Santa Monica Pier played host to thousands of people at the third annual Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival last weekend. Competitors and festival goers packed on and around the pier for a day filled with both competition and culture.
Athletes flocked to the Santa Monica Pier Paddleboard Race and Ocean Festival for a fun day in the sun with two paddleboard races, the SUP Luck of the Draw Relay, two dory races, and a run/swim/run. Paddleboarders raced around the spectator-filled pier and along the coast in a 5.5-mile WPA-sanctioned long course and 1.5-mile Fun Paddle. Elite paddling couple Anthony Vela and Candice Appleby won the long course in each of their divisions, with Jay Wild and Kira Makuta winning the Fun Paddle. Later, 4-person teams, made of one elite paddler and three other paddlers, raced in the Luck of the Draw Relay with Anthony Vela's team taking the win.
"The events were so much fun and there was a little bit of mayhem with people getting through the surf" said Mike Vaughan. "The Pacifico boards made by Bark swept the races and it was a pretty amazing day with the sun out and so many different types of people watching the events from the pier. It was cram-packed and continues to grow each year," he added.
The festival featured an exhibit commemorating paddleboard history in Santa Monica, slack-key guitar, educational activities for kids with festival-beneficiary, Heal the Bay, as well as an SUP expo and demos by Jimmy Terrell of Quickblade.
For more info and full results, visit: PierPaddle.com