trying to get passed the waves, decided to call it the day and watch the sup jousting from a distance. To add even more to the unpredictable layout of the race, some competitors had to push around some seals to be able to hold their line. “I had to use my paddle on some of the seals, so I could keep paddling,” said Matt Becker, a standout racer from Santa Barbara, who finished top 10 in both of the Battle of the Paddles in 2010.


    Crushing shorebreak, hail and 20mph winds were just some of the climatic challenges


    Matt Becker (left), riding his Bark, and Anthony Vella (right), his M2, during the first leg of the race. Photo:


    Many paddlers on their knees to make thru the race



    Becker dominated the race with a changing lead



    Becker and Vella making their way thru chop


    Get the rest of the story and see more of the cool pics from the race at SUP Connect or here for the link to the story


    If you are interested in racing, you can also Join the SUP Connect Racing Group here :

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Casey Gotcher

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