Appleby, Vela Win Hobie Hennessey’s Waterman’s Challenge

Southern California's Doheny State Beach served up great weather and small surf last Saturday for the 5th Annual Hobie Hennessey's Waterman’s Challenge. In this unique annual event, elite racers' finishes from the 5-mile distance race and 5-lap technical race were combined to determine overall waterman and waterwoman champions.

The elite field was a quaint gathering of local SUP stars including Colin McPhillips, Byron Kurt, Dave Boehne, Anthony Vela, Brandi Baksic, Kristin Thomas, and Candice Appleby, as well as Brennan Rose, Sean Pangelian, and Javier "Bicho" Jiminez. Young SUP standouts also came to race in the Watergrom Challenge, including Noa Hopper, Alleanna Clark, and Shae Foudy.

On the women's side, Appleby skimmed her way to an early lead off the start in the Distance race. Brandi Baksic and Shae Foudy battled it out for the second spot throughout the race, finishing with an exciting run up the beach, where Foudy took second and Baksic landed third.

In the Technical Race, Appleby again had a great start off the beach, taking an early lead ahead of the competition. After catching a wave on the first lap, Appleby widened the gap, leading the entire race, and passing up many male competitors. Baksic and Foudy once again battled throughout the race, but Baksic edged her way out in front to take the second place ahead of Foudy.

After combining scores from the two events, Appleby was named overall champion and 2014 Hobie Hennessey Waterwoman title, while Baksic and Foudy finished second and third, respectively.

Photo: OnIt Pro

Photo: OnIt Pro

The Elite Men's race saw Javier Jimenez of Mexico leading the draft train to the first buoy turn, followed by Brennan Rose and Anthony Vela. After Jimenez and Rose raced to the wrong buoy for the second turn of the race, Vela took the lead to the famous Red Seal Buoy, where Noa Hopper, Sean Pangelian, and Vela broke away from the race pack to lead most of the race. With about only about a mile to the finish, Ryan Murphy charged his way to the front of the draft train to take the win, while Pangelian, Vela, and Hopper finished close behind in second through fourth places, respectively. Jimenez and Rose were unfortunately disqualified for not following the correct course.

The Men's technical race was similar to the distance race with Jimenez, Rose, and Vela starting strong and racing to the front of the field. The 5-lap race was close, with the three lead competitors catching waves together three times, including into the finish, which ended with another exciting run up the beach. Vela took the technical race win as well as the overall 2014 Hobie Hennessey Waterman title. Colin McPhillips surfed his way to the second place finish. Because Jimenez and Rose were disqualified from the distance race, they were out of the running for the overall waterman title.

The event also featured a 9-mile distance race for SUP and prone paddlers, as well as a kids race, and 3-mile fun race. The kids were brave, skillful, and inspiring, displaying impressive wave-catching skills and hard fought finishes. Check out the results below.


Waterman’s Challenge
1. Anthony Vela: 1:11:45; 18-39
2. Sean Pangelinan: 1:12:05; 18-39
3. Ryan Murphy: 1:12:27; 18-39
4. Noa Hopper: 1:12:51; U17
5. Karl Ring: 1:13:23; 40-49
6. Dave Boehne: 1:13:38; 18-39
7. Colin McPhillips: 1:14:46; 18-39
8. Brian Haag: 1:15:11; 18-39
9. Byron Kurt: 1:15:33; 50+
10. Brendan Light: 1:15:39; 18-39
Waterwoman’s Challenge
1. Candice Appleby: 1:18:22; 18-39
2. Brandi Baksic: 1:20:07; 40-49
3. Shae Foudy: 1:20:08; 18-39
4. Kelsa Gabehart: 1:24:54; 18-39
5. Alleanna Clark: 1:26:41; U17

Photo: OnIt Pro

Photo: OnIt Pro

Watergrom Challenge
1. Nick Scheel: 0:08:33; 15-17
2. Max Fleming: 0:08:34; 15-17
3. Ryan Funk: 0:09:07; 12-14
4. Tyler Bashor: 0:09:14; 12-14
5. Ryan Maloney: 0:09:17; 15-17
6. Trevor Bashor: 0:09:27; 15-17
7. Peter Shoemaker: 0:09:40; 15-17
8. Kai Mcphillips: 0:09:40; 9-11
9. Erika Benitez: 0:09:45; 12-14
10. Christine Shoemaker: 0:09:56; 12-14
11. Alleanna Clark: 0:10:04; 15-17
12. Lexi Alston: 0:10:22; 12-14
13. Maya Robilio 0:10:23; 9-11
14. Alexandria Higginson: 0:10:39; 9-11
15. Tai Diggins: 0:10:46; 9-11
16. Keagan Lamar: 0:10:51; 9-11
17. Dane Hillis: 0:10:52; 9-11
18. Jade Howson: 0:10:57; 9-11
19. Dax Mcphillips: 0:11:08; 9-11
20. Cole Vander Broek: 0:11:33; 12-14

1. Jack Wygal: 1:15:45; SUP 14′
2. Dale Marnati: 1:20:19; SUP 14′
3. Andew Mencinsky: 1:20:32; SUP 14′
4. Robert Howson: 1:21:22; SUP 14′
5. Ryan Pingree: 1:22:14; Prone Stock
6. Matt Hartnett: 1:24:13; SUP 14′
7. Sean Sullivan: 1:25:46; SUP 14′
8. Mark Pighini: 1:27:29; SUP 14′
9. William Kindel: 1:29:00; Prone Unlimited
10. Steven Beuder: 1:29:12; Prone Unlimited
1. Rod Loftis: 0:44:38; SUP 14′
2. Tyler Bashor: 0:45:54; SUP 12’6″
3. Rick Stinson: 0:46:32; SUP 14′
4. John Andel: 0:46:51; SUP 12’6″
5. Les Hopper: 0:48:16; SUP 14′
6. Lexi Alston: 0:49:50; SUP 12’6″
7. Cameron Fraser: 0:50:12; SUP 12’6″
8. Jim Jr Jenks: 0:50:23; SUP 14′
9. Kristin Kaczmarek: 0:51:18; SUP 12’6″
10. Chris Cheek: 0:51:48; SUP 14′

Power couple: Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela.  Photo: Kristin Thomas

Power couple: Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela. Photo: Kristin Thomas

Candice Appleby and Anthony Vela contributed to this article.

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