Preview: Surftech Shootout and Surf and Sand Duel

The Surftech Shootout and the Surf and Sand Duel presented by SUP magazine is set to go off this weekend in Santa Cruz, California with a packed field of athletes including paddling stars like Slater Trout, Anthony Vela, Dave Boehne, Candice Appleby, Talia Gangini and Matt Becker. Mavericks legend Jeff Clark will also compete in the surf event at the Shootout at Steamer Lane.

“This is the best field we’ve ever had,” says Surftech’s Duke Brouwer. “The weather should be great and the waves look to be really contestable.”

While the iconic Steamer Lane will host the surf contest, the Surf & Sand Duel SUP race courses (short and long) start by the pier and boardwalk and run out towards Middle Peak, south towards the Harbor and back again.

Becker and Vela dueled it out in last year’s competition with Becker winning the surf Shootout and Vela taking the Duel-athlon (Becker also took the Duel-athlon win at the inaugural event in 2011). Look for both contenders to vy for top honors in 2013. On the women’s side, Appleby was dominant last year, surfing deep into the men’s surfing competition and winning the women’s Duel race, so look for her to continue her streak.

This year’s festivities include a beginner comp at Cowell’s Beach and a women’s surf division.

The waves over the past two years have been cranking for the contest. Here’s hoping for more of the same in 2013.

Watch the live stream here.