Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

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The Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race is a 32-mile open ocean paddleboard competition between Catalina Island and Manhattan Beach in Southern California.


1928: Tom Blake wins first mainland surfing / paddleboard race on 120 pound board and precedes to break every paddleboard record that previously existed.
1932: Tom Blake makes first ever Catalina Crossing and beats out paddlers Pete Peterson and Wally Burton, going 29 miles in just under 6 hours.
Early 1950′s : enters a new era of paddlers. Surfboard shapers Dale Velzy, Greg Neil and Hobie Aller refine paddleboard design and begin to stage the legendary Taplin races between city and country lifeguards.
1955: Bob Hogan founds international Paddleboard Competition from Catalina to Manhattan Beach Pier.
1961: The Catalina event is cancelled due to dangerous conditions and the sport hibernates for over 20 years, save a few like Dale Velzy who kept building boards during that time.
1982: Gibby Gibson and Buddy Bohn revive the Catalina Race for a field of 10 competitors.
1982 – 2006: Buddy and Gibby yearly bring more competitors to the Catalina Classic and raise the awareness and demand for the sport and equipment.

Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race

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