Manhattan Beach

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 [...]

All Time Conditions Make for a Fast Race

Buddy Bohn summed it up best by calling it one of the top five years he's seen for overall weather and ocean conditions at this year's Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race.  For those who don't know, Buddy Bohn has been at every race for the last 31 years - since it's reincarnation from the 20 year hiatus during the 60's and 70's.  And it's no wonder that a record fell as the ever-so-humble Kelsey O'Donnell broke "Queen" Reen Corbet's record for the fastest women's time - a record that stood for 20 years.  The overall stock record was in jeopardy as Steve Shlens was only seconds away from breaking Gary Fortune's 1999 stock record. This year's overall champion was 2010 Champ Adam Buckley, who was on the verge of not racing in early August but fortunately had a change of heart and entered this year's race with his wedding just a few weeks away.  Good thing he did because Bud Light ponied up Caribbean cruises for the top finishers.  In addition to Bud Light's prize, Joe Bark shaped beautiful 10' guns for each winner, Maui Jim awarded prizes to the top finishers in each field, DaKine sent the top 3 in each class home with travel bags, and Vertra Element Protection is making sure those top finishers are well protected for their intense training with sunblock packages. Finishing is the ultimate prize for all the racers, whether first or back of the pack.  This year was special as everyone who entered completed the race in well under the 9 hour cut-off.  In fact, this  year all paddlers made it to the finish line for the annual photo - a first in recent race history. The race committee would like to [...]