Buddy Bohn summed it up best by calling it one of the top five years he’s seen for overall weather and ocean conditions at this year’s Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. For those who don’t know, Buddy Bohn has been at every race for the last 31 years – since it’s reincarnation from the 20 year hiatus during the 60’s and 70’s. And it’s no wonder that a record fell as the ever-so-humble Kelsey O’Donnell broke “Queen” Reen Corbet’s record for the fastest women’s time – a record that stood for 20 years. The overall stock record was in jeopardy as Steve Shlens was only seconds away from breaking Gary Fortune’s 1999 stock record.
This year’s overall champion was 2010 Champ Adam Buckley, who was on the verge of not racing in early August but fortunately had a change of heart and entered this year’s race with his wedding just a few weeks away. Good thing he did because Bud Light ponied up Caribbean cruises for the top finishers. In addition to Bud Light’s prize, Joe Bark shaped beautiful 10′ guns for each winner, Maui Jim awarded prizes to the top finishers in each field, DaKine sent the top 3 in each class home with travel bags, and Vertra Element Protection is making sure those top finishers are well protected for their intense training with sunblock packages.
Finishing is the ultimate prize for all the racers, whether first or back of the pack. This year was special as everyone who entered completed the race in well under the 9 hour cut-off. In fact, this year all paddlers made it to the finish line for the annual photo – a first in recent race history.
The race committee would like to thank all the volunteers that make this race happen, all the sponsors that help make this race affordable, and all the paddlers for another great year. Finally, a special thanks goes out to Body Glove and the Meistrel family for their years of continued support and for outfitting all the paddlers in killer trunks and surf shirts again this year. Complete results and photos will be posted later this week but for now the top finishers are listed below. Congrats again to all paddlers!
Unlimited: 1 – Adam Buckley; 2- Sean Richardson; 3- Donald Mirale; 4 – Tod Robinson
Stock: 1 – Steve Schlens; 2 – Rodney Ellis; 3 – Jack Bark; 4 – Jay Scheckman
Women: 1 -Kelsey O’Donnell; 2 – DJ O’Brien