Surfski, Outrigger Added To Paddle For A Cause Race


ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY – There will be new event categories and prizes awarded to competitors who race around Absecon Island in the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Seashore Construction.

For the past 11 years, the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation only awarded trophies in three major categories: standup paddleboard, prone paddleboard and other; a catch-all category for all types of watercraft.

Trophies and prize money will be presented to the first three overall finishers in the new standalone surf ski and outrigger canoe categories at the after party of the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Seashore Construction, Saturday, June 8 at Golden Nugget Atlantic City. These previously fell under the other category and now, $250 will be awarded to first, $150 for second and $100 for third place for these races.

One competitor who requested the change is JC Malick, a surf ski paddler who makes the trip up from his home in Melbourne Beach, Florida to paddle in the race each year along with his wife and fellow paddler Lisa.

“It’s tough. Some surf ski and outrigger paddlers will come out and paddle their best race ever, and at the end of the day, they just want some recognition for their hard work. Above all else, the reason for this paddle is to support those fighting the fight against cancer,” said Malick. “I paddled my first race in 2013 in honor of my Aunt Betsy of Smithville, who lost her battle with cancer only a few months before the race. I know a lot of paddlers race and paddle in honor of those that they love who are either fighting or who have heroically fought the battle with Cancer including the race’s namesake and local legend Dean ‘Jersey Devil’ Randazzo.”

Malick was the first finisher overall in last year’s 22.5-mile race with a time of 3:31:48 and hopes the addition of the new surf ski and outrigger canoe categories will draw in more competition for him this year.

The overall course record stands with local surf ski paddler Sean Brennan who completed the race in a mindblowing 2 hours 44 minutes a few years ago. Prize money will be awarded in each of the new categories based on the number of new participants added to this year’s race and will ultimately be announced at the event.

“I don’t think the prize money is nearly as important as the recognition, said Malick. “But, there are some paddlers out there that could probably use the money. If I win any money, I will undoubtedly donate it back to the charity, because at the end of the day it’s all about coming out to fight cancer.”

In addition to the grueling 22.5-mile race, the 12th annual Paddle For A Cause presented by Shore Construction will feature and 8-mile race and 8-mile and 4-mile fun paddles again this year. These are open to all participants in all types of man-powered watercraft and all skill levels. Trophies will also be awarded this year to the top three overall finishers in the 8-mile race. The four-mile fun paddle ends at the Wonder Bar in Atlantic City and includes return transportation to the Golden Nugget where the event is being held and is a favorite of local fun seekers.

Anyone who has been impacted by cancer is also invited to join in an open paddle-out at 9:30 a.m. at the Frank S. Farley Marina. Guests will honor cancer survivors and victims by paddling into the bay on anything that floats and casting specially engraved memorial pocket stones into the water.

Honorary stones and keepsake stones are available with custom messaging for a $20 donation with all proceeds from sales going to the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation. The stones are environmentally friendly, 100 percent natural and contain no added color or paint. Stones can be purchased online at

All are also encouraged to come out and paddle or join on the Deck at Golden Nugget at 4 p.m. for an after party and awards ceremony. Tickets are $25 and include food and entertainment. For more information about becoming a paddler, fundraiser, donating or joining the party visit


6 hours 41 minutes--SOLD OUT!


Chattajack has sold out in six hours and forty-one minutes, making the 2019 edition the third year in a row the race has sold out within 24 hours.

This unofficially places the event as one of, if not the most popular and fastest selling paddling race in the world, with current registration sitting capped at 651 participants.

The Tennessee river race has achieved meteoric success since its’ inception in 2012, when it fielded a total of 37 racers.

2019 may prove to be interesting, with the absence of former winners Erik Borgnes and Eric Mims and top-finishers Flavio Costa and Greg Lesher (in double) opening new podium possibilities.

The Womens division appears to be the one to watch this year, including a rematch of the nail-biter between Kata Dismukes and Pam Boteler, along with several other top female paddlers in the most stacked XX Chromosoned field seen yet in Chattajack history, including:

  • Elaine Harold-- 2018 Second Place Surfski

  • Hollie Hall--2018 Kayak First PLace

  • Myrlene Marsa--Kayak Record Holder and multi-podium surfski/kayak

  • Mary Beth Gangloff--Multi Surfski New England series winner.

  • Lisa Malick--Perennial fast Floridian

  • Sally Wallick--Top Ranked Canadian paddler.  

In the men’s field several notable names have signed on for the torturous marathon with former top double finisher Nate Humberston leading the charge, along with Canadian Greg Redmon, Think Kayak honch Darryl Remmler, Epic’s Bruce Poacher, Wesley Echols of and a host of former top challengers.



Surfski Holland has put together a solid up-and-comer for May that may be worth a try if you’re looking for a reason to travel to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The race travels along the Wadden Sea and is touted as “having strong currents and long rolling waves, ideal for downwind conditions”.  Options include 34 km and 22 km distances for both Surfski and SUP. The course travels along a relatively protected area with a spit of land outside of the race line.

When you’re done with the hard part, just 35 miles to the south lies Amsterdam, which beckons to be explored for its variety of entertainment, beauty and history.

Ana Swetish -- Young Gun





  1. a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction

Ex:  American paddler specializing in big conditions

The top three women finishers from this year’s edition of the Gorge Downwind Championships revealed an unfamiliar name. Australian Olympian and Ironwoman series champion Naomi Flood claimed the top spot.  World Surfski Champion, 1000 meter world-record-holder and gold medalist in the 5000 and 1000 meter at the K1 ICF Worlds, Teneale Hatton garnered second place. But there nestled directly behind Hatton and in front of such notable heroines as Michele Eray, Maggie Hogan and Rachel Clarke was relative unknown Ana Swetish.  It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that she was a high-level multisport athlete from Australia or an South African ringer imported in to mow down any up and comers from the new world.

 So when it filtered back that she was a 15-year-old American schoolgirl, many were incredulous--even more so given the big conditions on race day.  Americans are not generally known for their big surf heroics, but a High School sophomore?

We spoke with Ana to find out more about our own homegrown power paddler.

SN:  Congratulations on your impressive result at the Gorge Downwind Championships.  Can you describe how the race played out for you?

A.S: Thank you! I was really excited on race day because of the huge conditions.  I wasn’t really worried about how I placed. I was just looking forward to going downwind in such awesome conditions. Off the line I learned a very quick lesson. At the horn, I just jumped on the first wave I saw and started surfing.  Turns out everyone else put in a pretty strong effort at the start and I quickly found myself quite a ways back. But I found my groove and was sharing waves with Rachel and Teneale by the narrows section of the river. At this point, I was just so excited to even be able to see some of the top women. I was able to keep up with Rachel and Teneale through the narrows and to Viento where I went more on the Oregon side and they more to the middle of the river. I got some incredible waves off Mitchell point, I didn’t even feel like I was racing!  I was just having such a great time surfing. I met back up with them around Wells Island and Teneale was ahead of me and Rachel was just behind me, which is how we finished the race.

Piloting the new Surge

Piloting the new Surge

SN:  What boat and paddle do you use?

A.S: I have been paddling a Fenn Spark for the last three years now and I have loved it! It fits me perfectly so I have not needed to add any pads or anything, which is nice. Recently, Fenn has hooked me up with their new Surge.  I have been having a blast in it so far! It is shorter than the spark, so it accelerates really nicely and is super playful in the waves. In flatwater time trials, I’m finding it to be about 3 seconds per Km faster. I believe I will be racing a Spark in Australia, but honestly I”ll be stoked with either one!  For a paddle I use a Jantex Gamma Rio small minus. I also have a Gara Odin S which I use occasionally and really enjoy!

SN:  Was this your first major race?  

A.S: Officially my second - I also raced the gorge last year - 6th place.

SN:  Significant improvement since last year.  What did you do to up your game during this time?

A.S: Over the last year I have been paddling a lot more.  It was really the first year my dad felt comfortable bringing me out in all conditions to train, so I had the chance to get out in much bigger water. The conditions at the race were a lot bigger than last year which I think helped me as well. I also got to go down to the gorge two times earlier in the year to train, so I felt very comfortable and familiar this year.  Finally, I think just growing up had a lot to do with it - both physically and mentally. My approach to training intensity was way different this year and I think it had a big effect.

In good company on the Gorge podium

In good company on the Gorge podium

SN:  Were you at all intimidated by some of the more experienced paddlers you had to compete against.?

A.S: I wasn’t really concerned with how I placed and I definitely didn’t expect to do as well as I did, so I didn’t feel a lot of pressure. I was just gonna go out and try my hardest and have fun surfing. But I can’t lie - it was pretty humbling sharing a podium with those athletes - I think I’m the only one who doesn’t have a wikipedia page!  The other thing is that literally everyone in the surfski community has always been so friendly and supportive. Pulling into Canadian Champs this year, Dawid Mocke pulled his car over and helped me unload my boat - how cool is that!?!

SN: Conditions on race day were generally considered formidable, is this an advantage for you?

A.S: Race day was incredible! Huge shoutout to Carter Johnson for running the race when others may have delayed it. I really love paddling in big and challenging conditions, and it seems to be a strength for me. The week before at a very flat Canadian Downwind Champs, Rachel and Teneale beat me by over six minutes, so the big bump seems to help me significantly.

SN:  What have you done to advance your surf and big water skills?

A.S: We get some good size conditions pretty regularly here in Bellingham bay and I have been getting out in them since I was 11. The paddling community in Bellingham has always been willing to help me learn how to paddle in waves and push me to get faster. I have also spent a lot of time in the gorge. The first time I surfed there was when I was 13 and I have been back many times since. I was lucky enough to do a training run with Austin Kieffer in conditions similar to those on race day, so I felt very comfortable.

SN: Austin Kiefer worked with you as well?

A.S: A few years ago we were lucky enough to have Austin come and coach our sprint team for a year. While he was here he worked with the team 3-4 times a week and he also would come out on the bay with me and help me learn to surf. Even after he moved to Sausalito, we have stayed in touch regularly. He has helped me plan my training and we meet up a few times a year at the gorge or in Southern California. He has always been very supportive and willing to do a session or two with me.  And his enthusiasm for paddling is so contagious! Not only do I get to work with Austin though, I work with DJ Jacobson weekly who was Austin’s whitewater slalom coach. He has helped me achieve big gains in funky water and has also been a huge help with the mental side of training.

SN:  Tell us a little about your background? Where are you from now and/or originally?  What do you do as a pastime? Do you have other interests?

A.S: I grew up and live in Bellingham. The bay is a 5 minute drive from my house and there is a flatwater lake less that half a mile from my house so I have always spent a lot of time in and around the water. I am a junior in high school, so I have to go to school and do homework, but other than that I enjoy swimming and hanging out with friends.

SN: How did you come to the surfski?  Do you have a history in other paddlesports or other sports in general?

A.S: My dad paddled surfski, so when the sprint team was started in 2013 at Lake Padden which is right by our house, my parents signed me up and soon after that my dad started getting me out in waves as well. I found I really enjoyed paddling in waves so that has been my focus, but I still train and race plenty of sprint.

SN:  Have you had success racing sprint K1?  Which events do you favor? How has sprint racing/training helped you with the surfski?

A.S: I have gone to sprint nationals three times now and every time I have gotten second in all my k1 events (to my k2 partner and best friend Elena Wolgamot) and first in all my teamboats. This year I was better at the 1000m because my starts are not super great, but my endurance is good, so it gives me enough time to catch up. The explosiveness of sprint has helped me in the surfski a lot because the short sprints are like catching waves. Also it just gives me more time on the water in a boat which is important. My sprint coach Steve, has also helped me a lot. He pushes really hard to be our best and encourages me to do both sprint and ski. A lot of the workouts we do are beneficial for both my teammates, who focus on sprint, and me, focusing on surf ski.

2018 Sprint Nationals

2018 Sprint Nationals

SN:  What are your future goals with paddling and racing?

A.S: I am going to the Doctor in Perth next month and am looking forward to getting some more open ocean experience there.  I have spent a bit of time in swell, but I know I have a long way to go before I’m as comfortable as I am in wind waves. I absolutely want to go to more international races in the next few years. I also have to think about college, so we will see how that affects things, but I will definitely keep paddling through and after college.  My dad tells me that I have to turn my seat around and try to get a rowing scholarship, but I’m still holding out for a surfski scholarship!

If it’s ok I’d like to give a shout to my sponsors: Vaikobi, Ocean Paddlesports, Fenn and Superclamp!  Also if anyone is interested, my instagram is @ana_swetish.


Weekend Roundup


Palm to Pines:

Cory Hill and Hayley Nixon continue to notch W's on their 2017 campaign as the duo take the win today in their respective categories at the Palms 2 Pines Ocean race near Sydney, Australia.

With the win, Hill asserts himself as the clear favorite on the elite stage. 

Rounding out the Men's top five was McKenzie Hynard in 2nd; Riley Fitzsimmons, 3rd; Sam Norton, 4th, and Bruce Taylor 5th.

In the Women's race, Danielle McKenzie claimed 2nd; Rachel Clarke, 3rd, 

Bianca Beavitt and Kenny Rice

Bianca Beavitt and Kenny Rice

Peter Creese:

Kenny Rice kept it close to home, winning the Peter Creese this past weekend near Cape Town, South Africa. 

Rice finished the 10 km race with a time of 50:27. Nic and Dom Notten finished second and this respectively at 51:03 and 51:50.

Binca Beavitt took the women's podium at 62:56 with Nicky Mocke and Kirsten Flanagan rounding out the top three.


U.S. Surfski Championship To Return?

After a two-year hiatus, the United States Surfski Championship has issued a statement of intent to return in 2019.  The San Francisco based USSC launched in 2003 and has played host to notable com[petitors including: Greg Barton, Dawid and Jasper Mocke, Sean Rice, Hank Mcgregor, Nikki Mocke and Michele Eray.


"US Surfski Champs is returning in 2019! After a long break, we plan on hosting the US Surfski Champs in May of 2019. We're in the permitting process right now and will update as soon as we get permit approvals. Tentative dates are early May- 2019."



$50,000 Euro Purse:

Sean Rice's Paddle Life website teased a 50,000 Euro purse for the upcoming 2018 Irish Surfski race.  No further details have been made available, but if the announcement comes to life, it will be the largest race purse to date in a surfski race.




World Surfski Series Updated Standings Released



(Click here to download the full men’s rankings)

With one (title) race to go – the Palm to Pines in Australia – it looks as though Hank McGregor has his second consecutive world series title in the bag.


1  Hank Mcgregor 3495

2 Jasper Mocke 3491

3 Dawid Mocke  3482

4 Mackenzie Hynard  3477

5 Oscar Chalupsky  3461

6 Mark Anderson  3426

7 Nicolas Lambert  3413

8 Lee Furby 3256

9 Maurizio Tognacci 3083

10 Michael Mckeogh 3054

11 Patrick Langley  2880

12 Shaun Rice 2500

13 Colin Simpkins  2715

14 Sean Rice  2498

15 Kenneth Rice  2498

16 Austin Kieffer  2487

17 Kyle Friedenstein  2480

18 Joshua Fenn  2450

19 Ian Black  2448

20 Bevan Manson  2445


(Click here to download the full women’s rankings)

In the Women’s series, it’s Rachel Clarke who is likely to gain points from next weekend’s Palm to Pines to take the win from Hayley Nixon and Kyeta Purchase.


1 Kyeta Purchase 3482

2 Hayley Nixon 2994

3 Rachel Clarke 2500

4 Michelle Burn 2500

5 Teneale Hatton 2496

6 Nikki Russell 2489

7 Angie Le Roux 2488

8 Tricia Gilbert 2473

9 Wendy Reyntjes 1990

10 Jenna Ward 1984

11 Tegan Fraser 1490

12 Chloe Bunnett 1489

13 Amaia Osaba Olaberri 1487

14 Sara Rafael 1487

15 Tamlyn Bohm 1486

16 Kirsten Flanagan 1485

17 Ana Swetish 1484

18 Sharon Armstrong 1481

19 Heather Nelson 1481

20 Lisa Gras 1479