History of the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Marathon Race

Legendary Waterman Mike Doyle

          The Catalina Classic family will be dedicating our 2019 race this year to legendary waterman, Mike Doyle. Mike Doyle was a true waterman in every way... and a really nice guy too! Mike paddled the Classic in 1960. He was a extraordinary surfer, paddler, Lifeguard, artist, and all around lover of life. Mike inspired so many people to live their lives to the fullest. Our hearts go out to Annie and the rest of the Doyle family and friends. This year, paddler Tom Horton, will be fundraising and paddling to raise awareness of the devastating affects of ALS. There will be " Live to Surf, Surf to Live" T-shirts for sale at the finish line. All proceeds from these T-shirts will go towards defeating ALS. A paddle out is scheduled at the Hermosa Beach Pier on October 20th at 10:30am.  Please contact Tom to see how you can get involved. tom@southbayboardriders.com  

Paddling In The Wake of Giants

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 [...]