Over the years, the paddling community has been inspired by so many extraordinary paddlers. We have been honored to have had most all of them race in the Catalina Classic. They are as follows: Year dedicated: 1999: Brendan Sullivan 200?: Tom Zahn 2004: Jimmy Miller 2007: Gibby Gibson 2009: Jeff Johnson 2013: Bob Meistrell Bob & Bill Meistrell 2014: Mike " Bones" Bright 2015: Mike Eaton 2016: Bob Hogan Bob Hogan the original founder of the Catalina Classic in 1955.
The Catalina Classic mourns The Passing of Legendary Waterman, Mike “Bones” Bright 11/3/1937 – 9/22/2017 Mike was a multiple record holder in the Catalina races of the 1950’s. He was winner of the Diamond Head race and numerous national and international paddleboard races. The legendary Tom Zahn claimed, “Bones” was the fastest paddler he’d every seen. Mike was a L.A. County Ocean Lifeguard and a top ocean athlete, dominating many lifeguard paddling events. He was a member of the USA lifeguard team invited to compete in the first International Surf Lifesaving Carnival, held in conjunction with the 1956 Melbourne, Australia, Olympic Games. Bones and fellow team members introduced the Aussies and the world to the modern balsawood and fiberglass surfboard, now called a Mal, slang for Malibu. This truly international exchange of equipment, training, competitive events, and organizational strategies advanced ocean life saving worldwide. Mike’s athleticism went beyond his ocean skills. He was an All American Basketball player at Mira Costa High School and an Inductee into El Camino College’s “Basketball Hall of Fame”. Bones is probably best remembered for his legendary volleyball skills. An All American from 1960-1964, he was a member of the USA National Volleyball team in 1960, competing at the World Championships in Brazil. In 1963 he earned a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He was a two-time Volleyball Olympian, 1964 and 1968. In beach volleyball he competed in 44 Open Tournaments from 1958-1970. He was a 5-time winner of the Manhattan Beach Open, and is remembered with a plaque on the Manhattan Beach pier’s “Walk of Fame”. He was enshrined in the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1993. Mike grew up on Hermosa Beach’s 17th street and [...]