Week in Perspective

The World Surfski Series makes its second stop this Saturday at the Spanish City of La Vila Joiosa for 2016 edition of the Euro Challenge. Cory Hill and Rachel Clark currently lead the series with wins at the season opener at the Auckland King of the Harbour. You can follow the action live here:  http://tracemyway.com/eurochallenge-2016/tracking/   


Lion of Africa Surf Challenge---Race 3 of the Bay Union Surfski Series will be going off May 1st at the Marine Surf Life Saving Club in Durban, SA.  


Video from previous race

Race 22 miles down the Mighty Mississippi at The Bluz Cruz this Saturday in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  The race had a previous date change due to high water conditions and has landed on the 30th.  


Chattajack registration opens tonight.  Since its inception, the iconic 31 mile race has been slowly building steam with surfski paddlers.  Last year the race sold out within 11 days.  Don't miss out on your opportunity.  It will likely sell out quickly this year as well.


The USA Sprint National Team Trials finish up this weekend. You can follow the live stream here to find out who's the top American paddlers for 2016.


Bay Union King of the Bay ---Barry Lewin

The last 10 days have been a world-wind, I am on such a high from an awesome engagement on Monday, Birthday on Tuesday and spending some great quality time with the great people in our lives, over a special time for me.

Even in the craziness, preparations for the longer race at the King of the Bay went great. The adjustments to nutrition are working for the longer training and events and even though I was probably a little tired, I felt great leading into the race.

I again paddled with Clint Cook and we settled into a great bunch through the first flat section of the race, heading through the Durban port. It is a special experience to paddle out the mouth of the harbour and taking note of the awesome scenery was a must.

The conditions on the day couldn’t have been better. The SW had blown all of Saturday making the route into the NE wind, down to the turn maker a lot easier with a little bit of left over swell. We quickly got a gap on the other doubles once in the ocean and used the swell as best we could to keep the speed up, even into the wind.

At the turn we kicked hard for home holding some really nice speeds. I have to say that this was one of the easier King of the Bay races I have ever done, must be my very strong partner and happy heart. We took the win for the second week running and looking forward to race 4 of the series where we will have some more competition in a doubles specific race.

Jeep Team SA, team mate Hank McGregor won the single in style from Matthew Bouman and Nicole Russell edged out Hayley Nixon in a tight race for the ladies.

It was awesome to see such an awesome turn out for the event with new sponsors Bay Union and Zurich doing a great job of looking after the paddlers.

Next up is the Lion of Africa Surf Challenge this weekend.

Source:  http://barrylewin.co.za/?p=1637



Shark Gets Taste of a Ski

Taken from: http://www.nsri.org.za/2016/04/shark-encounter/

At 08h36, Friday, 22nd April, NSRI Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, duty crew were activated following reports of 5 surf-skiers involved in a shark encounter at Robberg at The Wreck, about 400 meters off-shore of Robberg Beach.

NSRI Plettenberg Bay responded to the scene and the sea rescue craft Airlink Rescuer was launched.

On arrival on the scene 5 men, all locals from Plettenberg Bay, aged in their 50’s and 60’s, reported that while paddling on a regular paddle one of the surf-ski’s had been pushed from behind violently causing the paddler, Dave Manson, to be thrown out of the surf-ski.

Realising that it was a shark that had pushed the surf-ski from behind, and the incident which was witnessed by some of the other paddlers, Dave managed to get back into his surf-ski when the surf-ski started to sink and it was noticed that the back of the surf-ski had been bitten off by the shark.

Dave then abandoned his surf-ski and grabbed one of his fellow paddlers surf-ski’s and held onto the surf-ski while the remaining 4 men paddled ashore. Once safely ashore they raised the alarm. The 5 paddlers, Dave Manson, Douglas Hill, Peter Green, Mike Briereley and Neil Kilpatric are certain that the shark was a White Shark and quite large.  The bite marks will be investigated to determine the shark size. No one was injured in the incident and NSRI recovered the surf-ski from the water and returned the surf-ski to the paddlers.

NSRI are urging the public to be cautious. It is now well known that at this time of the year sharks migrate close in-shore to feed as part of their natural habit and NSRI urge paddlers, surfers and bathers to be cautious and to be aware of this natural phenomenon.

Week In Perspective

Missing Kayaker Found In Oklahoma: Cody Magee, reported missing from the Tybee Island, Georgia area since Sunday has been located and taken into custody in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.   An extensive search was called off when authorities discovered that Magee had a pending trial the day after going missing on charges of Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation, Computer Pornography and Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony.  Authorities conducting the search may bill Magee for the cost of the search.

Source:  http://wsav.com/2016/04/20/new-information-missing-kayaker-found-in-oklahoma-city/

The much heralded Carolina Cup will kick off the SUP season at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina this Saturday. The sixth running has witnessed the race numbers exploding over the years and this edition promises to keep the fires burning.  Divisions are available for surfski and OC as well as several course options including the 13.2 mile open ocean "graveyard" for a true test of skills.


Two Downriver Races occurring in Tennessee and North Carolina on Saturday. Powell River and French Broad Classique.  Water levels are somewhat low, so you'll want to run your oversterns.



Also this weekend, the Missouri River Shootout    http://www.midwestpaddleracing.com/Shootout_Race.html


Epic looks to be moving into the spec ski arena as the company has released a teaser video of their new surf lifesaving ski being put through it's paces in the surf.




Two Down River Races on Tap This Weekend

This weekend will feature two down river races occurring simultaneously in the Southeast; The French Broad Classique and The Powell River Regatta.

Both races feature sections that will include class II rapids and shallow water rock hazards, so line choice and reinforced hulls will be critical.

You can see more about them here:

“The French Broad Classique is a collection of paddle sports events held on the fourth Saturday of April each year (2016 date is April 23) on the French Broad River near Asheville, North Carolina. The Classique currently consists of two events: the BR 18, an eighteen mile race for experienced racers, and the FB 50, a fifty mile challenge (advance registration required for FB 50). The entry fee is for either event is $25 per person, plus $10 per person to attend the afternoon picnic (optional; advance notice please). Information common to both events is set forth below. If you come, please print it and bring it with you!!



"The Second Annual Powell River Kayak & Canoe Regatta is a 12 mile race on the scenic, Class 1 Powell River in Claiborne County, Tennessee. There are nine race categories; Entry fees are $30 per single kayak or single SUP entry and $50 per boat for canoe and double kayak entries. Entries will be limited to the first 120 boats registered. Entry for competitive events will close at 5:00 pm EST on April 22, 2016, or when 120 boats are registered, whichever occurs sooner. If there is still space, late entries will be allowed and will paddle last on Race Day. No prize money is offered for “late entry paddlers.”  Detailed Rules are here.

Cash prize money is offered for 1st Place ($150) and 2nd ($50) Placefinishers in each race category. You must be 18 years or older on Race Day to enter this event.

The Race will begin at the Well Being Conference Center in Tazewell, TN – about 50 miles north of Knoxville – and end at Riverside (Kayak) Rentals in Harrogate, TN."



Missing Tybee Kayaker Suspected of Staging Disappearance

Tybee Island and Little Tybee

Tybee Island and Little Tybee

 A Kayaker who went missing near Tybee Island, Georgia is suspected of staging his own disappearance.

Authorities were alerted when the 38 Year-old Cody Magee set out Sunday evening near Tybee Island on his 12-foot kayak and failed to return. The next day his empty boat was found on a nearby beach. 

The Coast Guard had been searching the area, but have discontinued the search as new information regarding Magee's legal troubles have emerged. 

Magee has pending charges in Effingham County for Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation, Computer Pornography and Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony.

He was due in Court the day after going missing.  A bench warrant out of Effingham County has been issued for his arrest for failing to appear.

Magee                                                              Source SCMPD

Magee                                                              Source SCMPD

2016 Kumu'Ohu Challenge ---Pam Boteler

This past Saturday, April 16, 2016, we saw some incredibly tight racing during the 2016 Kumu'ohu Challenge at the Washington Canoe Club, in Georgetown, Washington DC. This was both the season opening race of the East Coast Outrigger Racing Association sanctioned OC1/OC2 points series and the Mid-Atlantic SUP racing season.  In addition to outrigger and SUP, classes included surfski, sea kayak, and ICF sprint canoes and kayaks.  

It was a gorgeous day for racing - finally - after a stretch of frigid weather and high winds, which combined with the still chilly water temperatures and boat traffic, can make the river not quite as inviting for flat water paddlers.   

The river was flat as a pancake, which made the newer paddlers and sprint kayakers and canoeists happy, but not necessarily all of the paddlers used to the ocean, and craving wind and waves.  But this is one of the myriad reasons this race exists:   it’s the first of the season, a chance to focus and shake off the winter cobwebs in a no pressure, safe, fun environment, and it’s a chance for new paddlers and those not used to paddling singles or doubles (vs the 6 person outrigger canoe) to challenge themselves in relatively calm conditions.  

Beautiful Day 

Beautiful Day 

Out of the 35 outrigger canoe finishers, this looked to be the largest field ever for the women's OC1/OC2 class - 13 boats (11 OC1s). There were 18 men's OC1s and 4 mixed OC2 crews.   I do not know any of the other stories within the race but looking at the results and some of the photos posted by WCC member Bonnie Havens, and knowing my immediate surroundings during the race, there were a lot of packs which made the entire 14K intense and the final results being decided in the last 1000 meters.

Mixed OC2 team of Elizabeth Pennisi and husband Matt Butcher edged out the team of Dan Havens and Kathleen McNamee for the overall win in 1:14:05.29.  Havens/McNamee came through in 1:14:17.20, just ahead of former sprint canoeists Andrey (“the Giant”) Drachenko in his OC1 (1:14:25.26).  All 3 boats were together the entire race and they were neck and neck going past the canoe club for the remaining 3K. It was fun watching all of their winter training put to the test as Butcher, Pennisi and Havens are training for the General Clinton 70 miler in May.

The Top Three Crews Mixing it up

The Top Three Crews Mixing it up

Bearing Down

Bearing Down

The next “pack” was a pack of 2 – also former sprint canoeists turned outrigger canoeists Blaise Rhodes and Martin Lowenfish.  They finished less than 7 seconds apart, 1:16:44.97 and 1:16:51.86.  Joel Clement was by himself for most of the race coming in 32 seconds behind Martin.   

Martin Lowenfish

Martin Lowenfish

The next 4 paddlers finished within 33 seconds of each other – all in the 80 minute block:  NCA’s Joel Collins (coming off the epic Panama Canal Ocean to Ocean Cayuco Endurance Race along with Elizabeth, Matt and Natasha Quiroga), Kyle Cavanaugh (visiting us from LA after moving away from us last year), Kelly Rhodes (1st woman, WCC women’s outrigger team coach) and me (2nd woman).  I went out very hard and just tried to hang on.  Joel Collins passed me about 3K into the race going down river and I could never bridge the gap, even though I came close a few times after turning to come back up river after the turnaround buoy.   He finished in a strong 1:20:19.22, his best finish to date at this race.

I was behind Joel and ahead of the rest until Kelly Rhodes (training with Dan Havens for the General Clinton 70-miler) caught me around Memorial Bridge (a little over 5K from the finish).  Both she and I have squeaky seats on our Hurricane OC-1s so you can hear both of us from a mile away.   I know I made some tactical errors being too indecisive about which line to take coming back up river – both Joels took distinct lines and even those ahead of them all took interesting paths and Kelly seems to always take the best line.  I seem to take the not best.  

Pam and Kelly

Pam and Kelly

Kelly and I battled together for the remainder of the race from Memorial Bridge with Kyle coming up on both of us with about 2K left.  The final turn buoy was just below “mile rock” upriver from the club and Kelly, Kyle and I were a pack going around.  Kelly had the inside advantage going around to the left as did Kyle, but I pulled beside her on her right a few times heading back down, then she would pull ahead again.  I finally decided to tuck in behind her and pulled up to her ama side before the 500m mark.  Kyle finally pulled ahead of both of us with less than 500m left.  I could get my bow to Kelly’s seat but couldn’t bridge the gap before the finish.  Kyle finished in 1:20:45.05, Kelly in 1:20:49.95 and I in 1:20.52.55.  

Tight Racing

Tight Racing

That rounded out the Top 10 for the long race.  Brian Meyer edged out Michael Tavares in the men’s 8K SUP class by 5 seconds and WCC member Kathy Summers took the top spot for women’ SUP.      Koen Van Ginkel won the sprint canoe/kayak 8K in his K1.



A big Mahalo to Brooke Linford for taking charge of this race for the first time and doing an incredible job organizing the event with an army of incredible WCC volunteers.   It was a well-run event all around, with great food/beer, once again showing the community our spirit of Aloha and O’hana.  This race, in its 13th year, is one of the most fun and cheapest events ($20 includes lunch and awards) on any paddling racing circuit.  With skyrocketing race fees throughout paddle sports, the WCC continues to lead the way showing that with amazing volunteers and participants, races do not have to break the bank.  

Awards crafted from driftwood.

Awards crafted from driftwood.

Awards were donated by Dan Havens and Joseph Cafferata.  Once again Dan showed that you can take dirty drift wood out of the Potomac River and make magic out of it, hand carving a paddling scene for new perpetual outrigger canoe awards, 1st place men’s and women’s outrigger canoes, and perpetual awards for 1st place men’s and women’s SUP.  Joseph donated WCC glasses for 2nd and 3rd place in each category.

On a personal note, it was fantastic to see more women in the OC1’s and OC2’s, from our club, the NCA out of Anacostia, and our friends from Wanda Canoe Club (the “other WCC”) in NY.  It takes a lot to jump from the OC6 and go it solo or with 1 other person. You certainly learn a lot about yourself!   A special shout out to new WCC women’s team member Rachel Orange, an experienced ocean paddler who joined us late 2015 from Hawaii.  If this were big water, I know Rachel would have been out in front!    Our women’s and men’s teams will build on this first race to make us a stronger team in the OC6s as we focus on the Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge in NYC June 11.

As for me, I gave it all I had from start to finish.  These are the kinds of races you live for - intense from start to finish, no time to slack. It was a long winter with 4 1/2 months off the water to try to let a shoulder heal. It’s not fully cooperating but you just learn to go with the flow and do what you can.  I want to paddle another 50 years so no sense smashing it.  This is my most severe injury since 2008 so a bit of an adjustment.  Some teammates have had surgeries and they could not race with us and remain off the water, but I know they’ll be back when it’s time and we’ll be waiting and rooting for them.  They were with the group in spirit!  

All in all, I was actually very pleased and somewhat surprised with my race with less than a month in the boat. It certainly stinks to lose by less than a boat, but all you can do is give it your best day in and day out.  
You are the average with whom you surround yourself and at the Washington Canoe Club, I am in great company and feel very blessed.   Still much to work on, and with incredibly talented teammates from the men’s and women’s teams to train with and one of the best coaches on the mainland, I’m looking forward to the 2016 season, in whatever boat I paddle.

See all results https://paddleguru.com/races/KumuohuChallenge2016

Photo Credits: Joseph Cafferata and Bonnie Havens

Krieger and Nixon take early Bay Union Surfski Series lead

Durban – Wade Krieger and Hayley Nixon bagged maximum log points in the series-opening Bay Union Season Starter at Addington Beach on Sunday, making the most of the benign ocean conditions to grind out wins against a big field of surfski enthusiasts.



Krieger was drawn into a tussle with Herman Chalupsky at the front of the men's single ski race, both eager to take full advantage of the absence of series stalwarts Hank McGregor and Matt Bouman.


Chalupsky took the lead early on in the first lap, consisting of a leg straight out to sea followed by a downwind sector back to eThekwini beach, before Krieger made his move and surged to the front.


"It was a tough race," said Krieger afterwards. "Herman (Chalupsky) was tactically better in the runs, but I managed to make up that fifteen metres after the turning buoy.


"Then I pulled to the top and I think my surf skills helped in the end and I managed to get onto a wave coming in and run up the beach to the finish to claim the win," the Team Epic/Falcon World Travel athlete said.


"I like to take it one race at a time," said Krieger. "I am injury-free at the moment, feeling strong and I can only improve from here.


"Next weekend is the 21km Bay Union King of the Bay, so I will have to taper a bit this week because you can never underestimate that type of distance," said Krieger.


The women's title fell to Hayley Nixon in a dominant performance that saw her race to the front early on and consolidate an impressive victory to kick-start a season in which she plans

to focus heavily on her surfski racing.


"We had a great tussle on the leg out to the turning can, and as we got into the downwind leg in managed to pull a bit of a gap on Nikki Russell.


"She came back strongly but luckily I was able to maintain the gap and take the win," said Nixon.


She said that the high standard of racing amongst the elite women who contest the Bay Union Surfski Series was going to make for a very competitive five race programme.


"You are not supposed to come good in the first race of the series because then there is pressure for the rest of the series!" she mused.


The outing was encouraging for Nixon as she sets her sights on a number of international surfski races. It was also a perfect start for her in her new Carbonology team colours, with her team mate Bailey de Foundaumiere adding "Hayley and Bailey" swag to the team haul by winning the junior boys title.


Classy Durban schoolgirl Kyeta Purchase (Fenn Kayaks) romped to a comfortable win the junior girls division, finishing third overall in the women's race.


Fastest over the 12km long course was the doubles crew of Barry Lewin and Clinton Cook.


The race got the hugely popular winter Sunday morning Bay Union Surfski Series season under way with a bang as a big field of paddlers of all abilities took advantage of the mild surf and gentle ocean conditions to enjoy the series pipe-opener under cool overcast skies.


The race organisers laid on a novel two leg course that took advantage of the prevailing downwind conditions and a novel crossing of Vetch's Reef on the second lap, as part of a commitment to ensure that each race in the series has unique characteristics and appeal to the regular surfski paddlers.


With an emphasis on fun, there was plenty of friendly banter, with some eager paddlers dressing up in fancy-dress for the occasion.


The second leg of the series is the Bay Union King of the Bay hosted by Stella Canoe Club on Sunday 24 April, which affords surfski paddlers the once-a-year opportunity to paddle across Durban harbour and out through the harbour mouth.


More information can be found at www.pitchandpaddle.co.za





1.Wade Krieger 53:22.31

2.Herman Chalupsky 53:35.37

3.Gene Prato 53:47.88

4.Luke Nisbet 53:48.33

5.Bailey De Fondaumiere 55:03.52

6.Jakub Adam 55:12.82

7.Thomas Lovemore 55:44.65

8.Jason Ekstrand 56:11.97

9.Steve Woods 56:15.87

10.Louis Hattingh 56:33.84



1.Hayley Nixon 59:34:13

2.Nikki Russell 1:00:18

3.Kyeta Purchase 1:01:17



1.Barry Lewin/Clinton Cook 52:17.22k

2.Linton Hope/Bruce Wenke 55:02.22

3. Zoog Haynes/Christie Mackenzie 55:53.66

4.Bryce Hatton/Marc Stanton 56:03.24

5.Allan Hold/Geoff Thompson 56:13.66



1.Nicholas Horn/D.Bindley 33:38

2.Cameron Hudson 33:49

3.Ian Grieg/Neil Grieg 34:20



Bay Union Surfski Series – Race 1 – 1st Double---Barry Lewin

The winter has snuck up on us already!!! Where has summer gone?

Well, thank goodness Durban is the best place in the world to paddle in winter, with warm water and perfect conditions. The winter surfski races are always a yearly highlight of the year. I couldn’t wait to get onto the line to racing again.

The prep hasn’t been great with some illness recently. The lack of boat time just got me more excited about the events, after missing out on my daily salt water fix quite a big lately. It’s amazing to note how much I miss it when not able to paddle.

For the 2016 winter I have decided to jump into a double with friend Clint Cook. Surfski paddling to me is meant to be fun and I love racing in a double. The last season I did in a double was with Brett Bartho some 10 years ago and the fresh feel of a new crew has me enjoying my paddling.

The first race of the season had a “FUN” theme and it was great to see people dress up in fancy dress, paddle with family members and most of all enjoy the very unique new course on offer. The community around the paddling is awesome and love interacting with so many people at the races.

Clint and myself had a great start, breaking away right off the bat. We got into a great rhythm straight away and slowly opened the gap on the field throughout the 12km race. Our average was really good doing 52min all on our own. This is a good sign for later in the season when we have more competition.

A big thanks to the mates who lent us a boat for the race. After splitting with my boat supplier earlier in the year, equipment had been an interesting challenge and I am very grateful for the people who have helped out so far!

The next race on the calendar is the Bay Union King Of the Bay, one of my favorites for the year. Lets hope the body holds out for a full 22km so early in the season.

Source:  http://barrylewin.co.za/?p=1634


Completed Chattajack Course -- keeping tradition of chocolate milk recovery.

Completed Chattajack Course -- keeping tradition of chocolate milk recovery.

Sean Rice announced his Chattajack course finish via PaddleLife website at noon today. Rice finished the roughly 31.50 mile course in under the previous best four hours, coming in at 3:50:31.

The finish places him as the fastest finisher to date on the Chattajack course.

Sean utilized Motionize GPS to accurately track data from his attempt and has posted online.  The record is technically unofficial, as the actual race will not run until October. So current record holder Erik Borgnes remains the fastest finisher on the books.

Said Rice after the finish:  “that was more difficult than the 50K downwinder last weekend, the current did not help much.”

Read the excellent write-up by Rice and see the stats here:

Finishing Strong -- Sean Rice approaching the sprint run at Chattajack course finish

Austin Kieffer to MC at Gorge Downwind

Top American paddler Austin Kieffer will take on double duty as competitor and MC at the Gorge Downwind race this year.  

From : Gorge Downwind Championships:

"Those of you that know him will appreciate how big of a score this is. Those of you that don't will soon find out. And all will be glad that somebody is taking the Megaphone away from Carter.

Come for the full week of down winds July 18th thru 23rd or just the main events Thursday 21st thru Saturday 23rd."


Featured Race--- Kumu'ohu Challenge 2016

The members of the Washington Canoe Club are pleased to invite you to the 12th Annual Kumu'ohu Challenge on the Potomac River. This is both the season opening race of the East Coast Outrigger Racing Association sanctioned OC1/OC2 points series and the Mid-Atlantic SUP racing season.  In addition to outrigger and SUP, classes will include surfski, sea kayak, and ICF sprint canoe/kayak. Come celebrate the spring thaw with a great day of paddling and camaraderie in the Nation's Capital.  

The race course is on the relatively protected water of the Potomac River, beginning and ending in front of the Washington Canoe Club on the beautiful Georgetown waterfront. The OC1/OC2, surfski, and sea kayak course will be 15 km, while the SUP and sprint canoe/kayak course will be 8 km. Note: Both races will be run concurrently.

Each participant must have in his possession a PFD, Type I, II, III, or V approved by either the US Coast Guard or the District of Columbia and each boat must have at least one whistle while on the water. Please plan accordingly. In addition, SUP paddlers are encouraged to wear leashes.

Results will be posted on this website at the conclusion of the race.  

Parking:  Parking is not available at WCC for members or guests.  There is ample pay parking along the Georgetown waterfront.  In addition to the limited street parking, there are several parking garages available. Parking garage information can be found at http://www.georgetowndc.com/visitor-map-travel/parking.

Allow extra time for parking and walking to the race venue.  See schedule for times when there will be someone at the WCC gate to assist with boat/board drop off.

Source: https://paddleguru.com/races/KumuohuChallenge2016

Sean Rice to Make Attempt on Chattajack Course Record Today

Sean Rice will begin his assault on the Chattajack course record this morning at 8:30 AM. The current course record, set by Erik Borgnes in 2015, fell just shy of breaking into three-hour territory, at 4:00.09.  

Rice will not have an easy go of it, as current flow data for Chickamuaga Dam water release appears to be very light.  Additionally, he is unfamiliar with the course, and as many past participants have come to find out, passage way can be critical, especially when navigating the "Milfoil Garden" section near Mullins Cove.

Rice is offering a prize for the closest estimation of his finishing time.  You can go to http://www.yourpaddlelife.com/     to register and stand to win a surfski hamper (which in South African, is apparently a bag of very cool stuff).

Week in Perspective

Warmer weather is beginning to bring out the action.  

Events: The East Coast PaddleSports and Outdoor Festival will kick off this Friday April 15th in Charleston, South Carolina. The festival will feature a host of activities and opportunities to take on.  Some featured events include Greenland Games, Sea Kayak Symposium, Mountain Bike Race, Live Music and plenty of opportunities to try out boats and skis.  Jasper Mocke and Kenny Howell will be offering surfski clinics as will several other outdoor personalities.


Domestic Races:  Four stateside races will be taking place over the weekend:  The Kuku'ohu Challenge in Washington D.C., The MCKC Maui to Molokai, The Beast at Belews Lake Kayak Race (NC)and the Tax Relief Race at Folsom, California.  Get more info at Wesley's SurfskiRacing.org on the Surfskiamerica race calender.


Oscar Chalupsky on the new 560

Oscar Chalupsky on the new 560

Industry:  Nelo Kayaks have launched their redesigned surfski line in partnership with Oscar Chalupsky. The new boats are coming in shorter than what has become defined as the industry standard. The news skis top out at 18.37 feet as opposed to the usual 20-21 + length of most elite skis on the market.  The shorter length doesn't seem to be of detriment, as Chalupsky raced and won the Portugal National Race this past weekend.  You can see the new boats here:



Will the record fall?

Will the record fall?

Interest:  Sean Rice, while in Chattanooga, Tn, for his PaddleLife workshop tour  will be making an unofficial attempt at breaking the Chattajack course record this Thursday, April the 14th. Rice the two-time ICF World Surfski Champion will be having a go at the Chattajack course as part of his build-up for the Molokai surfski race in May.  

Rice will track and make his results public via the newly released Motionize data analysis system.  The current record stands at 4:00.09 seconds set by Erik Borgnes in 2015.  The three-hour mark has yet to be breached but could very well be threatened on this attempt.  

You can go to http://www.yourpaddlelife.com/  and attempt to predict his finish. Closest to the actual time will win a surfski hamper.  Results will be announced Friday at Noon.
















Search called off for Missing Kayaker off South Carolina Coast

Coast Guard recovery of Britt's kayak.

Coast Guard recovery of Britt's kayak.

Coast Guard spokesman Anthony Soto reports that the search for a missing kayaker off the coast of South Carolina has been suspended pending new information.  

22-year-old Dean Britt and 21-year-old friend Logan Brown set off from Folly Beach around 1 p.m. Saturday.  They had planned to kayak to Morris Island Lighthouse roughly a half-mile from the shore.  

The two originally went missing in the area between Folly Island and Morris Island Lighthouse South Carolina after they left Folly Beach around 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  T

Logan Brown was spotted and rescued the following day approximately two miles off the coast of Kiawah Island, South Carolina..  

Britt's empty kayak was found roughly two miles away from the location Brown was discovered. 

Anyone with information that can assist search crews is asked to call the Sector Charleston Command Center at (843) 740-7050.


Hill and Clarke: King and Queen of the Harbour-World Surfski Series

Hill and Booth

Hill and Booth

The 2016 World Surfski Series kicked off in New Zealand this weekend at Auckland King and Queen of the Harbour.

Australian Cory Hill continued his winning ways as he ticked another win in the box to get the year started proper. 

Hill finished the 26 Km course in 1:38.02 followed closely by teammate Michael Booth at 22 seconds back.

Mark Anderson took third at 1:40.17.

Rachel Clark earned her crown with a solid time of 1:47.54.  Teneale Hatton came in second with a time of 1:52.02 ,as 18-year-old Stefanie Crncevic completed the top three in ski at 2:00.58.

Rachel Clarke

Rachel Clarke

Conditions were generally flat, with smallish runs available.


Results:   https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=66378

Source: http://www.pacificoceanpaddlers.com/index.php/results/101-auckland-downwind-winter-series-race-8

Thanks to Garth Spencer at Pacific Ocean Paddlers

Photo Credits: Georgia Schofield

Shark Bite Challenge Cancelled---The Un-Race Report


The 13 Annual Shark Bite Challenge was called due to high winds and waves. The decision was mandated by the Coast Guard, Florida Parks and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Department.  

All Dressed up with nowhere to go?

All Dressed up with nowhere to go?

A secondary option was apparently not viable as high winds buffeted the area.

Race organizer Karen Mirlenbank plans to move forward with the following days activities as well as offering a "fun race" option for those feeling inclined to mix it up before heading home.

Undaunted, Racers quickly switched gears; making the best of an otherwise disappointing situation.  The SUP crowd made for the shore break as the Ski an OC-1 camps took to deeper water seeking downwind runs.

The showdown between top athletes Sean Rice and Jasper Mocke was not to be. The two, along with Jesse Lishchuk instead joined forces, embarking on a 50 KM  downwind in what they later deemed to be the best conditions they had experienced in several months.

The scene played out the same with others throughout the day,  with groups splitting off for social paddles at various locations in the area.

Afterwards, throngs of attendees converged at the Dunedin Brewery, as the crowd reveled in food, drinks and community. The atmosphere did not belie a negative response, with the raucous crowd cavorting and socializing as though partaking in an Italian family reunion.



In a great display of the paddling communities' soul, in spite of disappointment, we always rally for the good time and good friends.





















Man missing after canoe capsizes near Nashville

A 36-year-old man has gone missing after his canoe capsized Saturday in high winds.  The man, identified as Jeremy Cross along with his 10-year-old son and family friend  encountered trouble on Percy Priest Lake in Antioch, Tennessee when winds began gusting at over 20 miles per hour.

The 10-year-old and friend made it to shore and were rescued by a nearby boater.  They reportedly last say Mr. Cross holding onto the overturned canoe, attempting to put on his personal flotation device.

The search was called off last night due to high winds and has resumed today.

Source: http://wkrn.com/2016/04/03/father-missing-after-canoe-capsizes-on-percy-priest-lake/

Lula Bridge Race---Gainesville, Georgia

lckc Olympic tower

lckc Olympic tower

It's early in the year and time to get the ball moving.  Nothing brings form faster after the cold season than a grinding, soul-crushing, effort.  

Enter the Lula Bridge race.  The Lake Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club hosted the event at the former Olympic site on Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. The course offered 20k and 10k options that meander around the shores of the lake.

We arrived to overcast skies, choppy water and cooler temps---not exactly what I was hoping for as a kick-off, but it could have been worse.

Cloudy and cool---cory hall

Cloudy and cool---cory hall

The majority of competitors were on sprint boats with a handful of skis on hand.  Categories were correspondingly arranged with K1, team boats and surfskis in separate categories with the start staggered to reflect the distinctive divisions.  

I opted for the 20k for the sole purpose of waking my body up from winter hibernation.

We lined up at the lanes arranged for sprint competition.  In a refreshing change, officials fastidiously lined the racers evenly before the start.  Absolutely no drifting allowed.  This was going to be a proper sprint style with no advantage afforded.

The horn sounded and off we went.  Former Sprint National Champion Morgan House (Epic V14) jumped in front from "go" and methodically began building a lead with excellent technique honed from years of elite level competition.



Fellow Chattanoogan Cory Hall (Vajda Hawx), Rick Carter (Epic V12) and myself (Think Uno Max) formed a posse and began trading pulls straight away with Hall taking the lions share.  

We kept a solid pace and worked well together ---generally trading pulls and offering encouragement as we pushed forward, holding out in the hope that House may fade late in the race.

I felt surprisingly good for the first race of the year.   I fell into a sustainable groove and really enjoyed myself.

It was to be short-lived however.  We rounded the buoy at six miles and began the return trip to the Olympic Tower.  On the way back, I got separated from the others a few times rounding corners and coming around oncoming paddlers.

With the repeated surge it required to regroup, I taxed myself out.  The fat lady sang for me around 8-9 miles in.  I watched helplessly as my water taxi pulled away, unable to expend the energy to run them down. I didn't have a full 20k at that pace in me at this point in the year.

In a show of sportsmanship, once Carter and Hall realized I was off the back, they stopped to give me a chance to rejoin. 

I waved them on. 

Both were clearly the better men and didn't need to be slowed down. 

As I continued, I "hit the wall". After feeling bulletproof for 8-9 miles I just suddenly fell apart.   

As I limped across the line, my partner took video.  Clearly horrified by the spectacle, she advised me not to look at it. Apparently, my grotesquely contorted stroke would've added insult to injury as I lily dipped my way in.

House finished solidly in first with Carter holding off Hall in a match sprint for second.  I dropped a  little over four minutes in the final 3-4 miles, finishing behind Hall in the surfski category.  

Dana Richardson

Dana Richardson

Dana Jo Richardson (Epic V10) took the win in the ladies 20k with Wyndy Anderson (Epic V8) following in second. Lindsey O'Shea (Vajda Hawx) was tops in the ladies 10k with Myrlene Marsa in second.

Lindsey O'Shea

Lindsey O'Shea

John Mitchell won the men's 10k as Michael Herrin slotted in behind at second

J. Di Chiacchio

Photos: Lindsey O'Shea