While the world is getting ready for the ICF in Thailand, SUP USA is holding their championships. We are keeping you guys up to date as the information becomes available.
Sunday Nov. 12th livestream
Saturday Nov. 11th Update
After a brilliant opening day of the USA SUP National Championships, it’s hard to think that things could get better, yet they did. Warmer weather and calm conditions and an amazing venue were just some of the factors that signaled a great day before any racing started.
The location for the day was the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, a beautiful, cooperative club with a brilliant building, clean bathrooms, and a groomed green lawn with palm trees that would gently sway in the breeze – also the location for the post-race lunch and awards.
Racing for the day was the 10k and 5k distance events, respectively, with about 80 paddlers registered. The 10k course headed out the channel, into Alamitos Bay and over to Island Chafee, then back into the channel to circle the island of Naples. The 5k race started in the same location, but instead of heading out to see, completed the Naples Island lap.
The 10k race started first and as expected – Danny Ching and Bodie Von Allmen, broke early and lead from wire to wire, swapping leads several times along the way. The stongest challenge came from Jake Graham who hung with the duo until taking a swim as they surfed a bump back into the channel. In the end, age and wisdom triumphed the exuberance of youth with Danny edging out Bodie, by a board length, for the win in the Male Open division.
The Female open class perhaps provided just as good if not better storyline as Soryn Preston took the win exactly one day after her 15th birthday. In the feel-good story of the day, Soryn, one of the youngest competitors on the water, swapped leads with Legend class (70+) year-old wonder paddler, Bruce Barry, and finished within minutes of each other. Kirsten Marina Lefeldt took 2nd in the female Open class with Katie Kasprzyk rounding out the podium.
The Female and Male Masters divisions provided close racing in the 10k distance. For the Females Vicki Mills took the win chased by Shirley Heinemann and Perla Bell, Male’s Master’s featured David Wells, followed by Pete Gauvin and Brian Tucker.
Golden Master’s divisions did not disappoint with Tony Forcier, edging Karl Eugster, and Derek Turner. For the Female Division Jen Fuller took the win over USA SUP Board President Kristin Thomas with Kathy McRae rounding out the podium.
The 5k race was dominated by Golden Master Dave Anderson, Rob Heinemann, and James Yanoschik Shared the podium. In the Male Master’s Division Robert Demarco took the win over Harrison Withers and Tony Alvarado. Troy Hendricks took the Men’s open win with Ankur Samtaney joining him on the podium. Oliver Martinez won the male youth division.
In the Female 5k, Elizabeth “Betsy” Duke took the Open class win while Zeina Kabbani, and Leann Peterson gave chase. Linda McCoy took the win in the Master’s class, with Veronica Wold and May Wong.
The third and final day of the USA SUP National Championships will feature multi-heat technical racing on an 800 meter course in sheltered water.
This is the first day update from Friday Nov. 10th.
Day one of the three for the inaugural USA SUP National Championships is in the books and all in all it was a pretty good read and an even better day on the water.The weather couldn’t have been better with bluebird skies and mid 70-degree (F) temps. The water conditions where perfect in the sheltered historic Long Beach Marine Stadium. The venue was originally constructed to host the 1932 Olympic games and is targeted to see action again in 2028.
The mood on the beach was one of excitement and anticipation, with festival-like atmosphere. Many of the big boards brands where present including 404, SIC, Infinity, NSP, and Starboard. Loaning a sense of importance to the event. The was also a feeling of anxious anticipation about the first day’s events, focused on 200m sprint racing. For many in attendance, this was their first sprint race, and many of the more seasoned paddlers could count the amount of sprint racing they’ve done on one hand. The schedule for the day had a heat race going off every 10 minutes, and with very few exceptions the schedule was adhered to. Every racer got at least two chances to paddle. Quarterfinal heats sent the top two finishers directly to the finals, with the remainder of the field passing to the semifinals. The top finishers of the semi then rounded out to the finals brackets. The quarter and semifinal heats feature close racing across the board with more than a couple close finishes. As usual, the female classes brough a lot of excitement and comradery on full display in all three divisions, Open, Masters and Golden Masters. In the female’s Masters (50+) Shirley Heinemann pulled out the win edging out Linda McCoy, and Suzy Dyer. The Golden Master’s (60+) Kristin Thomas took a break from her official USA SUP President duties to pull out a will over Jen Fuller, who pushed Kristin till the very end. Midwesterner Kathy McCrae rounded out to podium.
The Female’s open final was one of the most exciting of the day with Seychelle going toe-toe-toe with Katniss Paris hot on her heels. Birthday girl Soryn Preston, who just turned 15, was only a few seconds behind to lock up third. Master’s male division was won by David Wells, with Pete Gauvin and Bill McGrath pushing till the end in a close finish. The male’s Golden Masters was dominated by Pacific Northerner Bruce Barry who coincidentally was also the winner of the 70+ age class. Tony Forcier, Sean Sullivan, and Joe Bechtold made to podium for 60+ youngster division. The open male division featured a runaway win from none other than Danny Ching. Bodie Von Allmen pushed the entire distance, but faded at the end and was edged at the finish line by Jake Graham.
Saturday’s racing moves onto the 5 and 10k distance disciplines. A familiar event for most competitors, close competitive racing is expected.