It's about to go down in Surf City. Sunday, September 18th, the Hinano SurfRace to Victory will be held in Huntington Beach, Calif. The event is on the south side of Huntington Beach Pier in conjunction with the city's Surf City Days series.
There's a lot in store for this year's participants, including a new SUP Boarder Cross format that will test overall waterman skills in a W-shaped buoy course. The course will combine paddling and surfing skills, as competitors race in and out through the surf.
"Most SUP races involve long open ocean races where the paddlers go away for an hour and then come back," said race director, Matty Mitchell. "The Hinano SurfRace to Victory is designed to be fan friendly and give participants a chance to go for broke and take chances to advance into the next round," Mitchell added.
Heats will run throughout the day, including repechage heats, so each participant will race in at least two heats. Divisions include Pro Men, Pro Women, Pro Youth and Open Surf Style Board all of which will be racing for $10k in cash and prizes on different length boards. Pro Men will be racing 14', Pro Women 12'6, Pro Youth 12'6, and Open Surf will be 12' and under. Winners of each heat who are racing in one of the Pro divisions can look forward to cash awards and winners of each heat in the Open Surf division will advance to the SUP Pro Division Final.
"I've been looking forward to a race like this since I started standup paddling,” says Anthony Vela, a professional SUP racer from Redondo Beach, Calif. “In and out of the surf a few times, a full throttle sprint with Huntington surf dumping on us– there should be some classic wins and wipeouts. I'm not sure which board I'm going to use, my surfing style board or my longer racing board. I will have to feel out the conditions the day of the race and figure out what to paddle."
The Expression Session will be open to all participants that did not move on to finals. The twenty-minute session will showcase free SUP surfing and winners will receive Duke's restaurant gift certificates.
Winners aren't the only ones that will walk away with swag; each competitor will receive a Victory KoreDry shirt, Hinano Tahiti hats, On It Pro surf products, and more. Post-race events include an after party and Hinano Tahiti Fashion Show at the famous Duke's restaurant and Barefoot Bar, complete with Hinano Tahiti beer and a raffle with sweet SUP gear, including a Suplove board. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Plastic Free Ocean to raise awareness of water-borne plastic. – Shari Coble
For more info: Victorykoredry.com