The beginning of the 6-man season in Southern California always starts out with the Crystal Pier Race. Nothing is ever predictable for this race and this year did not disappoint. Apart. from the weather and the beach being bulldozed, things went off without a hitch.
As crews huddled in their cars, under tents, and wrapped in blankets to stay warm, the novice race began. Teams clambered for their places and paddled their hearts out but in the end, they all came in with smiles on their faces. We all remember the excitement of being a novice.
The women then came forth to race and as we all know, the warm-up is a mere 2-3 miles out past the jetty. Needless to say, when the shivering gals left the beach they were far from being cold by the time they made it to the start. The conditions were a bit rough. The real fun began as they entered the mouth of the channel and the boats began finding some great swell on the inside. In the end, Dana Point was victorious with Lanakila a mere minute behind.
The conditions were a little rougher for the men's race and a few good stories came out of it. The men came in looking like they had been swimming not paddling. NAC dominated the men's race with Lanakila coming in second. There were a lot of close finishes in this race!
Hanohano did a fantastic job running the race and everyone went home tired, happy, and probably a bit sore!
Next race: Santa Barbara Rig Run, May 19th.
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