NOTE to our Catalina Classic Family;

As you know, this August 27th, the Catalina Classic will mark our 36th consecutive running of this all volunteer event. The Race Directors and Committee members continue to strive for a safe, competitive, and fun race. We continue to give back to our community as a 501C4 organization. The Jr. Guards, Roundhouse aquarium, and various youth organizations have benefited in the past.

Since 1982, interest in the classic and distance paddle board racing has continued to grow worldwide. We have strived to maintain the original race course and rules as consistently as possible. Our loyalty and respect for the “original” 1955 race is why we are the Catalina Classic.

One of the beautiful things to come out of the Classic is a strong paddling family numbering in the many hundreds….paddlers, escorts, volunteers, friends & family. We are bound together in the satisfaction of completing a safe and successful channel crossing.

The current reality is that there are more people wanting to paddle the Classic than we can safely accommodate. As a result, we’ve designated qualifying events and application deadlines. The fastest qualifiers are then selected to fill the open spots not filled by the previous year’s returning finishers. Therefore it’s become more and more competitive to gain entrance into our race. Turning anyone away is NOT what we want to do, it’s what we need to do. We are required to secure permits from the US Coast Guard, L.A. County, and the City of Manhattan Beach. We’re also required to pull insurance on our event , all based upon a specific number of entrants. …All this at a considerable expense.
We want to make you aware of this because SAFETY is our biggest concern and anything that may jeopardize safety, jeopardizes the continued running of The Classic.

Therefore, let it be known, The Catalina Classic Directors have the authority to deny, disqualify, and sanction anyone who they deem to be unsafe, unsportsmanlike, not in compliance with race rules ( these can be found on our web page),or anyone NOT OFFICIALLY REGISTERED.
Anyone assisting, aiding, or encouraging any of these unsafe, unauthorized practices is subject to censor by the Catalina Classic Directors. Censorship is not limited to disqualification, but in blatant terms, all out banishment( “black balled”) for life.

We will do EVERYTHING we can to maintain the safety, integrity, and longevity of the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. We owe it to our paddling family to provide the highest standards possible, consistent with our shared history. We hope you will continue to support that effort as well.

I wish you ALL a safe and successful “Classic” race!

Buddy Bohn
CEO, Catalina Classic

Last year’s race was dedicated to the memory of Bob Hogan, a former LA County Lifeguard, who worked with the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, to create the first Catalina to Manhattan International Paddleboard Race in 1955.

August 27, 2017 marks the 36th consecutive year running of the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. The event is organized and conducted by the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Association, Inc., a volunteer 501c4 non-profit organization. The Association promotes a traditional and original paddleboard race from Catalina Island to the pier of Manhattan Beach, California. Established in 1955, the Catalina Classic is the oldest and most celebrated endurance paddleboard race in the world. This historic 32-mile marathon, which starts at Catalina’s Isthmus cove and ends at the Manhattan Beach Pier; attracts paddlers from all over the world and is known as the “Grand-Daddy of all paddleboard races.” This is a race by paddlers for paddlers.

The Catalina Classic Paddleboard Association makes donations to local non-profit organizations that work with youth groups, education and water safety. Past recipients include the L.A. County Jr. Lifeguard Scholarship Fund, The Round House Aquarium, Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, The Lanterman Fund, ECF Kayne Eras Center and 1% for the planet.

Many of the paddlers also utilize the Catalina Classic to raise money and awareness for their favorite charities, including:

  • The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, with the US Marine Corps relay team from Wounded Warriors Battalion-West
  • The Ocean of Hope Campaign for the Sarcoma Alliance

We are also proudly supported by Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association.


Our Sponsors

Theresa & Ted McDowell
Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation
LA County Lifeguards
Zen Del Rio
The Downtown Manhattan Beach Business Association

Read our history

Every year, the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Association makes donations to local non-profits, that have included: 1% for the planet, Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguard Scholarship Fund, MB Roundhouse Aquarium, Jimmy Miller Foundation, Ocean of Hope, the Lanterman Fund, YMCA and ECF Kayne Eras Center.

Read our history