Rojas Wins O'NEILL Tahoe Cup Race Series
After three grueling races over the summer and more than 4,500 competitors in attendance over the three events, the O'Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series in Lake Tahoe, Calif. wrapped up Sunday, September 14, with a 22-miler at the Fall Classic, and a big win by Southern California's Rob Rojas.
Taking off from El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe, competitors paddled pristine race conditions on a glassy racecourse with warm weather. With the overall O’Neill Tahoe Cup Series Title and $20,000 in prize money up for grabs, competitors battled to be first across the line at Kings Beach in North Lake Tahoe.
Unlimited paddler Rob Rojas crossed the line first, with an impressive time of 3:38:09, winning the Unlimited division and the overall O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title after taking wins at the two prior events in the series, The Donner Cup and The Jam from the Dam. Local Tahoe paddler Rand Carter came in second with a time of 3:55:17, while Michael Valenzuela, also of Tahoe, came in third with a time of 4:16:42.
Tahoe local Jay Wild took first in the Men's Elite 14' division with a time of 4:01:10, and Ben Sarrazin of Petaluma, Calif. was just behind with a time of 4:03:39. Third place finisher Brennan Rose (4:12:12) took the O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title for the 14'division after he racked up two wins earlier in the series, as well as a top finish at Sunday's Fall Classic.
The ladies brought the heat to Tahoe too, as Jen Fuller of Sausalito, Calif. took first in the Women's Elite 12'6" division at 4:31:50, while Reno’s Nina Oakley and Wendy Ackermann of Homewood, Calif. finished in second and third, with times of 4:35:16 and 4:58:30, respectively. Fuller also took top honors in the series, taking the O’Neill Tahoe Cup Race Series Title for the Women's Elite division.