Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last Weekend's SUP Events: the 'Round the Rock Stand Up Paddle Race & the 8th Annual Rogue Gathering Longboard Classic

Two of the Pacific Northwest's biggest stand up paddle events took place last weekend: the ‘Round the Rock Stand Up Paddle Race in Seattle, Washington and the Rogue Gathering 8th Annual Longboard Classic in Newport, Oregon which included stand up paddle surfing.

‘Round the Rock

The ‘Round the Rock event included a 13-mile stand up paddle race around Mercer Island on Lake Washington, a 2.5 mile race along the shores of Seward Park, and an SUP expo featuring demos and product displays. Proceeds from entry fees benefitted Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Surfrider Foundation.

Racers faced a variety of chilly, gusty winds from all directions as they rounded Mercer Island.

Thomas “Maximus” Shahinian, a real estate broker from California, won the 13–mile race on an 18-foot board with a time of 2 hours and 18 minutes. Shahinian has been SUPing for about two years, after paddling outrigger canoes for 15 years. He dedicated his win on Sunday to a friend who died two weeks ago of cancer.

Congratulations to Scott Estrada who visited Bend last week and paddled with us on Friday evening. Scott took 2nd place in the 14’ category and 8th overall on his Joe Bark Dominator, shaving a whopping 50 minutes off his time from last year’s race. Estrada called the ‘Round the Rock “a great event.” He said what impressed him most was the determination of “competitors coming in after 5 or 6 hours of being out there, soaking wet. It was completely incredible. They just refused to be picked up by the coast guards. It was just inspiring as ever.”

There was also a kids' race, in which about 20 children, many SUPing for the first time, paddled out to a buoy about 30 yards from shore and back. Winner Grant Vasek, who is 11, said he thinks SUP is “more challenging than kayaking because you have to stand up and balance on the board while paddling.” Yet the standing up part seems to be what he likes most - "I love being on the board. I love surfing," he said.

Brandi Baksic, a firefighter from San Diego, was the first female to cross the line, followed by Heather Nelson, a surf-ski and ultra-marathon distance kayak racer and adventurer from Bellinghham, Washington, who is 4 months pregnant!

The Rogue Gathering Longboard Classic

Stand Up Paddle Flatwater founder Randall Barna calls the Rogue Gathering Longboard Classic, “the quintessential example of Oregon surf culture for the longboard generations.”

Congratulations to Stand Up Paddle Bend team riders Randall Barna, Judy Shasek and Isabella Acosta Barna who placed 6th, 2nd and 4th in their SUP categories. Randall made the finals even though he was forced to work with a borrowed paddle after his own paddle blade split during the semi-finals. "There was some drama when my paddle broke," Randall says. However, "Peter Miller and Pam Stevenson from Kialoa paddles were right there watching and immediately grabbed me another paddle. The first one was Pam's and too short so the next wave in, I switched again and got a longer paddle. All Kialoas so they felt right at home in my hands."

SUPBend team rider Tom Burke was ready for a strong finish after months of practice in Maui last winter and spring, but he bruised and possibly broke some ribs in a shorebreak wipe-out on Saturday and was too injured to compete. We're happy to report he's feeling much better now.

Peter Miller, another member of Bend’s SUP community took second in the longboard event for the Grand Dukes age group. Peter also competes in SUP but decided not to this year since the finals heats were back to back and he wanted to save energy. Congratulations Peter!

Click here for complete results of the ‘Round the Rock race.

Click here for complete results of the 8th Annual Rogue Gathering.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a fast SUP board, click here to check out some great SUP race boards.

If surfing’s more your thing, check out these stand up paddle surfboards.

We also have some great all-around SUP boards for those who want to do it all!

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