Appleby and Bark Reign Victorious at the 2014 Battle of the Paddle
The 7th Annual Battle of the Paddle did not disappoint as the world’s top standup and prone paddle athletes took to the water last weekend to do battle at Salt Creek, Calif. With a sizable south swell in the forecast and a new race venue notorious for pounding surf, athletes with a surfing background were ecstatic about the race.
Surftech‘s team paddlers pride themselves on being well-rounded water athletes able to handle just about any and all water conditions. Needless to say, the team in the Surftech Battle of the Paddle expo tent were frothing to get in the water as a 4- to 6-foot southwest swell pumped through Salt Creek throughout the weekend. In fact, Jay Wild, George Plsek, Morgan Hoesterey and Alison Riddle were so psyched they chose to race in both the Elite SUP and Prone races. While a handful of other men opted to race in both divisions, including Anthony Vela, Chuck Patterson and Rob Rojas, Morgan and Alison were the only two women to compete in both events! For her tenacity, Hoesterey earned the Battle of the Paddle “Most Inspirational Female” award.
JACK BARK COMES FROM BEHIND TO WIN INAUGURAL ELITE PRONE RACE
In 2014 Jack Bark of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. has paddled his Surftech 12′ Bark Commander paddleboard from the tip of Southern Australia to the northern tip of Tasmania, from Vancouver, BC to Victoria Canada, broke the stock course record at the Molokai2Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, won the prone division in the Carolina Cup and the Surftech Jay Race and won the Waterman Tahiti Tour prone race last month! None of Jack’s paddle adventures this year have involved paddling out through head-high waves and surfing!
In the Battle of the Paddle’s inaugural Elite Prone Race, Bark trailed Shane Scoggins throughout much of the race up until the final lap where he passed Scoggins at the first turn buoy and never looked back, opening up a 40 second lead over Scoggins.
“I was so stoked to win this year,” said Bark. “There were some super fast guys, including Shane Scoggins, who is an animal on a stock board. I kind of got skunked on the waves, but managed to sneak by Shane at the end. Can’t wait to see who shows up next year to battle it out!”
In the end, Jack added another prone race victory to his trophy case, finishing the course in a time of 40:13 and the Surftech 12′ Bark Commander was atop yet another elite race podium.
CANDICE APPLEBY WINS AN UNPRECEDENTED 5TH BOP ELITE TITLE, 6th BOP TITLE OVERALL
Candice Appleby of San Clemente, Calif. used the momentum from her wins at the Surf Race to Victory and the Standup World Series in Huntington Beach to secure her fifth Battle of the Paddle Elite Women’s Title!
Racing on her 12’6″ Bark signature race board, Appleby raced neck and neck with Annabel Anderson in what many consider the most exciting Battle of the Paddle Women’s Elite Race of all time! The two chased each other through the head-high surf and around the race course in a grueling battle for the ages. By the time Anderson turned the final buoy, approximately a quarter mile from the finish, Appleby was already in the surf zone, riding a wave to victory. The win is Candice’s first BOP victory since 2011 (she sat out last season due to a hand injury) and her sixth Battle of the Paddle title!
“It’s hard to fully express what this win means to me,” admitted Candice. “It’s honestly still sinking in. I learned a lot over the past year and a half, being injured and climbing my way back up the mountain. I realized that life isn’t about the wins and losses… people aren’t going to remember your win/loss record… they’ll remember the way that you made them feel and the impact that you had on their life. That said, this win does mean a lot to me. I see it’s weight in the faces of the people who have been behind me; helping, praying and rooting for me for the past few years. Seeing the pure joy of others and their heartfelt congrats inspires me to keep pushing forward.”
Springer Sweeps Men’s 30-39 Division in SUP Course and Distance Races
Seth Springer of Thousand Oaks, Calif. made it a clean sweep in the Men’s 30-39 age group of the 14′ SUP division! Springer finished Saturday’s course race a full two minutes ahead of Australian Adam Cole. Seth timed his finish perfectly as he stroked into one of the best set waves of the day and rode it all the way to the finish line.
Sunday’s distance race was considerably closer with Springer edging out Tyler Schmuckle to sweep the 14′ class in the 30-39 age group of the SUP division.
Congrats to all Surftech/Bark team riders who competed at BOP
Candice Appleby: Women’s Elite SUP Course race
Jack Bark: Men’s Elite Prone Course race
Morgan Hoesterey: Women’s Elite SUP Course and Prone races
Matt Becker: Men’s Elite Prone race
Jay Wild: Men’s Elite SUP Course and Prone races
Ollie Shilston: Men’s Elite SUP Course and Distance races
Alison Riddle: Women’s Elite SUP Course and Prone races
George Plsek: Men’s Elite SUP Course and Prone races
Andrew Glidden: Men’s Elite SUP Course race
Seth Springer: Men’s 30-39 14′ SUP Course and Distance races
Rand Carter: Men’s 50-59 14′ SUP Course and Distance races
Tony Paul: Men’s Elite SUP Distance
Rhys Staples: Boys 18 & Under SUP Course race and Beach Flags
Jane Staples: Girls 12-14 Kids SUP and 18 & Under SUP Course races
Matix Springer: Boys 18 & Under SUP Course race and Beach Flags
Trent Carter: Boys 12-14 Kids SUP and 18 & under SUP Course races
Zoe Carter: Girls Beach Flags