2018 Desert Orthopedics Bend Paddleboard Challenge Weekend
Hailed regionally as one of Oregon’s best annual standup paddleboard gatherings, The 2018 Desert Orthopedic Bend Paddleboard Challenge (BPC) will take place June 23rd as part of a larger weekend SUP festival in conjunction with the Subaru Outside Games. The BPC boasts continued support from Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, Kialoa, StandUpPaddle Bend, Subaru Outside Games, Sunriver Brewing and its title sponsor, Desert Orthopedics. BPC is one of three Bend races and 12 statewide races which collectively comprise the Oregon Zone Paddleboard Race Series.
“The BPC is known throughout the Northwest for camaraderie and accessibility to novice paddleboarders, cultural influences and showcasing the sport of standup paddleboard racing,” explains Randall Barna, early Bend paddleboard pioneer. “These races give standup paddlers a purpose to be an enthusiast, get better and seek better equipment. Every recreational paddler or beginning racer, on any kind of board, will enjoy the short course.”
This year, the race will be part of larger weekend celebration of paddleboarding, beginning with a Friday night clinic (June 22, 5-8pm) hosted by Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe and led by Kialoa ambassador Brett Saguid. Saguid is known for his paddling skills and “aloha” which aligns with the mission of this race-- to reach out to the community and novice racers in general. Sue Fox, BPC’s race director and Tumalo Creek paddle ambassador explains, “Saguid genuinely wants to support the individuals new to the sport and those he instructs on Friday night. He might choose to not race at all, but rather paddle amongst the racers Saturday, and lend pointers and support”. Friday night’s clinic is about gaining some paddling skills, but as much about “talking story” and bringing the paddleboard community together.
Following the Saturday race, new to Bend on the whitewater park, will be a “SUP Cross” event. Unlike the Friday clinic and Saturday race, the SUP Cross participants will need to already possess the skills of whitewater paddleboarding. This event will be a part of the larger whitewater festival in the Bend Whitewater Park, Sunday, June 24.
The Desert Orthopedic Bend Paddleboard Challenge begins at Riverbend Park and runs down the Deschutes River through The Old Mill, where, after a half mile, the racers turn and paddle back up river. After eight years, spectators and racers alike look forward to traditional Tahitian dancing to open the race, a plate lunch for competitors from Big Island Kona Mixed Plate, sponsored by Bend Radio Group and demos offered to the public by an assortment of standup paddleboard vendors including Tumalo Creek.
Tumalo Creek offers the largest selection of paddleboards (inflatable to rigid) and paddleboard instructional courses in the Central Oregon region. This includes a new downriver/swiftwater standup paddleboard clinic happening July 22nd & August 19th.
To register visit www.bendpaddleboardchallenge.com. Registering before June 20th costs $25 and $35 after. Youth under 17 compete at no cost. Day of registering from 8-8:45am. For more information on any of the SUP events, contact Sue Fox at 541-317-9407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t forget: Every Racer must provide and wear their own US Coast Guard approved PFD to race in the event. All Oregon State Boating Laws will be in effect, including a requirement for State Invasive Species Permits.
8:00 am - 8:45 am Registration
9:00 am Racer’s Meeting
9:30 am - 11:00 am 5 Mile Race | 5 laps on 1 mile course
11:30 am - 12:30 pm 5-Person Relay races
12:45 pm - 1:15 pm Kid’s Races | 500m sprint race (juniors 14 and under only)
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Sprint Race | 500m sprint race
2:30 pm - whenevers Demos and socializing
Long Course (competitive race)
- Open category for 14' boards or less
- 50+ age, Open for 14' boards or less
- Women 12'6" boards or less
- Women 50+ age, 12'6" boards or less
Short Course (recreational race, all boards)
- Men 50+
- Women 50+
- Junior Men (under 18)
- Junior Women (under 18)
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