Largest Field Ever Set To Charge Across The Catalina Channel

Catalina Paddle Race

Who’s this 2009 Molokai Champ and all-time record-holder, Mike Cote? Our long lost cousin who can paddle like a bat out of hell?

August 17, 2009 – Manhattan Beach – On Sunday, August 30th, the 34th installment of the legendary Catalina Classic Paddleboard Championship will see the greatest number of paddlers yet take on the 32 mile crossing from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach. An all-time record of 106 paddlers from France, Australia, Hawaii and the U.S.A.’s East and West coasts, will be competing against each other, the elements and the limits of their mental and physical abilities as they race across one of the Pacific’s deepest and busiest channels.

“Traditionally, the Classic is a ‘champion’s championship’,” says Catalina Classic Race Director Kyle Daniels. “This year is no different, and we are proud to have Honolua Surf Co. continuing as the event’s major sponsor.” The 2009 Classic features several winners from the sport’s most prestigious paddleboard competitions. Returning champions include two-time Classic winner Ryan Addison, Mike Carr and Hawaiian Keoni Watson.  They will face off against 2009 Molokai Champ and all-time record-holder, Mike Cote as well as 2009 Molokai runner-up Brian Rocheleau. 2008 Women’s Stock Champion Jo Ambrosi from Australia looks to defend her title against the 2007 winner Rebecca Gilman. Adding to the list of strong contenders and a record 26th Crossing is legendary shaper and waterman, Joe Bark. Joe won the Classic in 1988 and 1989 and has shaped more boards that have crossed the channel than any other shaper.

The 34th Catalina Classic Paddleboard Championship is made possible by the generous support of Honolua Surf Co., Vertra Elemental Protection, Body Glove, Bark Ocean and Da Kine.

The Classic also salutes this year’s paddlers who have taken on the additional challenge of raising money for several non-profit organizations including Ocean of Hope, Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, Team Duke, and the ALS Association. Last year, paddlers generated over $100k to support important causes like these.

The Catalina Classic Paddleboard Association, Inc. is dedicated to preserving the Catalina Classic 32 mile paddleboard race for the watermen and women who carry on the race tradition each August. The race was founded in 1955 by Los Angeles County Lifeguard Bob Hogan. After a twenty-one year hiatus the Catalina Classic was resurrected in 1982 by Lifeguards Gibby Gibson and Buddy Bohn. The Catalina Classic is the oldest and most celebrated endurance paddleboard race in the world.

For more information please contact Kyle Daniels at paddleboarder@msn.com or 310.483.3998.