Top 3 Female Paddlers

Candice Appleby

Candice Appleby

AGE: 25
HOME: San Clemente, Calif.

The first and only woman to SUP surf Sunset Beach at 25 feet, and the first to SUP surf Pipeline, Appleby, based in San Clemente, Calif., is also the most consistent Battle of the Paddle Competitor in history, including both men and women. She took second in the Battle of the Paddle, Dana Point in 2008 and 2009, first in the Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii and Dana Point in 2010, and first in Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii 2011. She was named Miss SUP 2010 by Supconnect.com and Woman of the Year by Standup Journal.
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Brandi Baksic

Brandi Cumin Baksic

AGE: 39
HOME: San Clemente, Calif.

San Clemente’s Brandi Cumin Baksic is a threat to win any race she enters, racking up wins in the 2009 and 2010 Battle of the Paddle Distance Races and a third and second respectively in the BOP elite races. She won the 2010 Gulf Coast Championships and both the 2010-11 Paddle For Humanity Dana Point races. Her back and forth duel with Candice Appleby at the end of the 2010 Battle of the Paddle, Dana Point elite race is arguably one of the greatest moments in women’s standup racing history.

Talia Gangini

Talia Gangini

AGE: 18
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

In 2007, at the age of 14, Gangini became the youngest woman to paddle the Molokai Channel on a paddleboard. Based in Maui, Gangini took 8th in the 2009 Battle of the Paddle and 2nd in the 2011 OluKai Ho’olaule’a. Her stylish surfing was recently on display during a trip to Indonesia with some of the best standup surfers in the world.

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GIllian Gibree

Gillian Gibree

AGE: 26
HOME: San Diego, California

A sponsored ocean athlete and sports model, Gillian Gibree is one of the leaders in SUP Yoga instruction but is also a talented surfer, and racer, having been a longtime East Coast lifeguard. In the past year, Gillian placed 3rd in the prone paddle rescue and 2k beach run at Lifeguard Nationals, 5th in both the Battle of the Paddle, California and Hawaii, and was on the winning Starboard Relay team.

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Helga Goebel

Helga Goebel

AGE: 34
HOME: Fort Lauderdale, Flor.

Ft. Lauderdale’s Goebel has dominated the Southeast race scene winning the Key West Classic, the Florida State Championships, the Sunshine SUP race series, the Komona Paddle and the Orange Bowl Race. And that’s just 2011. She won the Florida State Champs in 2010 as well as the Key West Classic and the Water Monkey Race Series.

Nikki Gregg

Nikki Gregg

AGE: 35
HOME: Hood River, Ore.

Recently named the Standup Journal’s “Woman of the Year,” Gregg is an accomplished ocean and river paddler. In 2011 she’s won the Reno River Festival downriver race and the 12’6″ division of the Hal Rosoff Classic. She took second in the Teva Mountain Games SUP Surf Cross and 3rd at the Cold Stroke Classic in North Carolina. She’s also been using her river skills to run waterfalls on her SUP.

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Morgan Hoesterey

Morgan Hoesterey

AGE: 30
HOME: Honolulu, Hawaii

A gifted ocean athlete, Hoesterey filmed and partnered with Jenny Kalmbach on the Destination 3 project. In 2008, she became the first women to complete the Molokai to Oahu standup race and won the Hennessey International event. In 2009 she won the Rock 2 Rock race and in 2011, won the 14-foot division of the Hawaii BOP and recently won the Jay Moriarity Race in Santa Cruz.

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Jenny Kalmbach

Jenny Kalmbach

AGE: 27
HOME: Kona, Hawaii

After completing her 2011 Destination 3 Degrees project, a 300-mile Hawaii Channel Crossing adventure to raise awareness against plastic ocean contamination, Kalmbach paddled around her home country, Costa Rica. Based in Kona, Hawaii, Kalmbach was the 2008 Battle of the Paddle Champion, 2009 Molokai to Oahu Champion, and 2010 Jever World Cup Champion, Tahoe Nalu Elite race champion and Tahoe Fall Classic 22-mile first place finisher. In 2011 she took second in the Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii.

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Andrea Moller

Andrea Moller

AGE: 31
HOME: Maui, Hawaii

A fearless ocean athlete, Moller has towed into some of the biggest waves on the planet. The Brazillian is also a fearless SUP competitor: she’s won the OluKai Ho’olaule’a Maliko race three years in a row, took first in the 2010 Battle of the Paddle, Hawaii Distance race, finished third in the Battle of the Paddle, Dana Point Distance race and was part of the first female team to cross the Molokai Channel on SUPs.

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Terri Plunkett

Terri Plunkett

AGE: 42
HOME: San Clemente, Calif.

A prolific racer, Plunkett has finished first in nine out of her last 24 paddle competitions, including the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race, The Loop Race on Coronado Island, the Malibu Downwinder, the Long Beach Alder Paddler and the Santa Monica Return to the Pier, to name a few. She recently lost her sister to congestive heart failure and plans on paddling 75 miles solo in her honor.

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Mariko Strickland

Mariko Strickland

AGE: 24
HOME: Anahola, Kauai

Winner of the 2011 Teva Mountain Games SUP Sprint and SUP Cross events, Strickland, based in Anahola, Kauai, also took sixth place overall at the Kauai World Challenge, first place in the Hawaii Kai Run at Battle of the Paddle Hawaii, second in the Relay Team Race, and eighth in the Elite Race.

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Shakira Westdrop

Shakira Westdorp

AGE: 26
HOME: Australia

One of Australia’s strongest paddlers, Westdorp won the 2009 Battle of the Paddle Dana Point and took second in Hawaii in 2010. She’s also won the Australian Titles and the Excel Gold Coast Race. A strong surfer, Westdorp took second at the Noosa Festival of Surfing in 2011.

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Karen Wrenn

Karen Wrenn

AGE: 39
HOME: Portland, Ore.

Notching the fastest solo crossing from Catalina Island to Dana Point during the Catalina Challenge in 2010, Wrenn, based in Portland, Ore., was also the first woman to make the entire 150 mile Channel Islands crossing solo in 2011. She has a long list of SUP accomplishments, taking first in the 2008 Gorge Games, first in the 2009 Naish US Race Series Championships, first in the 2010 Catalina Challenge, and third in the 10k and fourth in the Sprint Race at the 2010 SUP World Cup.

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