september 26, 2003

DEL MAR TIMES

First paddleboard race a success by any measure!

By Lynn Gaylord

History was made last week when over 150 adults and children showed up at 6:30 a.m. at the Powerhouse to compete in six mile and one mile paddleboard races sponsored by the Del Mar Foundation and many others. "It all just came together with a lot of help from everyone in a very short period of time. It was amazing considering this was the first time ever for a paddleboard race in Del Mar," said Scott Tinley, one of the organizers and a member of the Del Mar Lifeguard staff.

For everyone entering the race, there was a hooded sweatshirt, commemorative brick, medal for participation, breakfast provided by Jake's Del Mar and lunch compliments of Papa John's Pizza.

John Edelbrock and other members of the Del Mar Lifeguard staff ran a clinic to show the art of paddling to newcomers. "Probably between 25 - 50 participants had never even tried the sport before showing up that morning," added Tinley. "Surf Sessions provided 50 boards for those who didn't have a board plus other participants were loaning out their second boards. It was great. It was competitive, yet an opportunity to bring new people to the sport. It was also very Del Mar, very first-class."

The morning started with a six-mile race for adults 18 and older. The overall winner was Sean Richardson from La Jolla who came down from Palos Verdes to take part in this historic event. An avid paddler and winner of this year's Catalina Classic Paddle Race of 32 miles, Sean said, speaking of the Powerhouse event, "It's a great location, a great course and a low-key environment for a perfect end to a long season. I hope you are able to continue on with this event next year and eventually develop a year-end tradition for Del Mar and the paddleboard community."

Following the six-mile race, the youngsters, both male and female, ages 11 - 18 did a one mile race with winners in every age category. "It was so great to realize the vision we had for the event which was to have a race which introduced the sport to kids and adults alike and to raise money for the Junior Lifeguard Program," added Rande Turner. "The kids are so hyped up about it and enthusiastic to enter next year. They are talking about practicing and getting their parents involved."

For those of you who may not know, a paddleboard can be anywhere from 12 Ð 23 feet long and is narrower than a surfboard. The average paddleboard weighs about 20 lbs., has a chin rest and even a drink holder or two. Many of the longer boards have rudders which are controlled by your feet or knees.

The best part of the morning came when all the participants were awarded prizes and some even had the lucky raffle number. Those sponsors donating raffle prizes and/or gear were: Surf Sessions, Redsand, No Fear, Rusty, Del Mar, Sanuk, Jake's Del Mar and Papa John's Pizza. All net proceeds went to support our Junior Lifeguard Program. It was a safe, family friendly event which I hope will be around for a long time! Thanks guys for bringing paddleboard racing to Del Mar!