Candice Appleby holding it down in Santa Cruz. Photo: Jay Race/Nikki Brooks

Candice Appleby holding it down in Santa Cruz. Photo: Jay Race/Nikki Brooks

Preview: 13th Annual Jay Race

The Surftech Jay Race is returning to Capitola this Saturday for its 13th year, marking one of the best community events of the season.

Santa Cruz’s Jay Moriarty was and is a bona-fide surf legend, a true waterman and a beacon of stoke for all that knew him and many that did not. Moriarty—Maverick’s big-wave standout, longboard aficionado, diver and paddler—died freediving in the Maldives a day before his twenty-third birthday in 2001. The loss shocked the surfing world, especially the tight-knit Santa Cruz community. The paddle out for Moriarty drew hundreds of people into the water as his wife Kim spread his ashes into the ocean.

“We make sure that the event reflects that friendly, fun loving yet fiercely competitive character that Jay had,” said Duke Brouwer, Surftech‘s marketing director. “It’s very cool to stand around on the beach or sit at a table at the awards party with some of big wave surfings living legends and hear them and others share stories about Jay and the life that he lived.”

Groms included. Photo: Jay Race/Nikki Brooks

Groms included. Photo: Jay Race/Nikki Brooks

Events include a 12-mile long course, two-mile short course, kid’s race and waterman’s challenge that includes a 500 meter swim, 1500m prone paddleboard leg and a 1000-meter SUP paddle.

Attendees will include Matt Becker, Morgan Hoesterey, Alison Riddle and Jen Fuller rounding out the elite SUP paddlers while the likes of Jack Bark, Steve Shlens and Shane Scoggins will hold it down on the prone paddleboard front. Big-wave legends like Ken “Skindog” Collins, Tyler Fox and Savannah Shaughnessey will also be there to participate.

“There are a few events every year that really capture the spirit of the sport of paddling and standup paddling and the Jay Race is one of those for sure,” Matt Becker said. “It always attracts a great group of people. It’s a must do on my list.”

After a day of fun, competitive racing competitors head over to Santa Cruz Harbor for the awards party on the beach, with beer, wine, food, live music and an auction.

All proceeds are donated to the Santa Cruz City, State and County Junior Lifeguard programs.

The Jay 2013 from Fin Film Company on Vimeo.

More Jay Race here.