MANHATTAN BEACH, CA. – 08/27/2017 (PRESS RELEASE JET) — When: August 27, 2017
Where: Start — Twin Harbors, Catalina Island
Finish — Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach
Start time: 6 a.m.
Finish time: Top finishers approximately 11 a.m
Last finishers approximately 2 p.m.
Press contact: Kevin Cody, (310) 944-1101,
Race Director: Francziska Steagall
Pre race materials: Press release, photos and video from previous races (attached)
Post race materials: Press release, result, photos and video taken at the start, in the Catalina Channel
World’s top paddleboarders to
compete in 2017 Catalina Classic
Over 100 prone paddleboarders will compete in the 32 mile Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race, to be held Sunday, August 27. The Classic is paddleboarding’s longest distance and oldest established race.
The race starts at 6 a.m. at Two Harbors on Catalina Island and ends at the Manhattan Beach pier. Top paddlers are expected to finish the race in just over five hours. The record is five hours, two minutes and 12 seconds, set in 1999 by Los Angeles County Lifeguard Tim Gair. Finishing times vary significantly depending on the wind, current, swells and tide. Paddlers race prone or on their knees, using only their arms. The narrow, carbon fiber boards range from 12 feet (stock division) to 18 feet (unlimited division).
The inaugural Catalina Classic took place in 1955. Legendary big wave surfer Ricky Grigg won the race in eight hours, 24 minutes and 17 seconds. Two other big wave legends competing that year were George Downing, who won the Makaha International big wave surf contest the previous year and Greg Noll, who pioneered surfing Waimea’s big waves in 1957.
Australia big wave rider Jamie Mitchell, winner of 10 consecutive Molokai Channel Paddleboard races, won the Catalina Classic in 2002. Olympic silver medalist swimmer (Sydney, 2000) and Los Angeles County Lifeguard Chad Carvin won the race in 2008.
This year’s top Catalina Classic contenders include 2016 men’s unlimited winner Max First, 2016 stock winner Lachie Lansdown, and 2016 women’s winner Abby Brown. First is a Los Angeles County Lifeguard from Manhattan Beach. Lansdown is a professional paddler from Australia. Brown is a professional surfer from Santa Barbara and winner of the 2016 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard race. Though new to paddling this year, Beijing Olympics gold medalist and American 100 meter freestyle record holder David Walters could add another top finish to his list of achievements.
Catalina Classic 2017 Press Photos and Video
High resolution image files in accompanying folder
Professional surfer Abby Brown won the women’s division at the 2016 Catalina Classic and is among the favorites to win in 2017. Photo by Mike Ruiz/Easy Reader
Classic winner 2016 Max First won the Catalina Classic in 2014 and again in 2016. He is among the favorites to win in 2017. Photo by Chris Aguilar/Easy Reader
Adam Buckley, of Hermosa Beach, won the the Catalina Classic in 2010 and 2012. He is among the favorites to win again in 2017. Photo by Nick Meistrell/Easy Reader
Australian big wave rider and 10 time Molokai 2 Oahu paddleboard race winner Jamie Mitchell won the Catalina Classic in 2002. Photo by Ray Vidal/Easy Reader
Los Angeles County Lifeguard Kyle Daniels relaxes after winning the Catalina Classic in 2001. Photo by Ray Vidal/Easy Reader
2016 Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race video by Chris Aguilar/Fin Film