Weldon Gibby Gibson

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 [...]

Catalina Classic Race Dedications

Over the years, the paddling community has been inspired by so many extraordinary paddlers. We have been honored to have had most all of them race in the Catalina Classic. They are as follows: Year dedicated: 1999:  Brendan Sullivan 200?:  Tom Zahn               2004:  Jimmy Miller               2007: Gibby Gibson   2009:  Jeff Johnson   2013:  Bob Meistrell Bob & Bill Meistrell                   2014:  Mike " Bones" Bright 2015:  Mike Eaton                 2016:  Bob Hogan Bob Hogan the original founder of the Catalina Classic in 1955.