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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Chebatoris

Local Talent Shines at 2018 Pacific Paddle Games

The world’s top standup and prone paddlers battled it out over the weekend at California’s Doheny State Beach

Local knowledge. It can mean the difference between success and failure. A good time and a bad time. Winning and losing. For a number of the world’s top standup paddlers competing at the 4th annual Pacific Paddle Games at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point California over the weekend, local knowledge gained over countless hours spent training in the ocean off Doheny (DoHo in local parlance) proved to be decisive.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of SUP racing at Doheny State Beach and several of the sport’s top personalities were on hand to commemorate the milestone. Events such as the Pacific Paddle Games can be a fun time to get introduced to the sport and the broader paddling community supporting the industry. For many participants, attending the event each October is akin to a reunion.

“I love it! We’re all family and I love these competitions because everyone is super supportive of everyone else. Yeah, there’s competition, but when you’re out on the water there can be a lot of fear, especially during conditions like we had today. But everyone is so supportive and encouraging, telling each other ‘you got this, keep going!’, and we all finish at the end. That’s what drives me,” said Terri Carlin, co-owner of Riverbound Paddlesports in Tempe, Arizona.

We asked Carlin what keeps her coming back each year and she emphatically replied it was the people. “The people, the brands…everyone is super cool, it is like our extended family. We’re hanging out through the SUP Awards and are going to be total SUP geeks!”

Georges Cronsteadt

Georges Cronsteadt, front man for 425 Pro.

Doheny State Beach is regarded as the birthplace of standup paddle (SUP) racing. “I always enjoy coming back to this place to compete, it is where SUP racing began,” said Georges Cronsteadt. Cronsteadt, one of Tahiti’s top paddlers, spent years competing and winning at the highest levels of outrigger canoeing before making the transition to SUP racing. “Doheny is a special place. I always look forward to the excitement and intensity of competing here,” he told us.

Events are also a great platform for vendors to interact with the paddling community. One such vendor eager to meet paddlers was Stunt Puppy, a maker of high quality lifejackets, harnesses, collars and leashes for dogs. We met with Stunt Puppy’s co-owner Angela Hook who was excited to introduce their lineup to attendees.

“Standup paddleboarding is huge for dog owners. Stunt Puppy is an outdoor, surf and active wear brand making products specifically for your dog. Our original product when we started in New Zealand was a lifejacket for dogs. We’re the only one that does a fully enclosed harness, which is ideal for paddleboarding. If you want to get your dog out of the water you want it to be locked in its jacket. Our design is super ergonomic and low profile, but with lots of buoyancy,” Hook told us.

Stunt Puppy, Pacific Paddle Games, PaddleXaminer, standup paddling, lifejackets, dogs

Stunt Puppy – maker of lifejackets, harnesses and accessories for dogs.

Angela and her husband Mark recently brought their company to the United States via a merger with a like minded U.S.-based brand and currently call Utah home. “We go paddleboarding all the time with our dogs and we see ourselves as an outdoor brand and enjoy connecting with people who like to do stuff. There’s just so much doing stuff going on here, you know. People are on their bikes, they’re running, they’re on their paddleboards and it seems like a really fun event,” said Hook.

Pacific Paddle Games offers many levels of competition

Paddlers of all skill levels had multiple opportunities to compete at this year’s Pacific Paddle Games. The weekend kicked off with a six mile open ocean distance race, followed by technical races in and out of the surf zone, races specifically for junior paddlers and even competition tailored for young kids, ensuring all paddlers a time to shine.

Australian Lincoln Dews won the Men’s Pro Distance Race by a sizeable margin over the rest of the pack on his Deep Ocean Boards SUP in early competition on Saturday. The win helped propel Dews to the overall Men’s Pro SUP title this year at the Pacific Paddle Games which combines scores from the distance and technical races. San Clemente native and veteran SUP racer Candice Appleby paddled her Infinity Blackfish to second place in the Women’s Pro Distance Race on Saturday. Appleby then took her performance up a notch on Sunday to win the Women’s Pro Technical Race, a victory which positioned her to win the Pacific Paddle Games’ overall Women’s Pro SUP title.

Tyler Bashor, PaddleXaminer, Infinity SUP, Infinity Blackfish, Dana Point, PaddleXaminer, Pacific Paddle Games, Doheny State Beach

Tyler Bashor of Dana Point, California won the Boy’s Jr. Pro Technical Race.

Top Pro and Junior Pro Finishers

Men’s Pro Distance

  1. Lincoln Dews, Australia

  2. Titouan Puyo, New Caledonia

  3. Guilherme Dos Reis, Brazil

Women’s Pro Distance

  1. Fiona Wylde, Hood River, Oregon

  2. Candice Appleby, San Clemente, California

  3. Shae Foudy, Dana Point, California

Boy’s Jr. Pro Distance

  1. Keoni Sulpice, Tahiti

  2. David Leao, Brazil

  3. Tiavairau Chang, Tahiti

Girl’s Jr. Pro Distance

  1. Jade Leilani Howson, Laguna Beach, California

  2. Abby Baker, Carlsbad, California

  3. Delila Quinn, Lake Tahoe, California

Men’s Pro Technical

  1. Connor Baxter, Maui, Hawaii

  2. Guilherme Dos Reis, Brazil

  3. Arthur Arutkin, France

Women’s Pro Technical

  1. Candice Appleby, San Clemente, California

  2. Shae Foudy, Dana Point, California

  3. Fiona Wylde, Hood River, Oregon

Boy’s Jr. Pro Technical

  1. Tyler Bashor, Dana Point, California

  2. Keoni Sulpice, Tahiti

  3. Guilherme Cunha, Brazil

Girl’s Jr. Pro Technical

  1. Jade Howson, Laguna Beach, California

  2. Delila Quinn, Lake Tahoe, California

  3. Lexi Alston, Dana Point, California

Men’s Pro Combined

  1. Lincoln Dews, Australia

  2. Guilherme Dos Reis, Brazil

  3. Arthur Arutkin, France

Boy’s Jr Pro Combined

  1. Keoni Sulpice, Tahiti

  2. Tyler Bashor, Dana Point, California

  3. David Leao, Brazil   

Girl’s Jr Pro Combined

  1. Jade Howson, Laguna Beach, California

  2. Delila Quinn, Lake Tahoe, California

  3. Abby Baker, Carlsbad, California

Pacific Paddle Games, PaddleXaminer

Crowds lined the beach at the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games.

Click here for complete results from the 2018 Pacific Paddle Games.

#CandiceAppleby #LincolnDews #StandupPaddling #DohenyStateBeach #PacificPaddleGames #sup #SUPRacing


Exploring the World Through Paddling

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