Happy New Year, Catalina Classic Family! We're excited to share news with you about plans for a Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue! As you may have heard, The South Bay Boardrider's Club (SBBC) has undertaken an initiative, beginning in 2016, to have a life-sized bronze statue installed near the Manhattan Beach Pier: The Catalina Classic Commemorative Statue. The statue will be a salute and acknowledgement to all the women and men who have dared paddle the 32 miles from start to finish of this historic and iconic race since 1955. The 1st Place winners of each class will have their names listed near the statue, with additional space made available for future winners. The statue will certainly inspire others to explore prone paddle boarding with many with the intent to enter the race in the future. The Manhattan Beach City Council Members unanimously approved the design concept and now it's time to fund the creation of the statue by commissioned sculptor, Chris Barela. Chris is a former Hermosa Beach local and Surfer Walk of Fame inductee who sculpted and installed the Tim Kelly statue in Hermosa Beach, as well as the amazing Meistrell Brothers statue in Redondo Beach. The cost of the bronze statue and its installation is $300,000 with over $125,000 already pledged from various donors. SBBC, a 501c3 non-profit, is now broadening its outreach to seek tax deductible donations, both large and small, to raise the remaining $175,000. Any size donation is appreciated and large donors ($5000, $10,000, and $25,000) will be acknowledged on a plaque near the statue. Donations can be made online to South Bay Boardrider Club at www.catalinaclassicstatue.org , or checks (made payable to SBBC) mailed to: SBBC 2629 Manhattan [...]
Greetings Paddlers, Today, August 30th, would have been the 41st Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race… an epic & traditional paddleboard race of world class paddlers that race 32 miles of open water from the Isthmus on Catalina Island to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Unfortunately, 2020 was the first time in 38 years, due to circumstances beyond our control we were forced to officially cancel the race. If the race could have been permitted & safely executed, we would have held it…especially knowing that it would offer encouragement, hope, and a healthy goal for all those struggling to make sense during these challenging times. However, between the importance of standing in solidarity and showing respect for our first responders and the reality that the County made it abundantly clear that no event permits would be issued, we had no choice but to cancel this year’s race. Apparently some individuals chose to paddle the channel anyway and created an unsanctioned event of their own. We want to make it perfectly clear that the “official” Catalina Classic Race organizers did NOT condone or have anything to do with this event. It's our hope that the non-permitted actions of these paddlers won’t jeopardize the future of our County “sanctioned” permitted race in 2021. We want you to know that we’re all anxious to be back next August, stronger than ever , creating the 2021 Catalina Classic , dedicated to Paramedic & Rescue Boat Captain, and all around great human, Steve Troeger . Stay healthy, keep paddling….watch out for one another. Yours in paddling, Buddy
6/2/20 UPDATE: The 2020 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race has been CANCELLED due to COVID-19. We tried our best to make the Catalina Classic Paddleboard race happen this year, but we’re unable to obtain the necessary permits. It's a huge disappointment for all of us to cancel for the first time in 38 years! Stay strong during these challenging times and be good to one another.We'll post updates about 2021 as it feels relevant. Keep paddling and we hope to see you racing in next year’s race, August 29, 2021!
1981 began the rebirth of the International Catalina Channel Paddleboard Race. The Manhattan Beach Chamber Of Commerce Executive, Trudy Smart, gave the original race bylaws and articles of incorporation( from the International Catalina Channel Paddleboard Race) to lifeguard lieutenant Buddy Bohn. Bohn consulted with many of the past competitors and current ocean Lifeguards and ocean athletes. After much encouragement, Lt. Bohn partnered with fellow Ocean Lifeguard and friend, Weldon Gibby Gibson, who had actually competed in the original races. Together they approached the LA County Lifeguard Association Trust Fund for their support and endorsement. All parties decided that the event should be attempted the summer of 1982. All agreed that the new bylaws, rules, and articles of incorporation should be as close to the originals as possible. They would call it what they all felt it was, The Catalina Classic Paddleboard Marathon. The paddle from Catalina to the Manhattan Beach Pier had not been officially attempted in twenty years, and much had changed since 1960. Several paddlers of that period made themselves available and the Lifeguards formed a committee of volunteers to begin the organization. Safety being the number one priority, the committee consulted with our ocean athletes that had been racing the channel during those previous twenty years. The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation was one such group and the National Dory Association was another. Their input was vital, with regard to escort support, communications, navigation, advanced life support, and general organization. The Swimming Federation’s format was the closest fit to the original paddles. The Dory Association’s race was really an annual lifeguard event with a two person crew rowing from Catalina’s Isthmus to Palos Verdes. The Catalina channel Dory race at that time was [...]
Catalina Classic Paddler, Congratulations on your 2018 channel crossing! You have joined an elite group of paddlers who have challenged themselves and accomplished this incredible feat since 1955. This year we had 90 paddlers start, 90 paddlers finish, with much better conditions than last year We hope you are stoked on your finish and look forward to having you race again at next year's Classic on Sunday, August 25th, 2019. Stay tuned to our website for future race updates. Yours in paddling, The Catalina Classic Committee
There's new race in town....AND it's an official qualifier for this year's Catalina Classic Paddleboard race...it's happening Saturday, June 9th, at 7am, on the southside of Hermosa Beach Pier, it's the 1st Annual South Bay Paddle, benefiting SBBC. This 15 mile paddle is an official qualifier for the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. Register at www.paddleguru.com/races/thesouthbaypaddle
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 [...]