The Survivor Beach Sup Race is a local San Diego paddle board race to benefit cancer research for the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. The race caught my eye because its not only for a great cause but the 4 mile 12’6 elite race goes in and out of the surf zone adding an extra element of riding waves over a typical flat water race. With a small swell on the horizon I figured it would be great to joust in the surf with some top level paddlers. In addition the race also offered $1000 cash prize for the winner to make you paddle that much harder.
The sun never popped out for the race but the water was super warm nearly seventy degrees so couldn’t complain. After a few warm up pre-race paddles on the 12’6 race board and some push-ups and sits ups the elite race was on. Everyone lined up at the starting line and waited for the horn. As soon as the race started the top guys quickly zoomed to the front of the pack and punched through the surf. The top 3 would battle the entire race for pole position jousting in and out of the surf with each lap leaving most of the pack behind. I drifted back to position 5 and then battled with another competitor for the final 2 laps. He would get close and nip on my heels and then I would get a little edge in the surf zone. Then back on the flats he would pass me again and so on and so forth until the final lap as we both approached the final buoy side by side I quickly sprinted around him to the finish line narrowly beating him finishing in around 46 minutes. After about 10 minutes lying on the ground feeling like I was going to barf I finally stood up and realized I threw out my back twisting and grabbing my board on the final buoy. Total bummer and a real eye opener for me that its time to step up the training if I want to still compete. Jesse Wright our other Isle Team guy came in 9th putting in a strong finish as well and clearly was not afraid to pose for the camera as he rounded the beach buoy. Not too shabby considering he had a night out on the town the previous evening so hats off to him.
After watching the winners collect all the checks I limped back to the car head down with a twisted back. Until next year…
About the Author - Marc Miller is the founding partner of Isle Surf & SUP an online retailer of paddle boards & surfboards. He has been involved in board manufacturing, product development and website management for Isle since its inception in 2004. He also writes the Isle Surf & SUP Blog. An avid surfer and paddler for the past 2 decades when hes not in the office he can be found on foreign shores searching for waves and fun.